Kristina’s Peanut Butter Tart

I recently won a baking contest at work with this recipe. I had so many requests for the recipe that I figured instead of emailing it to individuals, I should post it here. I’m not going to go into in depth detail on how to put this together, here, because, really, you should pick up several of Rose Levy Beranbaum’s cookbooks if you want to produce the kinds of baked goods that I do. All of her cookbooks are fantastic, and I promise, they just keep getting better. The components of this particular recipe come from “The Pie and Pastry Bible” and “Rose’s Heavenly Cakes”. I’m actually really glad I did a little searching before typing up the recipe. I hate sharing someone’s intellectual property without asking, and I’m also lazy, so typing up the recipe wasn’t something I was excited about. 🙂

First, here’s the recipe for the crust.
I modified the crust by increasing the flour to 100g – up from 71g as specified in the Pie and Pastry Bible. I found this made it a lot easier to work with (roll out between sheets of plastic wrap). I also used a new technique from Rose’s next cookbook (which I’ve had the privilege of “beta baking” several recipes) to get the crust into the fluted tart pan. You’ll have to wait until summer of 2015 to get that little tidbit, though! In the meantime, using a piece of plastic wrap to pat it into the pan might just be easiest.

For weighers like me, here are the quantities of ingredients I used for the crust:
100 g flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch or two of salt
54 g brown sugar
25 g white sugar
57 g unsalted butter
133 g peanut butter
25 g egg
1/4 tsp vanilla

Here’s the recipe for the filling (see “for the peanut butter mousse”). I also modified the filling slightly, by increasing the peanut butter to 151g and reducing the whipping cream to 125g. I found that these modifications made the filling a bit denser, which I found gave it more peanut flavour. Yes, I weigh everything when I bake, and I apologize, but I have no idea what those measurements are in volume. Weighing is so much easier, quicker, and more accurate. I can just dump things into the bowl until I have the right amount, without digging through drawers for spoons, cups, etc.

Here are the weights I used for the filling:
113g cream cheese
151g peanut butter
50g sugar
1 tsp vanilla
125g heavy cream, softly whipped

For the topping, I used Rose’s Chocolate Lacquer glaze, which is featured prominently on the cover of Rose’s Heavenly Cakes. Seriously, go look at the book on Amazon (If I did it right, link goes through Rose’s referral site). It’s gorgeous. I’d used this glaze previously, when I did the bake through of RHC. See my Chocolate Apricot Roll post for some process pictures. I didn’t use the milk chocolate ganache from the original Peanut Butter Tart recipe linked above, because in taste testing, Jay and I decided on three things:

  1. When cold, the ganache is too solid. It smooshes the filling when you try to use a fork to get a bite of the tart.
  2. When at room temperature (so the ganache is softer), the tart just doesn’t taste as good.
  3. Even the milk chocolate ganache overpowered the peanut butter flavour too much.

So, I did a second “trial” run of the tart, and split it in half. On half, I used peanut butter whipped ganache from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes (from the recipe for “Chocolate Génoise with Peanut Butter Whipped Ganache” – recipe, by the way, includes a black raspberry syrup for the cake – an inspired flavour combination!). My thought was that the peanut butter would keep it from overpowering the chocolate, and the “whipped” aspect might make it a better texture match for the filling. On the other half, I used the chocolate lacquer glaze. You can see Rose covering a cake with the lacquer glaze in a youtube video. We decided you couldn’t really taste the chocolate in the peanut butter whipped ganache, but that the lacquer glaze was the perfect texture.

I won’t be sharing Rose’s recipe for the lacquer glaze here. I emailed her and asked for permission to post it, but as I suspected based on not finding an authorized looking copy online anywhere, she’d really rather I direct you to Rose’s Heavenly Cakes (amazon link above) for the recipe. I’ve seen a couple of unauthorized copies of the recipe for the chocolate lacquer glaze floating around the Internet, so you might find it or something similar with a search. It’s one of her truly unique creations, and as I said, it’s featured on the cover of the book.

I’ve seen a similar but not identical recipe referred to as “mirror glaze”. I also noticed that at least one version of the recipe doesn’t include an all-important word for getting proper results when baking with cocoa. ALKALIZED. It makes a huge difference. If a recipe calls for alkalized (aka dutch processed) cocoa powder, that’s what you need. If it calls for unalkalized, you need that. There’s a difference in acidity levels, and different acidities cause different reactions with other ingredients in a recipe. In case you think dutch processed cocoa is some sort of exotic ingredient, you can find it at Bulk Barn. Joe Pastry actually put up a post on “dutched” cocoa recently, which you should check out if you’re interested in the differences.

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