We have had a lot to celebrate this month, so I’m going to start at the end and work my way backwards.
First of all, this past weekend we traveled down to Auburn (my college town) for the wedding of one of my closest childhood friends. Our moms are best friends and we grew up together (he is 3 months older than me and came to see me in the hospital when I was born), and it was such a joy to be there for their wedding day and get to play a part in it. (Fun fact: he married my mom’s college roommate’s daughter–how is that for a small world?)
It was a busy weekend and we all came home on Sunday absolutely exhausted, always a sign of a good weekend. Evelyn was a trooper all weekend though; and despite not getting nearly as much sleep as she should have, she kept a smile on her face most of the weekend (it helps that she also got to spend most of the weekend hanging out with her grandparents). The wedding was beautiful and fun; we got to see a lot of friends, some of whom I rarely get to see; we ate some delicious food; and I learned a valuable lesson, which is to never sit up at the front of a church during a wedding without a tissue.
Backing up was my first Mother’s Day last weekend. Gerrit and Evelyn both made it absolutely wonderful–Evelyn just because she is a joy, and Gerrit because he took over Evelyn duties all day and I got to spend plenty of time doing whatever I wanted. I took advantage of that with plenty of time-wasting on the computer, some yoga, and a nap.
And backing up once more is the reason for this dessert: my mother-in-law’s birthday. We had the whole family over to our house for dinner and an evening of hanging out on the back porch and eating dessert.
There are a lot of things I appreciate about my mother-in-law, but very close to the top of the list is the fact that she is one of the only people I know who appreciates a good dessert as much as I do. Like me, she is never one to say no to chocolate, especially when it involves peanut butter (or nutella), and the richer the dessert, the better.
And boy was this one rich.
This cake is rich, and while it may look slightly complicated, that is just because there are several different parts; I promise it is easy to make. It is like my favorite peanut butter pie, but fancied up with some chocolate and some cinnamon spiced peanuts and chocolate mixed in (trust me, it adds a fantastic but subtle depth of flavor).
- For the crust:
- 24 Oreo cookies
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- Pinch of fine salt
- For the filling:
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped salted peanuts
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 12 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups peanut butter (not natural)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- For the topping:
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or use bittersweet chocolate chips)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup roughly chopped salted peanuts
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- To prepare the crust, pulse the Oreo cookies in a food processor until finely ground. Pour them into a small bowl and stir together with the melted butter and a small pinch of salt until all the crumbs are moistened. Press the crust into the prepared pan, pressing it up about 1 1/2 to 2 inches on the sides of pan.
- Place the crust in the freezer for 10 minutes. Then bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and allow to cool.
- To make the filling, combine the peanuts, chocolate chips, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Stir together and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whip the cream using an electric mixer until medium peaks form. Add the 1/4 cup powdered sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Place in the refrigerator.
- In another large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, peanut butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, and the milk until creamy and smooth. Stir in the mixture of peanuts and chocolate chips.
- Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture in thirds. The mixture should be light and fluffy and mousse-like.
- Pour the mixture into the cooled crust and spread it out evenly. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- For the topping, bring 1/2 cup cream to a simmer over medium heat. Place the chocolate in a small bowl, and when the cream is warm, pour it over the chocolate. Let sit for about 30 seconds, then whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Spread evenly over the top of the torte, and then sprinkle the top with peanuts.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve, or at least about 20 minutes to let the chocolate topping harden up. (To loosen the cake from the pan, run and knife under warm water and then around the edges of the pan.)
adapted from Baking from My Home to Yours