Peanut Butter Torte

{This week’s TWD choice came from Elizabeth of Ugg Smell Food. Fabulous choice, Elizabeth!}

I don’t think I really need to say anything about this torte. The picture above should speak for itself. Okay, this is me, of course I have something to say.

I love peanut butter and chocolate. I haven’t met very many people who don’t.

I took this to a family party on Sunday afternoon and it got rave reviews. I really love that this recipe is easy, it doesn’t involve much baking (just 10 minutes for the crust), and it was guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser. (Honestly, I’m glad I took it to a party and didn’t eat the whole thing by myself. I could have. Really. I’m serious.)

Also, one more thing–I’ve made so many recipes like this before. I knew what to expect. The greatest thing about this torte was the spiced peanut and chocolate crunch that is folded into the mousse.

I can’t believe I almost wasn’t going to use the espresso and the spices! It really made all the difference. (Thanks to my husband who convinced me to just follow the recipe and trust Dorie.)

(For full recipe, sans pictures, scroll down to the bottom.)

**My notes are in blue and I also divided the ingredients up into the amounts as I used them in the recipe. Dorie gives them in a consolidated form.**

Peanut Butter Torte
recipe by Dorie Greenspan


For Crust:24 Oreo cookies, finely crumbed or ground in a food processor or blender
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled (I used salted)
Small pinch of salt (I omitted this)

For Crunch:
3/4 cup finely chopped salted peanuts (I used honey roasted)2 teaspoons sugar (I omitted this)
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 semisweet chocolate (I chopped up some SS chocolate chips)

For Filling:1/2 cup finely chopped salted peanuts (I used honey roasted)
2 cups heavy cream
1 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted and divided
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 ½ cups salted peanut butter – crunchy or smooth (not natural; I use Skippy)
2 tablespoons whole milk

For Topping:
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts


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.

For crunch:
Toss ½ cup of the chopped peanuts, the sugar, espresso powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and chocolate chops together in a small bowl. Set aside.

For crust:  

Process cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs form.

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.

For 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 (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.

(I don’t know why, but I love process of “gingerly folding”.)

**I always like to use a giant silicone spatula for folding purposes.**

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:

(I took a vote at the party, and we decided to forgo the ganache. Instead, I grated a little bittersweet chocolate on top and sprinkled it with chopped honey roasted peanuts.)

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.

43 Responses to “Peanut Butter Torte”

  1. Madam Chow May 6, 2008 at 11:56 am #

    Fabulous! Love the photos. I had to take a pass this week, but it’s definitely on my to-do list!

  2. Mary May 6, 2008 at 12:24 pm #

    stunning! absolutely gorgeous! your torte looks so delicious and I’m glad to know the spices and coffee are essential….I had to sit out this week, but after reading the recipe considered omitting them too!

  3. Sarah May 6, 2008 at 12:30 pm #

    Your torte looks amazing! Too rich for my taste, but I did like the addition of the spices and espresso…glad you didn’t omit them! Great job! And I love your helpers hand buttering the pan…too cute!

  4. ostwestwind May 6, 2008 at 12:52 pm #

    Great step-by-step pictures. The result looks great. Although I reduced the fat it was too rich for me. The North German palate isn’t used to peanut butter ;-)
    Ulrike from Küchenlatein

  5. love.boxes May 6, 2008 at 12:55 pm #

    I love peanut butter everything.. This is what I wish I was having for breakfast instead of toast. :)

  6. Becky May 6, 2008 at 12:58 pm #

    WOW WOW!! Looks awesome and delish! What a talent you have!

  7. kim May 6, 2008 at 1:01 pm #

    i love all of the beautiful photos of the process! the finished torte looks great, i liked the way the ganache looked but i didn’t think it was necessary with the richness of the rest of it. yours looks yummy!

  8. Sweet and Savory Eats May 6, 2008 at 1:05 pm #

    I adore the picture of your little one’s hand greasing the pan. So sweet! Beautiful photos and great job on the torte.

  9. Christine May 6, 2008 at 1:06 pm #

    Awesome I loved the step by step photos. Where did you find the espresso powder? The one thing I wanted and could not find. Beautiful torte!

  10. CRS May 6, 2008 at 1:12 pm #

    Looks awesome!

    I also considered omitting the coffee (who has instant coffee around these days?) but decided to just go for it… I was very glad I did as well!

  11. mimi May 6, 2008 at 1:14 pm #

    beautiful torte, the crust is so dark and decadent looking! love all the photos. i admit i am horrible at the “gingerly” part of gingerly fold :)

  12. Erica May 6, 2008 at 1:23 pm #

    I think i’ll ask for a spring form pan for my anniversary. I so need to make that. I’m pregnant and now i’m craving it…it looks delicious!!! Great post!

  13. Rebecca May 6, 2008 at 1:40 pm #

    Lucky you having a family party for sharing the torte. Mine is in the freezer, whispering my name … ;)

  14. Jenny May 6, 2008 at 2:07 pm #

    I’m going to make this, peanut butter and chocolate speak to my soul. I would love to worm my way to your family parties.

  15. Patricia Scarpin May 6, 2008 at 2:30 pm #

    Wow, Lindsey, talk about a decadent dessert! I absolutely love all the ingredients you used here. :)
    Looks beautiful!

  16. Lauren May 6, 2008 at 3:31 pm #

    I’m totally going to make this.

    You take such great care with your photos…I love it!

  17. rainbowbrown May 6, 2008 at 3:38 pm #

    Very cool. Wonderful photos!

  18. Anne May 6, 2008 at 4:08 pm #

    Wow, great job! I love the photos, beautiful and great to see the step by step. Yum!

  19. Cheryl May 6, 2008 at 4:55 pm #

    You know, the cinnamon was one of the things I really didn’t like in this. I think I must be weird. LOL

    Nice job!

  20. Marie May 6, 2008 at 4:55 pm #

    Your torte looks fabulous!!! I love the step by step photos and the one of the itty bitty helping hand. I love that one the most! Well done!

  21. Cafe Johnsonia May 6, 2008 at 5:02 pm #

    Thanks for all the nice comments everyone!

    Christine–I found the espresso powder by accident, if you can believe it. I was at my local grocery store and happened to see it when I was looking for something else. I’d been looking for it so I could make some tiramisu. I wonder if you could get some from a Starbucks or something? Maybe?

  22. Helene May 6, 2008 at 5:31 pm #

    Simply georgous pictures. I’m drooling.

  23. ChezUS May 6, 2008 at 8:24 pm #

    Your photos look great! I love the little fingers spreading the butter – cute!

  24. Heather May 6, 2008 at 8:34 pm #

    love your photos! They’ve got me drooling over your torte!

  25. bakingwiththeboys May 6, 2008 at 9:02 pm #

    Your pictures are beautiful! Every step looks tasty.

  26. Annemarie May 6, 2008 at 9:24 pm #

    Looks fabulous!!

  27. citymama1 May 6, 2008 at 9:33 pm #

    my hubby loves chocolate and pb. I may have to make this for him…

  28. Jaime May 6, 2008 at 10:48 pm #

    beautiful torte! the ganache was yummy, you should try it next time :) i love the picture of your kitchen helper buttering the pan ;)

  29. steph- whisk/spoon May 6, 2008 at 11:21 pm #

    you photos totally speak for themselves–the torte looks fantastic! i loved the “crunch” part, too!

  30. StickyGooeyCreamyChewy May 7, 2008 at 12:57 am #

    Your torte looks amazing! I love your step by step pictures too. I try to do that, but I always end up with food all over my camera! I’m just not coordinated that way. I admire you for doing it so well!

  31. Melissa May 7, 2008 at 1:00 am #

    Funny how many times I’ve looked at the recipe already and I just now realized that it was supposed to chill for 4 hours. Oops…didn’t seem to matter :)

  32. Mary Ann May 7, 2008 at 2:02 am #

    as always it looks great. I love your step by step photos-and I wish I would’ve thought to use honey roasted peanuts-Yum!

  33. karen May 7, 2008 at 11:01 am #

    Looks great! Love the pictures – just beautiful.

  34. Linda May 7, 2008 at 11:08 am #

    I really love your photos…and gorgeous torte!

  35. rebekka May 7, 2008 at 1:17 pm #

    Beautiful! I absolutely LOVE how detailed your step-by-step photos are!

  36. Carrie May 7, 2008 at 6:02 pm #

    Looks so good! I was lucky enough to be able to share mine with my family as well. :)

  37. lemontartlet May 7, 2008 at 6:11 pm #

    The honey roasted peanuts, I never would’ve thought of using those. What a good idea, and your torte looks nice!

  38. Donna May 7, 2008 at 7:01 pm #

    I love all your how-to photos! You always have such a nice looking set up and your Torte is gorgeous!

  39. Dianne May 7, 2008 at 7:05 pm #

    Great call on the honey roasted peanuts. I used them too and I thought it really worked! Your torte looks fabulous!

  40. Jenn S. May 7, 2008 at 8:11 pm #

    That looks so amazing – I love PB and Chocolate anything, but this combo looks especially scrumptious! Bravo!

  41. Jennifer May 9, 2008 at 7:01 pm #

    Good lord that looks good! My sis and I use to always get PB & Chocolate pie, this looks even better!

  42. Trisha May 19, 2008 at 11:34 am #

    Dear Lindsey, I juste discovered you blog, my congratulations, it’s beautiful, I love your recipes, and also beeing a graphist I like to watch pictures, yours are very nice. I will come again to visit you. Best regards.

  43. Becky at VintageMixer April 23, 2012 at 11:57 pm #

    this does look amazing. It’s a good idea to go back through old blogs. I need to do that too.

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