Monday, April 13, 2009

Oreo Torte

Happy Easter everyone! I made this torte for our Easter celebration. At first I suggested making Dorie's Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte, but Dan informed me that he does not like peanut butter in his desserts. According to him peanuts belong at the ballpark NOT in dessert. He said that the concept looked good and asked if I could make something similar. So after some searching I came across Alton Brown's Chocolate Mousse and decided to combine the two together and make some changes to better suite my family's taste. Be warned that this torte has an intense chocolate flavor that is best paired with a tall glass of cold milk. So for those who have seen this torte in the peanut butter version and thought that it looked good but were disappointed because you or a family member have a nut allergy I hope you enjoy my improvised version.

Oreo Torte:

Source: adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte & Alton Brown’s Chocolate Mousse. My changes are in bold.

For the crust:
32 Oreo cookies, finely processed into crumbs (I used an entire package)
5 1/3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled (I used an entire stick)
Small pinch of salt

For the crunch:
½ cup almonds, toasted & chopped (see notes below)
¼ c. cup mini chocolate chips
2 tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon (I might have used more, but I didn’t measure)
Dash of ground nutmeg
For the filling:
1 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 c heavy cream (can be reduced to 1 ½ c.)
16 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature (could easily reduce to 8oz to produce less filling, I made a 10 inch torte and had about a cup and a half of leftover mousse.)
Chocolate Mousse Recipe
10 Oreos roughly chopped

For the ganache:
½ cup heavy cream
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 10-inch springform pan and place it on a baking sheet. Combine the Oreo crumbs, melted butter and salt in a small bowl. Toss with a fork to moisten all of the crumbs. Press into a thin layer covering the bottom and sides of the springform pan. Freeze the crust for 10 minutes. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before filling.

Chocolate Mousse:

1 ¾ cups whipping cream (reduce to 1 ¼ c.)
12 ounces quality semi-sweet chocolate chips (this can be reduced if you do not want an intense chocolate flavor)
3 ounces strong hot chocolate (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon dark rum (can be omitted if necessary, although not including it will change the flavor of the mousse.)
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon flavorless, granulated gelatin

Chill 1 ½ cups whipping cream in refrigerator. Chill metal mixing bowl and mixer beaters in freezer.
In top of a double boiler, combine chocolate chips, coffee, rum and butter. Melt over barely simmering water, stirring constantly. Remove from heat while a couple of chunks are still visible. Cool, stirring occasionally to just above body temperature.

Pour remaining ¼ cup whipping cream into a metal measuring cup and sprinkle in the gelatin. Allow gelatin to "bloom" for 10 minutes. Then carefully heat by swirling the measuring cup over a low gas flame or candle. Do not boil or gelatin will be damaged. Stir mixture into the cooled chocolate and set aside.

In the chilled mixing bowl, beat cream to medium peaks. Stir ¼ of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining whipped cream in two doses. There may be streaks of whipped cream in the chocolate and that is fine. Do not over work the mousse.
Hot chocolate:
½ c whole milk
2 tsp sugar
½ oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped
½ tsp vanilla

Heat milk, and add chocolate, sugar, and vanilla. Heat until chocolate is thoroughly melted.
To prepare the cream cheese filling, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip 2 cups of the cream until it holds medium peaks. Beat in 1/4 cup of confectioners’ sugar and whip until the cream holds medium-firm peaks. Scrape the cream into a separate bowl and refrigerate until needed.
Wipe out (do not wash) the mixer bowl, replace the whisk with the paddle attachment, and beat the cream cheese with the remaining 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until the cream cheese is satiny smooth.

Using a large rubber spatula, gently stir in about 1/4 of the whipped cream just to lighten the mousse. Still working with the spatula, carefully fold in the remaining whipped cream. Combine the cream cheese mixture and the chocolate mousse together, by gently folding them together. Continue working with a rubber spatula gently combine the chopped Oreos into the mousse. Scrape the mousse 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 set 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 ½ cup of cream to a full boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and, working with a rubber spatula, very gently stir together until the ganache is completely blended and smooth.
Pour the ganache over the torte, smoothing with a metal icing spatula. Scatter the crunch topping over the top and chill to, at least 20 minutes. When the ganache is firm.

To make the crunch, in another small bowl combine the almonds, mini chocolate chips, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Toss with a fork to mix and sprinkle over the top of the torte. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Remove the sides of the spring form pan before serving.
Toasting the almonds: Preheat oven to 350 degrees, prepare cookie sheets by lining it with parchment paper and lightly spraying it with Pam. Evenly distribute the chopped almonds (I chopped mine in a food processor) and bake for 7 minutes. Allow to cool completely before using, this allows the almonds to restore their crunch.
Store leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.


Erin said...

This looks delicious! I love your adaptations!

Megan said...

I can't believe your Husband doesn't like peanut butter in desserts. Wha?

Joelen said...

Mmm - this looks like a chocoholic's heaven!