For this month's meeting, I promised one of our doulas a birthday cake. She just turned 30 yesterday. She is extremely knowledgeable and funny, she has two adorable children and she's a chicken wrangler. She is also a placenta encapsulation specialist which I think is so amazingly awesome, and so desperately needed.
Anyhoots, I asked her what kind of birthday cake she would like to have; at first she was polite, and told me to bake whatever I wanted. I remembered how happy she was when I brought a chocolate-chocolate cake to one of our meetings, so I suggested chocolate. She then chimed in that she liked chocolate AND peanut butter, so I suggested the peanut butter torte in Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. My doula girl was very excited; when I walked in tonight she was quite pleased I came through on my promise. Awesome.
June 8, 2009
Name of Cake: A Doula Girl's Peanut Butter Torte
Occasion: A Doula Girl Turns 30!
Constituents: A Chocolate Ganache Topped Peanut Butter Mousse with Spiced Peanuts and Mini Chocolate Chips in an Oreo Cookie Crust
This torte is outrageously peanut buttery and seriously decadent. It is creamy, smooth, irresistible (provided you like peanut butter), and richly satisfying. One little slice is plenty. For all of the fancy pantsy vibes this torte gives off, it is really easy to make. It is a good dessert for the summertime as you only need the oven for ten minutes.
The crust is made from 24 crushed Oreo cookies, melted butter, and a pinch of salt. It is blind baked for a few minutes and made the house smell so good.
The filling is made of four main components: whipped cream, cream cheese, peanut butter, and a mix of salted peanuts and mini chocolate chips which have been mixed with a little bit of sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The whipped cream is beaten to medium-stiff peaks and set aside while the cream cheese is beaten with powdered sugar. The peanut butter is added to the cream cheese along with a little bit of milk and the peanut-chocolate chip mix. Once that gets all combined the whipped cream is folded in and the whole shebang gets scraped into the cookie shell and refrigerated for at least 4 hours or overnight. I opted for overnight.
I was pretty pooped when I put this torte together last night, so I was glad it was easy to do. My peanut butter lovin' roommate got to lick the bowl clean, and he was a little sad that he wasn't going to get any torte. I told him he had to be a doula to get any of this dessert. My only complaint is that this recipe sure does mess up a lot of bowls. I am thankful I have a dishwasher but it is only a little half-size dishwasher--this pretty much filled the machine!
This evening, before the party, I made the ganache. You know, I hate to risk jinxing things, but that will be the third time in a row that I made a ganache and didn't mess it up. Have I turned a corner, or is it just luck?
It turns out that two doulas were celebrating birthdays this week, and the other doula's sister is a professional baker with the cutest name ever for a cake business: MaryJane's Cakery. Cakery! I love it. Her cake was a three layer chocolate cake, not too sweet, light and airy, with a beautiful whipped cream frosting with fresh berries. It was wonderful, and just the right amount of sweetness.
(I'm sorry this photo is so blurry; I wanted to continue eating! There were chopped fresh cherries in the filling. and did you see the two different shades of whipped cream? Something about frosting that shade of pink (which unfortunately you can't really see) just makes me want to eat it.)Everybody dug into both cakes and loved them both. These girls are smart; they know better than to say no to free cake. The doula girl that asked for the peanut butter torte took the last piece home to savor after she tucked her kids into bed. I don't know if she was going to share with her husband. My guess? Nope.
How many times do you get to say that you met with some of your favorite people, who also are women with whom you do business, and during the meeting you shared two cakes and several bottles of wine? I say that every month (well maybe not the two cakes part)! I love my life, and I love my doula girls. Happy birthdays, ladies!