TWD #11: Like a fat kid loves tortecakes

May 6, 2008 at 9:34 am 49 comments

After finding out that this week’s TWD weekly recipe would be a torte, my immediate question was…

What exactly is a torte?

Just to warn you. I have the curiosity of a child. I can askjeeves questions faster than a 5 year old.

When I hear the word “torte” I think of it in the legal sense. A tort (minus the “e”) is an act that injures someone in some way, and the injured person may sue the wrongdoer for damages. Legally, torts are called civil wrongs, as opposed to criminal ones. You can blame my political science nerd husband for my ability to regurgitate the previous mentioned lawyer babble. haha.

In a similar sense, this dessert does do alot of damage. Its very rich and I think one TWDer calculated it to be about 26 WW points per serving! YIKES! Seriously. Was it really necessary to calculate this? I could have lived happily eating my torte not knowing. haha. But with this newfound knowledge, I decided to reduce the recipe by half to increase our chances of living longer healthier lives. My peanut butter junkie husband was not pleased about this decision. Doesn’t he realize that the rules to a happy marriage are “Love, Honor and Disobey”? I am pretty sure it was part of my vows… LOL.

What I learned this week:
A torte is a rich cake, esp. one containing little or no flour, usually made with eggs and ground nuts or bread crumbs.

Hosted by Elizabeth @ Ugg Smell Food
Check out the Tuesdays w/ Dorie blogroll on the side menu bar.

Peanut Butter Tortecakes
(Recipe from DG Baking pages 282-283 | photos from me!)


1-1/4 cup finely chopped salted peanuts, for the filling, crunch and topping (I used unsalted)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (or finely ground instant coffee)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips or finely chopped semi sweet chocolate (I used ghiradelli chocolate, chopped)
24 Oreo cookies, finely crumbed or ground in a food processor or blender
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Small pinch of salt
2-1/2 cup heavy cream
1-1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
12 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1-1/2 cup salted peanut butter – crunchy or smooth, not natural (I used smooth Jif)
2 tablespoons whole milk
4 oz bittersweet chocolate finely chopped (I used 1/2 semi-sweet+1/2 bittersweet instead)


Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch Springform pan and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

[NOTES: Halving the recipe made 12 cupcakes for me.]

Toss 1/2 cup of the chopped peanuts, the sugar, espresso powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and chocolate chops together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Click image to enlarge

[NOTES: I used unsalted peanuts by mistake but a few TWDer said it was salty so maybe this was one of those good mistakes? teehee]

Put the Oreo crumbs, melted butter and salt in another small bowl and stir with a fork just until crumbs are moistened. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the spring form pan (they should go up about 2 inches on the sides). Freeze the crust for 10 minutes.

Click image to enlarge

[NOTES: I halved the recipe but used about 15 oreos to get the consistency I wanted to fill my cupcake liners. Each cupcake liner got about 1 tbsp of crust to cover the bottom. I didn’t cover the sides.]

Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a rack and let it cool completely before filling.

Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, whip 2 cups of the cream until it holds medium peaks. Beat in 1/4 cup of the confectioners’ sugar and whip until the cream holds medium-firm peaks. Scrape the cream into a bowl and refrigerate until needed.

Click image to enlarge

Wipe out (do not wash) the bowl, fit the stand mixer with the paddle attachment if you have one, or continue with the hand mixer, and beat the cream cheese with the remaining 1 cup confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until the cream cheese is satiny smooth. Beat in the peanut butter, 1/4 cup of the chopped peanuts and the milk.

Using a large rubber spatula, gently stir in about one quarter of the whipped cream, just to lighten the mousse. Still working with the spatula, stir in the crunchy peanut mixture, then gingerly fold in the remaining whipped cream.

Scrape the mousse into the crust, mounding and smoothing the top. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight; cover with plastic wrap as soon as the mousse firms.

Click image to enlarge

To make ganache—
Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Leave the bowl over the water just until the chocolate softens and starts to melt, about 3 minutes; remove the bowl from the saucepan.

[NOTES: I used the microwave to melt the chocolate for about 45 secs.]

Bring the remaining 1/2 cup cream to a full boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and working with a a rubber spatula, very gently stir together until the ganache is completely blended and glossy.

Pour the ganache over the torte, smoothing it with a metal icing spatula. Scatter the remaining 1/2 cup peanuts over the top and chill to set the topping, about 20 minutes.

[NOTES: I poured about 3/4 tbsp of ganache in each cup and then smoothed it out to the edge with my fingers.]

Click image to enlarge

When the ganache is firm, remove the sides of the Springform pan; it’s easiest to warm the pan with a hairdryer, and then remove the sides, but you can also wrap a kitchen towel damped with hot water around the pan and leave it there for 10 seconds. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Husband rating: A++
He ate one for a late night dessert and raved the whole time. He declared it his favorite Dorie recipe (so far). I knew he’d love it. He is a pb freak. haha.

Wifey rating: A+
Its SO good but very decadent so I could barely finish one little tortecake. This wasn’t too complicated to put together and I am sure I’ll make it again.

Next week: Florida Pie pages 340-341

Entry filed under: dessert, Tuesdays With Dorie.

DB#4 real: The incredible shrinking pOp! NFR: Amor vincit omnia

49 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rebecca  |  May 6, 2008 at 9:38 am

    Cute! And I agree, calculating the calories and/or WW points for these Dorie recipes is SO WRONG!!! ;)

  • 2. Caitlin  |  May 6, 2008 at 9:44 am

    OMG adorable! If they’re that cute, by definition they have no calories, right?

  • 3. CB  |  May 6, 2008 at 9:58 am

    CAITLIN, yeah… riiiiiiiiight. haha.

  • 4. April  |  May 6, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Your mini’s look wonderful!

  • 5. Christina  |  May 6, 2008 at 10:12 am

    SO SMART making them in cupcake liners. They look darling that way too. Great job!

  • 6. Gretchen Noelle  |  May 6, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Very cute! i wish I had only done the crust on the bottom and not up the sides. Yours look great!

  • 7. NinaBeth  |  May 6, 2008 at 10:22 am

    I love your little ones! I thought about making little one’s too late…

  • 8. Tom Humes  |  May 6, 2008 at 10:22 am

    Nice Site layout for your blog. I am looking forward to reading more from you.

    Tom Humes

  • 9. nikki57  |  May 6, 2008 at 10:32 am

    You are mean wife. You know T would have eaten it all and he’s so skinny he needs some extra calories.

    I may just have to send T half of mine because I feel so bad for him

  • 10. Ulrike aka ostwestwind  |  May 6, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Great job !

  • 11. CB  |  May 6, 2008 at 10:38 am

    NIKKI, whatever with that shiz. I am fuggen WIFE OF THE YEAR to my husband. But I do agree he totally needs to eat more. That can’t be good when your hubs weighs less than the wife right? LOL

  • 12. Kristina  |  May 6, 2008 at 10:48 am

    YUM! I feel like I need to go to the gym just looking at these! I might have to make these as a special treat for the hubby! He LOVES peanut butter.

  • 13. CB  |  May 6, 2008 at 10:50 am

    KRISTINA, your hubs and my hubs both. He’s a pb addict! He’ll be thrilled when he gets home to eat this for dessert.

  • 14. Marie  |  May 6, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Your little cupcake tortes are so cute! I loved this recipe. I’m not sure my Todd did though as he is British and they think pairing anything sweet with peanut butter is gross. I guess they don’t know what they are missing!

  • 15. April  |  May 6, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    These are absolutely adorable! : ) And they look so yummy!

  • 16. bombshellwithin  |  May 6, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    I saw that the TWDers were making this recipe and I have been lamenting how I have no reason to make them. I’ve been trying to sell all my friends that they should get me all the ingredients because they NEED to give a delicious torte to their momma’s for mother’s day. Seems no one believes me. But, I really do love your mini tortes! They are so daggum cute!

  • 17. Helen  |  May 6, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    What a good idea/mistake to use unsalted peanuts – I too found this very salty. Love the tidgy tortes! Hx

  • 18. steph  |  May 6, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    tortecakes are cute! i’m not sure what WW points really mean, but yeah, the ingredients were scary!!

  • 19. CB  |  May 6, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    STEPH, WW points = Weight Watchers points. If you want something to compare it to my husband weighs 135lbs and he probably gets about 18 points a day so 26 points is 2x the amt of points he would be able to eat all day. eep!

  • 20. peabody  |  May 6, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    The mini ones are so very cute.

  • 21. Tammy  |  May 6, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    I did the same thing – quartered the recipe and made cupcake size tortes. Yours look great – mine werent quite so perfect!!

  • 22. beth  |  May 6, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    i LOVE your mini-tortes :)

  • 23. Heather  |  May 6, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    omg! Love the tortecakes! Great job! Looks delicious!

  • 24. Liliana  |  May 6, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    What a great idea to make torte cakes! They’re awesome.
    Next time that’s what I am going to do!

  • 25. Mary Ann  |  May 6, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    Those little minis look so delicious! That is more of an appropriate serving size on this one!

  • 26. Di  |  May 6, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    Your tortecakes are adorable! A much more reasonable serving size–I have no idea how Dorie could have thought that the whole thing was 6-8 servings!

  • 27. kdgreen  |  May 6, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    6-8 servings for I don’t know who. the cupcakes were a great idea. We may have over indulged at my house.

  • 28. lemontartlet  |  May 6, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    They’re cuddly! Is it wrong to wnt to snuggle a dessert? You need to come make these for me.

  • 29. Annemarie  |  May 6, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    DId you freeze those little babies before taking the paper off? They are adorable! Wicked, wicked WW points…

  • 30. CB  |  May 6, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    ANNEMARIE, yes! I froze them. I think they were SO good frozen instead refrigerated since the mousse was kinda mushy. Freezing them made taking the wrapper off easier and the texture like ice cream. Yum!

  • 31. Carol Peterman  |  May 6, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    I think you hit upon a perfect individual size. My little ones were too big to eat in one bite, but too small to use a fork and it was messy! The paper molds – brilliant. These are great frozen. The filling is very ice cream like. Nice job.

  • 32. Andrea  |  May 7, 2008 at 3:24 am

    so petite and cute. They look divine!

  • 33. Andrea  |  May 7, 2008 at 3:25 am

    petite and cute…reminds me of someone I know ;) Hey now.

  • 34. rebekka  |  May 7, 2008 at 4:39 am

    The weight watchers point thing is HILLARIOUS! I can’t believe it…isn’t that like how many points you’re supposed to get in one day or something? I have no clue. Anyway, I love how you miniaturized them, they look precious!

  • 35. CB  |  May 7, 2008 at 6:13 am

    ANDREA, hey now… hehe. I wish you were talking about me but I aint petite, at least horizontally though I am vertically challenged. LOL

  • 36. Shari  |  May 7, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Those little cups are perfect for these tortes that could be re-classified as “civil wrongs” given their callorie count! Great job!

  • 37. Sharon - Butcher, Baker......  |  May 7, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Love the cute mini-tortes. What a great idea.

  • 38. Isa  |  May 7, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Cute! Glad you enjoy it so much!
    and thanks for your comment on my blog!

  • 39. Anna C. S.  |  May 7, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    I didn’t think to freeze it… brilliant. And the baby tortes are both adorable and perfect. It’s a great idea (and it makes it harder to sneak bites from the little cakes)

    Whenever I get peanuts to snack on, I get two containers – one salted and one unsalted – and mix them together. That would probably make sense for the torte too.

  • 40. mari  |  May 8, 2008 at 9:06 am

    Your tortecakes are so cute!!! They look just perfect! I have to admit that I only tasted the filling, as I was illin’ and didn’t really fancy a super rich dessert. Reports back from my dbf’s colleagues were all good, though. It went down a treat!

  • 41. LyB  |  May 8, 2008 at 9:45 am

    I love your idea of making them in individual sizes, very cute!

  • 42. dizzeecake  |  May 8, 2008 at 9:58 am

    You made minis too!! Great minds thinks alike =)

  • 43. Melissa  |  May 8, 2008 at 10:41 am

    Soooo cute!

  • 44. Erin  |  May 8, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Your torte looks so good- I love the mini version!

  • 45. Jaime  |  May 18, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    your little tortes are so cute! i need to get some of those nut & party cups :)

    (sorry, just now getting around to visiting the TWD blogs!)

  • 46. kristina  |  June 2, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    oreos and peanut butter. *sigh* this is perfection.

  • 47. CB  |  June 2, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    KRISTINA, I think you and my hubs would get along just peachy ;)

  • 48. My Sweet & Saucy  |  June 2, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    I love the name “tortecake”…too cute!

  • 49. CB  |  June 2, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    SWEET&SAUCY, haha. has a nice ring to it huh? :)


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