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Sunday, November 23, 2008


Thanksgiving Dessert :: Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Tart

if you are looking for a dessert to make this Thanksgiving and you need something for the non-fruit fans in your family. oh, do i have a dessert for you.

it's no secret that i heart Rose Levy Beranbaum. her Cake Bible is one of my favorite books as is her Pie and Pastry Bible although i do not yet own it. so, i got it out from the library and began to peruse. i needed a great dessert for Thanksgiving I. this was a holiday dinner that we hosted today in honor of my kids' great-grandfather. we will not see him for actual Thanksgiving or Christmas, so we had a dinner with him today. and i needed a killer dessert. i always make something chocolately at the holidays. mostly, i do this for the hubby. he doesn't eat fruit desserts of any kind. so it's a challenge (and a fun one) to come up with something new. his favorite combo is chocolate peanut butter, so when i flipped to Rose's Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Tart, i knew i had to look no further.

she does this tart with a peanut butter cookie crust that is moist and nutty without being too sweet. the PB mousse is done with cream cheese and lightly whipped cream. it's light, airy and also, not too sweet. the chocolate ganache features a milk/semi combot that works incredibley well. shiny top. perfect chocolate to peanut butter combo.

we loved it.

here's how it's done.

From Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Pie and Pastry Bible

Sweet Peanut Butter Cookie Tart Crust
Makes one 9.5 x 1 inch tart, or 8-10 four inch tartlets


1/2 cup Bleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/16 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar, preferably superfine
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably Jif, at room temperature
1/2 large egg (beat before measuring)
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.

Into a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine well.

In a food processor, with the metal blade, process the sugars for several minutes or until very fine. With the motor running, add the butter cubes. Add the peanut butter and process until very smooth and creamy, about 10 seconds. With the motor running, add the egg and vanilla extract and process until incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture and pulse until just incorporated.

Scrape the dough into a bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Press dough evenly into pan. (It is a little more challenging, but faster and neater, to roll out between two sheets of plastic wrap to about into an 11.5 inches in diameter. Remove one piece of plastic and gently invert the dough into the pan, easing the border into the sides of the pan so that the sharp top doesn't cut it off, use the remaining plastic wrap to press it evenly into the pan, pressing it well agains the sides. If the dough softens, refrigerate it until the wrap can be removed easily.) Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Bake the shell without weights, in a preheated 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden. It will puff at first and then settle down toward the end of baking. The sides will be soft, but spring back when touched gently with a finger.

Cool on wire rack.

Peanut Butter Mousse


7 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter, preferably Jif, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 liquid cup heavy cream, softly whipped

In a mixer bowl, preferably with the whisk beater, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, and sugar until uniform in color. On low speed, beat in the vanilla. Beat in 1/4 cup of the whipped cream just until incorporated. With a large rubber spatula, fold in the rest of the whipped cream until blended but still airy. Scrape the mousse into the prepared tart shell and smooth the surface so that it is level. Refrigerate the tart while preparing the ganache.

Milk Chocolate Ganache Topping


3 ounces milk chocolate (I used Starbucks)
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used Callebaut)
1/3 liquid cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Make chocolate very small. Bring the cream to a boil. Pour cream over chocolate, let sit for a minute, then stir until emulsified. Add vanilla. Let cool to room temperature.

Pour the ganache over the peanut butter mousse in a circular motion, so that it does not land too heavily on any one spot and cause a depression.

With a small metal spatula, start by spreading the ganache to the edges of the pastry, then spread it evenly to cover the entire surface. Refrigerate the tart for at least 2 hours to set.

Store at room temperature up to 1 day, refrigerated up to 5 days, frozen up to 3 months. (Wrap after freezing to preserve shiny coating on ganache).

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Blogger Hot Domestic Mess said...

Cool pictures! The food processor pictures are really neat.

November 24, 2008 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger Adam said...

Well holy decadence of the gods, look at this! I think you'll turn all the fruit fans into PB heads with a dessert like this. I say grab some BEFORE you hand it to the man :)

November 24, 2008 at 3:49 PM  
Blogger jesse said...

Oh my lord, I need to go to the market and grab me a jar of peanut butter now.

November 25, 2008 at 9:51 AM  

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