Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Tart

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Hey, looky there! What's that? It's a big chocolately ball of goodness, that's what it is. Here we have what I call a Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Tart. I saw the original picture of it on Tastespotting, and that led me to the recipe here. The recipe calls it a "Chocolate Truffle Dessert," which also works. But I was making mine for a party where I would not be able to explain to people what it is. Therefore, the more straight-forward the better. Chocolate? Peanut butter? Brownie? Check, check, & check. Serve me up a piece of that, s'il vous plait!

This is a multi-layered gob of deliciousness. Layer 1 = brownie. Layer 2 = chocolate ganache (don't get scared, it's just chocolate, cream & butter melted together). Layer 3 = peanut butter sauce (homemade). Layer 4 = chocolate whipped cream (yes, homemade). Layer 5 = chocolate garnish/flourishes. The edges are Pepperidge Farm Pirouette cookies. Layer 3, the peanut butter layer, is my personal addition to the recipe. For the most part, I followed the recipe closely (which is RARE for me), but I wanted to do something to make it my own. Plus...I love me some chocolate, but that's a helluva lotta chocolate if you know what I'm sayin. The peanut butter sauce adds a little something extra to help balance that all out. The great thing about this is that while it's rich, it's not overly sweet. You won't feel the enamel on your teeth start to fade away. Also, since it's rich, you don't need to eat a lot, meaning it may be small but it serves many!!! This was made in an 8" springform pan.

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So I made this little guy for my work Christmas party. My goal was to make something nice & quasi-fancy, but not kill myself over it. This is perfect for that. You know why? That brownie layer? Yeah, that's a box mix. (I know, GASP!) Normally, I'm very anti-box mix, but the problem is a lot of people can't tell the difference. Box mixes can produce decent stuff. ESPECIALLY when it comes to brownies. Cake is one thing. But brownies? Brownies, in my opinion, are HARDER to make from scratch b/c the box mixes have done such a good job of getting that perfect mix of fudgey-chewy-moist-melty texture with a chewy edge and a delicate flakey top... it's just hard to duplicate. And the time difference between a box mix vs scratch... well, you can guess. Box mix is faster...much faster.

Next time, if I DO have the time, I'll probably do the brownie layer from scratch. Then I can really kick it up a notch and go wild! But for now, especially w/ all the crazines of the holidays, a box mix will work just fine. :-)

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