Triple Layer Peanut Butter and Ganache Tart

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Submitted by Kiteless

Uploaded by Toast

This recipe was the winner of Iron Chef SA 4: Battle Beans

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Peanuts are God's little gift to the legume family, with peanut butter being an extra added bonus. And what goes better with peanuts than chocolate? Let's pay homage to the wonderful combination of peanut butter and chocolate with a triple layer tart - a flaky, all-butter shortbread like crust filled with a layer of sweet peanut butter fudge, peanut-butter chocolate ganache, and chocolate ganache, sprinkled with ground peanuts.

First, you'll need to make the tart crust.

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups AP flour
  • 3 TB powdered sugar
  • ? tsp salt
  • 1 stick of cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 3-4 TB ice water

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  • Blend flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. With a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

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  • Add the water 1 TB at a time, until the dough starts to clump and stick to itself.

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  • Pat into a round disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

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  • After 1 hour, bring it out, and roll it out to make a 13-14" disc.

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  • Carefully drop it in a 9" cake pan (you can also use a tart pan, I just don't have one and this works ok). Make the sides as high as you can, and fold the dough back over itself on the sides so you have doubly-thick side crust. Poke holes in the bottom with a fork and refrigerate for another hour.

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  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake your crust for 25 minutes or until lightly golden brown. You can do this a day in advance. When cooled, remove from pan and wrap in plastic wrap until ready to use.

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Making the peanut butter

  • You'll need a food processor, and 2-3 cups of roasted, unsalted peanuts.

Dump 'em in a food processor with a generous sprinkling of salt.

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  • Process. Process. Process some more! When it gets to look crumbly and fine, take out about 3-4 TB worth and set aside.

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  • Keep processing until a smooth paste forms - first the peanuts will clump into a ball, so you may need to stop and scrape it down several times. When it approaches the right consistency, the ball will smooth out and you'll just have peanut butter around the edges of your processor.

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  • Scrape out, and cover with plastic wrap, and keep in the fridge until you're ready to use.


Let's make the ganache

This is relatively simple, very versatile, and lends to a lot of really impressive uses. You can use it to frost decadent cakes, as the filling for truffles, to top 飬airs and put in the middle of cookies, or just about any application where you want rich, chocolaty flavor.

The Valrhona bars are 3.5 ounces each, and the recipe called for 8 ounces of chocolate. So I scaled down the recipe a tad to accommodate the 7 ounces of chocolate I had because I didn't want to break open another bar for 1 measly ounce.


Ganache Ingredients:

  • 7 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup minus 2 TB heavy cream
  • 3.5 TB unsalted butter at room temp

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  • Finely chop your chocolate with a large heavy knife, and put in a medium bowl.

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  • With a spatula, cream the butter until it is very soft and spreadable. Set aside.
  • Bring the cream to a boil. When it starts boiling, pour over the chocolate.

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  • With a large spoon or rubber spatula, stir the cream into the chocolate, starting with circles in the center and expanding into widening concentric circles. Make sure to stir as not to beat bubbles into the chocolate. Let the chocolate cream cool for a minute or two, and then stir the butter into the chocolate in two stages, in the same fashion with widening circles. Your chocolate should be smooth and glossy.

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  • If your fat is sitting on the surface of the chocolate, like mine was, do not despair, just wait a few minutes and stir it up again. It should eventually look like this:

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  • After the ganache has cooled a bit, set 1/2 cup aside into a smallish bowl. Mix the chocolate with equal parts peanut butter to make peanut butter ganache. Set aside on the countertop.
  • If you like, you can pipe some plain ganache into a pastry bag and pipe a ring around the outer edge of the crust, but this is not necessary.

Making the peanut butter fudgey-type bottom stuff

You will need for this:

  • 2 TB butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 TB milk
  • ? cup peanut butter
  • Dribble of vanilla extract
  • ? cup powdered sugar (1 cup is the editor’s guess based on the amount I used in my attempt at this)

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  • Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the milk and sugar, bring to boil, and boil for 2 minutes, stirring often.

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  • Remove from heat, and stir in the milk, peanut butter and vanilla. Pour over the powdered sugar in a bowl and mix well until smooth.

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  • If it's too thick, return to pan and add a little milk; likewise, if it's too thin, pour back into the saucepan and simmer until it reaches a caramel-sundae-syrup consistency.
  • Let it cool a little, and pour into the bottom of your crust, about ?" to 1/3" deep. Let cool.

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  • Now pipe the peanut butter chocolate ganache on top of the peanut butter filling. If your ganache is too firm, microwave it a few seconds at a time until it is at a spreadable consistency. Be careful, as this stuff melts very easily.
  • Finally, pipe or use a spatula to put on the final layer of plain chocolate ganache.

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  • Smooth out the ganache.

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  • Cover loosely with foil, and set aside to let firm.

Optional Presentation

  • If you like, cut a pattern into wax paper - I've done an offset spiral. Set down lightly onto the firmed surface of the ganache, and take your reserved peanut crumbs and press into the ganache to make a pattern.

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Serving

  • Slice, garnish the plate with remaining peanut crumbles, and dig in! Make sure you have plenty of milk to wash down this rich, peanut butter chocolaty goodness.

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