Monday, May 5, 2008

TWD #3 Peanut Butter Torte (a.k.a. Gourmet Chocolate Peanut Butter Cuppies)

This week I really was excited to try this recipe out. It was a Peanut Butter Torte and was chosen by Elizabeth of Ugg Smell Food. However, I knew I was going to have to change how I made it because I knew from the ingredients that it was going to be delicious, so to prevent me from eating on it all week, I was going to have to make mini versions of it so I could send them to work with my husband for the Marines.
First of all, let me start by saying that after reading through what some of you had said about the fat content and how salty it was, I decided to do what I could to "lighten" it up a little. I used REDUCED FAT OREOS, FAT FREE CREAM CHEESE & LIGHTLY SALTED PEANUTS & REGULAR SKIPPY PEANUT BUTTER (I would have liked to have used a reduced fat version, but had just bought a new jar of regular on my last trip to the commissary)
So not that my alterations made my version of this fabulous dessert any less 'healthy' because I think it would still rack up the Weight Watcher points.
My first mistake, even though I knew that this recipe normally called for the use of a springform pan, was attempting to make them in cupcake tins. I greased the tins, and then decided to use cupcake liners halfway through. Well, I wished I would have used the liners for all of them, because when it came to pry out the 6 I made WITHOUT the liners, they would NOT come out. At least not in one piece...not even in a number of pieces that they could have been recognizable in!! So those went back into the bowl of filling. Which, I just as well admit, was without the yummy chocolate chip, peanut, spice mixture! Don't ask me what I was thinking, but I left it sitting on the counter. But rest assure, I added it later...
I was, however, very excited that my first ever attempt at ganache was VERY successful! A great victory after the many whoopsies I had early on in this adventure!
Agh! So, after making only 6 successful regular cupcake sized tortes, in liners, I still had TONS of filling left. I thought I'd attempt to make minis. And after making all the previous errors, I knew to definately use little liners, and I dumped in the spice mix into the leftover filling (oh, what a wonderful difference that made!)
I made 24 adorable minis and still had 2+ cups left of the filling. Which I must say makes for a great cookie dip if you have any Oreos left over! But, again, also deadly, because you can't just dip ONE!
My husband loved them, as did I, and he said they were: "Like, really good Peanut Butter Cups!!!"
These are something I will definately be making again....but I probably should wait a while! That's how good they are!!! I would recommend making them in mini cupcake tins like this, because they are so rich, that a bite is all you need to satisfy any chocolate or peanut butter craving!

Peanut Butter Torte
1 ¼ c. finely chopped salted peanuts (for the filling, crunch and topping)
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon instant espresso powder (or finely ground instant coffee)
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
½ c. mini chocolate chips (or finely chopped semi sweet chocolate)
24 Oreo cookies, finely crumbed or ground in a food processor or blender
½ stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Small pinch of salt
2 ½ c. heavy cream
1 ¼ c confectioners’ sugar, sifted
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 ½ c salted peanut butter – crunchy or smooth (not natural; I use Skippy)
2 tablespoons whole milk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped

Getting ready: 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.
Toss ½ cup of the chopped peanuts, the sugar, espresso powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and chocolate chops together in a small bowl. Set aside.
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.
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 ¼ cup of the confectioners’ sugar and whip until the cream holds medium-firm peaks. Crape 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, ¼ 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 mouse 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 Finish The Torte:
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.
Bring the remaining ½ 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 ½ cup peanuts over the top and chill to set the topping, about 20 minutes.
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.


Andrea said...

Cupcake size looks just perfect.
I am with you on the liner issue. Every time I try and skip that step I regret it!

noskos said...

Yummy looking cupcakes!!!

Christine said...

I love the cupcakes! I was going to make them but ran out of time. Perfect and yummy!

Cafe Johnsonia said...

Great job! I love the cupcake idea. I thought it was too rich, too. If I make it again, I'll use reduced fat ingredients.

CRS said...

Great idea making them as cupcakes. A whole slice was just too darn rich!

Chez US said...

I like the cupcake size, nice idea and less messy!

Rebecca said...

This isn't a Weight Watchers "freebie"? OH NO! ;)

Heather said...

I had the same cupcake issue too! Grrr... So frustrating! Your tortes look yummmy! Great job!

annmartina said...

I have type II diabetes, so I tried to limit myself to a very small slice in the evening. I also gave away about half the cake to my sister-in-law, who has three kids. But peanut butter and chocolate and sweet/salty are two of my favorite combinations, so it's been hard to resist. I must have a salt tooth, because I was trying to think of ways to make it a little saltier, like some salted caramel drizzled on top.

bakingwiththeboys said...

Maybe the cupcake idea would have saved us all from food coma. But I will take your advice and use liners!

Annemarie said...

I love that you were brave enough to try putting it together ina different way. I think mini cup cake torte's sound perfect!

Cheryl said...

What a great idea to make them in little cupcakes! Perfect portion control!

Marie said...

Yayyy for the Marines! I bet they really enjoyed your efforts! I wish we could get the reduced fat ingredients over here as I'd definitely make it with them if I made it again. It was just too good for my own good!

juliatylerfoodblog said...

ooh love the little ones! Good idea!

PheMom said...

Great cupcake size idea!

April said...

Your cuppies look tasty!

Erin said...

These look so good! I love the cupcake idea!

Chris said...

I love the idea of making cupcakes! Great job!

Sweet and Savory Eats said...

You were smart to make minis because ours didn't last too long! And good call on cutting the fat. They look great.

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Your hubbie's colleagues are most certainly lucky! I made three little cupcake size tortes with some left-over filling without the liners, but I lined the tins with a circle of parchment paper. It worked out fine, but I'm sure your liners looked nicer.

Gretchen Noelle said...

Adorable minis! I still have filling left over as well...what to do? I used a wax/parchment paper for the cupcake pan. It peeled off just fine after everything was set together.

C.L. said...

ooooo, individuals! What a great idea! I am allllll over that! Thanks for the idea! Genius :)

Dianne said...

I like the cupcake idea! Well done! :)