Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Who would've thought...

...that I would ever join a baking group? Let me tell you about Tuesdays with Dorie. It's an online group of people who have committed to baking once a week from Dorie Greenspan's cookbook, Baking: From My Home to Yours. Each week a different member picks the recipe for the group to bake. Then, each of the members will post their finished product on their blog each Tuesday. I thought this would be a good way to start finding my way around the kitchen a little better, trying new things and also having something great for my blog each week. Well, today is my first day of posting my TWD entry. This week's pick was for Madeleines but it required a special pan so they said that if you didn't want to make that then you could just pick any recipe that has already been made this year that you missed. Well, this is my first week so I haven't made anything from the book yet. I picked the Peanut Butter Torte, which I saw a lot of blog entries about a few weeks back. I had offered to take a pie to Angel's shower (see posts below) and knew this was the perfect opportunity to make this beautiful thing. So, here is my first TWD entry. There will be a few pictures because I was very proud of this one. Enjoy!

A little bit about this torte: it's so creamy and the oreo crust is amazing. Warning: it's insanely rich. I could only take a bite or two at a time. There was no way I could get a whole piece down. You must love peanut butter for this one. And excuse the crust. I really thought I had been careful to make sure it was even all the way around. Guess not!

Peanut Butter Torte

1 ¼ c. finely chopped salted peanuts (for the filling, crunch and topping)
2 teaspoons sugar½ 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)
2 tablespoons whole milk (I used fat free organic)
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. Scrape the cream into a bowl and refrigerate until needed.

Wipe out (no need to 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 (I let it cool for a few minutes before pouring it on), 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 (I did this and it worked great), 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.


Anonymous said...

Welcome to TWD! :) Your Torte looks amazing..Yum!

Lindsey said...

it looks amazing! great job!

Kbg said...

I'm new this week to TWD also...you have a lovely blog...and how cute is this: NEWLYWED! Mark and I are approaching 30 years in a couple of weeks...it just gets better and better the longer you are married. Really, it does! Best wishes for a lifetime of fun and great cooking!

Amy (Aggiesgirl06) said...

It looks wonderful! Welcome to the group!
PS. I want your cake stand!!! :-)

Marie said...

Welcome to the group!! Well done you on the Peanut butter Torte! It looks beautiful! I didn't do the madeleines either. I made orange blueberry muffins and they were delicious also!

The Kitchen Vixen said...

You torte looks wonderful. welcome to TWD;)

Bumblebutton said...

What a wonderful torte! Welcome!

Rebecca said...

Welcome to TWD! Looks like you had no problems with the torte. Way to go!

Lani T said...

It looks as good as it tasted! I'm glad you're baking with me =)

Dianne said...

Welcome to TWD! Your torte looks amazing. I really enjoyed that recipe.

Melissa said...

Welcome! Looks beautiful!

Garrett said...

Welcome to the group! I'm new this week, too. Seeing this peanut butter torte here and on the TWD website, it's really making me crave it. I might have to find an excuse to make it sometime soon! Looks wonderful!

Cheryl said...

Welcome to TWD! Your torte looks great, and personally I prefer the look of an uneven crust. Nice job!

Cecilia said...

Welcome to group! The torte looks so yummy; so much so that I'm tempted to make it even though I don't like peanut butter unless it's straight from the jar. Great job!

Jacque said...

This is my first week too. Your torte looks fabulous! No way would I think you were new to baking after seeing that. Great job!

Jayne said...

Fabulous looking torte! Great job! And welcome to TWD!

PheMom said...

Welcome! I kinda like the jagged crust in that picture - it gives nice visual interest. Great job!