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Peanut Butter-Chocolate Torte
with Strawberry Sauce




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Peanut Butter-Chocolate Torte
with Strawberry Sauce

Bitter Sweet: Recipes and
Tales from a Life in Chocolate

© 2003 by Alice Medrich (Artisan/Workman Publishing)
2004 IACP Cookbook of the Year

“If you think you are too sophisticated for a French twist on PB&J, you can substitute another nut paste, such as cashew butter or almond butter or even
tahini (sesame paste), or any others you can think of. I discovered this variation when I tried making a chocolate torte using nut butter instead of the usual
ground nuts. While I was at it, I tried a new mixing method, now dubbed the ‘frosting method,’ to eliminate the steps of separating the eggs and beating the whites. Essentially everything goes into the bowl at once, and you beat like
mad. Child’s play. And the ingredients are probably in your pantry.”

 4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate,
coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into
chunks, slightly softened
4 cold large eggs
1 tablespoon bourbon or other whiskey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
Mashed or pureed strawberries, sweetened
to taste with strawberry jam
White Chocolate Ice Cream or
vanilla ice cream (optional)

Special Equipment
An 8-by-3-inch springform pan or cheesecake pan
with a removable bottom

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to
350 degrees F. Unless you are planning to serve the cake on the pan
bottom, line the bottom of the cake pan with a circle of parchment
paper. Place the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl in a wide skillet
of barely simmering water and stir occasionally until nearly melted.
Remove from the heat and stir until melted and smooth. Or micro-
wave on Medium (50%) power for about 1 1/2 minutes, then stir
until completely melted and smooth.
Whisk the sugar, peanut butter, and salt into the chocolate. Add the
butter and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth
and creamy. Beat in the eggs, one by one, followed by the bourbon
and vanilla.
Continue beating at high speed (or medium-high speed in a heavy-
duty mixer) for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the batter is fluffy, lightened
in color, and the consistency of frosting.
Turn the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it level if necessary.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted about 2 inches
from the edge comes out clean but one inserted in the center comes
out with moist crumbs clinging to it. Set the pan on a rack to cool.
(The cooled torte can be covered tightly with plastic wrap, or removed
from the pan and wrapped well, and stored at room temperature for up
to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Bring to room temperature
before serving.)
To serve, slide a slim knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the
cake. Remove the pan sides and transfer the cake, on the pan bottom,
to a platter, or invert the cake onto a rack or tray, remove the bottom
and paper liner, and invert onto a platter. Using a fine-mesh sieve, sift
a little powdered sugar over the top of the cake before serving, if desired.
Serve each slice with sweetened strawberry puree and a little ice cream,
if you like.

Chocolate Notes
You can use standard bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (without a percentage on the label) or any marked 50% to 62%. To keep the flavors in balance, I compensate for the intensity of the higher-percentage chocolates as follows:

To use chocolate marked 64% to 66% instead of standard bittersweet:
Use 3 1/2 ounces chocolate
To use chocolate marked 70% to 72%:
Use 3 ounces chocolate, and increase the sugar to
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon.

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