Editor’s note: This irresistible recipe comes from one of our favorite new books, The One-Bowl Baker: Easy, Unfussy Recipes for Decadent Cakes, Brownies, Cookies and Breads (Page Street Publishing, 2022) by Stephanie Simmons, creator of the Blue Bowl Recipes blog. Here’s what Stephanie has to say about it:
“This dessert was inspired by an incredible dessert my husband, Grant, and I had on a trip to Colorado. Everyone will think it’s a restaurant dessert when you serve it, but you won’t have to spend all day in the kitchen to pull it off. It’s got a crunchy, salty peanut crust, a thick layer of peanut butter mousse and a smooth layer of chocolate ganache. You MUST top this with crushed peanuts and flaky sea salt. It’s a salty-sweet lover’s dream dessert!”
Yield: 8 large or 16 smaller slices
- 1 1⁄2 cups (228 grams) peanuts (I use the lightly salted cocktail type)
- 1⁄2 cup (113 grams) salted butter
- 3⁄4 cup (105 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1⁄8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons (26 grams) granulated sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3⁄4 cup (180 ml) cold heavy cream
- 4 oz (113 grams) cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 1 cup (260 grams) creamy peanut butter
- 1⁄2 cup (105 g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, plus an extra pinch
- 8 ounces (227 grams) bittersweet chocolate
- 1 cup (232 grams) heavy cream
- Peanuts, as desired
- Flaky sea salt (I love Maldon brand)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a round 9-inch (23-cm) tart pan or cake pan with nonstick spray. (I like to use a tart pan here because the removable bottom makes it easier to cut and serve neat slices, but you can, of course, use a cake pan if that’s what you have.)
Make the crust
- Pulse the peanuts in a food processor just until they’re roughly chopped. Don’t let it run too long or you’ll make peanut butter. Melt the butter in a medium mixing bowl in the microwave. Stir in the peanuts, flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. Scrape the bowl really well to get all the crust bits out, and press the crust evenly into and up the sides of the tart pan. Bake for 9 minutes. Set aside to cool completely while you make the filling.
Make the filling
- Give the mixing bowl a quick wipe with a kitchen towel if there are still crust pieces in it. Measure the cold heavy cream into the bowl using a 1- or 2-cup (240- to 480-ml) glass measuring cup. Beat the heavy cream with an electric mixer on high speed just until softly whipped—we’re not going for stiff peaks here. Pour the softly whipped cream back into the measuring cup you used to measure it. Pop this in the fridge while you finish making the filling. Add the cream cheese to the same bowl, and beat on high speed until creamed. Add the peanut butter, sugar, vanilla and salt, and mix until well combined. Add about one-third (just eyeball it) of the whipped cream into the bowl with the filling, and mix until just combined. Add the rest of the whipped cream and gently fold it in with a silicone spatula until it’s completely combined. If the crust is still cooling, cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and pop it in the fridge until the crust is cool.
- Spread the peanut butter filling into the cooled crust. Pop in the fridge while you make the ganache.
Make the ganache
- Finely chop the chocolate. Add the chopped chocolate to a clean, dry bowl, making sure there’s enough room to add the heavy cream on top. Add the heavy cream to a small pot over medium heat and let it heat. Once it’s at a simmer (bubbles starting to form around the edges, but not at a boil), remove from the heat. Pour the warm cream over the chocolate in the bowl, and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then, stir until it smooths out—you should have a smooth, creamy ganache. If any of the chocolate pieces didn’t melt, you can microwave the bowl of ganache for 8 seconds at a time, stirring in between, to get rid of any of those lumps. Let it cool for a few minutes more, and then pour over the tart.
Serve and store the tart
- Let the tart chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight before serving. Serve with a sprinkle of peanuts and flaky sea salt. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 or 6 days.
Reprinted with permission from The One-Bowl Baker by Stephanie Simmons, Page Street Publishing Co. 2022. Photo credit: Stephanie Simmons