Monday, May 7, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Mini-Tortes

Along with fruit jelly candy, my biggest weakness is a Reese's Fast Break candy bar.  Soft nougat and peanut butter encased in chocolate: what's not to love?  Dorie Greenspan's recipe for Peanut Butter Torte has always looked like the homemade-dessert version of the Fast Break bar and I've been looking forward to baking it for years.  Well, my chance finally arrived: the Tuesdays With Dorie baking group baked the peanut butter torte four years ago this week, and so my quest to finish the book brought me face to face with this much-anticipated recipe.

n.o.e.'s notes:

-  The recipe is not available from the original TWD host, but I found the recipe posted on the Brown Eyed Baker blog, here.

-  I made 1/2 recipe in six 1-cup silicone molds. Another way to do minis would be to use a dozen smaller silicone cupcake molds.  A cupcake-sized serving is probably an ideal size since this recipe is quite rich.

-  The recipe includes directions for making "crunch," a mixture of chocolate chips and peanuts with spices but I didn't want crunch in my mousse, so I opted to skip those and top my tortes with mini-peanut butter cups, which are nice and soft.  If I were going to go the crunchy route,  I might try toffee bits on top (or stirred in).

-  The whole recipe is very straightforward, if a bit bowl + equipment intensive. I used my stovetop, microwave, sifter, cutting board, sharp knife, several bowls, mixer, food processor, spoons, spatulas, scrapers, etc.

-  The silicone molds released the little tortes beautifully.

the verdict:

This recipe was perhaps the biggest disappointment of the book to me.  I had looked at the picture in the book countless times and anticipated how fabulous the chocolate would taste with luxurious peanut butter mousse, but the reality was far from that.  

The peanut butter flavor was too subtle and was totally overpowered by all of the cream cheese + whipped cream. And the flavor of the crust was ...oreos! I found that distracting, and would use a different chocolate base, such as the gluten-free chocolate crust from Deliciously Organic that I used for the Tuesdays With Dorie/Baking With Julia chocolate tarts.  

The best part of this dessert was the chocolate topping, but that's no surprise - it's ganache, after all.

In the end I decided that the filling resembled cheesecake more than mousse, and I found that I liked it a lot better as long as I didn't expect to taste peanut butter.  But no matter what, the dessert was so rich that I couldn't eat more than a few bites.  Ulitmately I was left wishing I'd had a Reese's Fast Break candy bar instead. 


Unknown said...

Oh, what a bummer that it didn't live up to expectations! I remember this being one of my favorite TWD recipes. I adore your minis :) As impressive as the full torte is, the minis are so cute!

Di said...

I remember liking this one, but had to go back and look at my post for the details. I ended up with a more peanut-buttery filling because I was short on both cream cheese and whipping cream, but used the full amt of peanut butter. Sounds like that worked out for the best. =) I also skipped the ganache on top, thinking the dark chocolate would overpower the PB.

Sorry that this one didn't live up to your expectations! It's so sad when that happens.

Anonymous said...

Oh no! I'm sorry it was a disappointment. I still need to make this one and have been looking forward to eating it. Maybe when I make it, I'll increase the proportion of PB.

TeaLady said...

The Hubs really liked this one. I did too, But i did add a litle extra PB.

I would use a different crust next time.

Leslie said...

Agree, agree, agree. I was so disappointed in this one. I added the chopped nuts in the peanut butter mousse and after a few days in the fridge, they were quite cottony. I your minis look adorable, though!

I'm sending you an email...

Kayte said...

Well, sounds like you all were disappointed a bit from reading the comments, which is too bad as these are so darn cute!

Nickki said...

Oh no! That's such a shame. I've been looking for an excuse to make this torte for years. If I do get around to making it I'll maybe add some extra peanut butter. And I might just copy your idea of adding peanut butter cups on top ;-)