TWD #11: Like a fat kid loves tortecakes
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.
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.
[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.
[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.
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.
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.]
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