If you’re looking for Olympian baking, this Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart is! For those of us crazy for the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, this is the apex in a tart format.
There are 3 components to this tart: the cookie crust, the peanut mousse and the chocolate ganache. Don’t fret. It really doesn’t take that long, and the entire tart can be prepared and assembled up to 5 days ahead of time and you’re all set.
This recipe is adapted from one of the most respected bakers in the U.S, Rose Levy Beranbaum, and it’s her attention to details that make this recipe work so well. I love how she mixes a bit of milk and bittersweet chocolate in the ganache. However, if you’d like to incline one way or the other, feel free to use just milk, or just semisweet.
Respect the ingredients – this recipe can handle season patterns from misty rain to artic blast to summer vibes. Remember, because we care about the ingredients, we also care about temperature. When baking, make sure to bring all ingredients to room temperature before starting.
Bake with love! This recipe is guaranteed to take you to paradise. And dream of Para-para-paradise! Para-para-paradise!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart
Adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum, The Pie and Pastry Bible, Scribner 1998
Makes one 9-inch tart, serving 8 to 10 people
For the Peanut Butter Mousse
7 tablespoons cream cheese at room temperature
½ cup peanut butter (smooth)
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup heavy cream, softly whipped
For the Chocolate Ganache
3 ounces milk chocolate
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Sweet Peanut Butter Cookie Tart Crust
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
½ cup smooth peanut butter, preferably Jif at room temperature
½ large egg (beat the egg lightly before measuring out half of it)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Equipment: 9-inch tart fluted pan
Prepare the Cookie Tart Crust:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In the bowl of a food processor, process the sugars for a few seconds until very fine. With the motor running, add the butter cubes. Add the peanut butter and process until smooth and creamy, about 10 seconds. With the motor running, add the egg and vanilla and process until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture and pulse just until combined. (you can also use an electric mixer if you don’t have a food processor).
- Scrape the dough into a bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Press the dough evenly into the tart pan. You can use a piece of plastic wrap to do this and invert onto the tart pan and then press against the sides. If the dough softens and sticks, refrigerate it until the plastic wrap doesn’t stick. If the dough tears, simply press it together or use the scraps to press into any empty areas. Cover the tart pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Bake the tart shell, without weights in a preheated 350˚F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. It will puff at first and then settle down at the end of the baking. The sides will be soft but spring back when touched gently with a finger. Cool on a wire rack.
Prepare the Peanut Butter Mousse:
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, preferably fit with the whisk beater, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, and sugar just until the mixture is uniform in color. Reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla. Beat in ¼ cup of the whipped cream just until it is incorporated. With a large rubber spatula, fold in the rest of the whipped cream, mixing until the mixture is well blended but still airy.
- Scrape the mousse into the sweet peanut butter cookie tart crust and smooth the surface so that it is level. Refrigerate the tart while preparing the ganache.
Make the Chocolate Ganache:
- Chop the milk and bittersweet chocolates with a serrated knife very finely and place it a glass or stainless-steel bowl.
- Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 1 minute allowing the heat to melt the chocolate. Whisk slowly from the center out until homogeneous and then a bit more vigorously, making sure the ganache is completely smooth. Add the vanilla and whisk again. Cool to temperature before glazing the tart.
Assemble the Tart:
- Pour the ganache over the peanut butter mousse in a circular motion, being careful so that it does not land too heavily in any one spot and cause a depression in the mousse. Using a small metal spatula, start to spread the ganache to the edges of the pastry, then spread it evenly to cover the entire surface of the tart. Refrigerate the tart for at least 2 hours to set or up to 5 days.
- Remove the tart from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving. Unmold the tart and cut it with a sharp thin bladed knife, dipping in hot water after each cut to make a clean cut.
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