a birthday stunner: chocolate & peanut butter mousse tart

chocolate & peanut butter mousse tart | everybody likes sandwiches

Today is my birthday but this isn’t my birthday cake. On Saturday when I had a couple friends over for dinner I made what I had hoped would be a fudgey and gooey mud pie, but instead I got something resembling a crumbling & dry brownie. It wasn’t a good start to birthday week. Last night, I made a carrot cake that dipped a little in the middle but today I’ll frost it up with some decadent cream cheese frosting and no one will be the wiser. But this chocolate & peanut butter mousse tart is something entirely different.

I made this tart for my MIL’s birthday which was a couple of weeks ago. In fact, when I told my husband I’d be making carrot cake for my birthday cake, he scrunched up his face and asked if I wanted to make that peanut butter pie again. Sorry Cornelius, but if you ask again, I might make this for your birthday. It is an exceptionally dream-worthy dessert. And despite the steps involved, it was pretty easy to put together.

When I went trolling for recipes, I found some that called for peanut butter chips and Cool Whip and sugary peanut butter. What? Your Skippy or Jif or Kraft isn’t sugary? Once you’ve been eating natural peanut butter with your toast, you begin to realize just how much sugar is stuffed into your processed peanut butter. I grew up on natural peanut butter and while I fought it when I was a kid (I’d sprinkle my peanut butter with salt since my parents bought un-salted pb – ugh!), I love it now. But with the salt – I buy Adam’s salted and crunchy brand. For Cornelius, he likes unsalted & smooth. Anyway for this recipe, I decided to go au naturel or as much as I could get away with. My friend Mia had made something very similar (& so much better looking too), so I decided to give it a try. It was a hit. Clearly!

chocolate & peanut butter mousse tart | everybody likes sandwiches

I reduced the sugar, used some graham cracker crumbs instead of chocolate wafer crumbs (since I had some on hand), and of course, natural peanut butter. To make things easy, I made the crust the night before before I started on the filling, a step I’d totally recommend again. The only real problem I had was making the ganache. I didn’t think it was possible to screw up something I’ve made so often, but I did. I broke the ganache. I guess that happens when you take hot melted chocolate and stir it immediately with hot boiling cream. Instead, you should just chill out a bit along with the melted chocolate and boiling cream and then whip a few minutes later. But thanks to Martha I found the solution: just stir in a teaspoon at a time of cold water. 5 teaspoons later and my ganache came out almost as good as new! Birthday tart saved!!

Anyway, I encourage you to make this tart. It’s not overly sweet but if you’re tempted to skip the ganache layer, don’t. I thought about it, but I think it would have been too bland without it. It needs the chocolate layer to add depth. You’ll have people asking you for the recipe along with requests to make it again. It’s a stunner. Now, I’ll just cross my fingers and hope that my own carrot cake is a winner too!

chocolate & peanut butter mousse tart | everybody likes sandwiches

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18 comments to “a birthday stunner: chocolate & peanut butter mousse tart”

  1. 1
    whitney   May 8, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Happy birthday! This looks so good…I just might make a GF version for my birthday later this month!

  2. 2
    Warm Vanilla Sugar   May 8, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Love it, and this looks even better than a mud pie! Happy Birthday as well :)

  3. 3
    Stefani   May 8, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Oh my goodness. This looks so good. I’ll definitely be making this this weekend for our little graduation celebration. Happy Birthday!!!

  4. 4
    sara   May 8, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    This looks amazing!! Such a yummy filling. :)

  5. 5
    Jess   May 8, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    You’re right – what a stunner! I love everything about this tart. I’m finding so many desserts I make these days need to have the sweetness dialed back a bit. Happy Birthday!

  6. 6
    Sarah   May 8, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Happy birthday! There’s nothing like a pie to make a gal feel special on her birthday. Birthday pie > birthday cake, for sure.

  7. 7
    hungryandfrozen   May 8, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    I said it on Twitter but I’ll say it again, happy happy birthday! This pie looks incredible.

    I agree with you about sugary peanut butter. They’re mostly unsweetened in New Zealand, but the ones with sugar in them taste so nasty comparatively!

  8. 8
    Joanne   May 9, 2013 at 3:35 am

    I love a good peanut butter tart and this one definitely sounds birthday-worthy! Weird about the ganache…but I’ve had it happen before. I always add a bit of corn syrup to straighten it out!

  9. 9
    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe   May 9, 2013 at 8:27 am

    My mother is a peanut butter fiend and I think this just might be the perfect dessert to make her for Mother’s Day!

  10. 10
    Joanne (Bijoux)   May 9, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    So glad you decided to add the chocolate ganache to this pie. It looks amazing!! My husband is a peanut butter addict so I know he’d enjoy this. And he has a birthday coming up so maybe this is the dessert to make!

    I had no idea that natural peanut butter existed back in our childhood days – ahem 80s..70s? Kraft peanut butter is the only kind we bought in my house, it wasn’t until decades later that I discovered natural peanut butter.

    Glad to hear you (& Martha) saved the ganache! I tend to add the hot cream to the cold chocolate chips and then let it sit for 10m, then stir again and let it sit again for 15 min, then stir again until combined. I assumed there are several ways to make a successful ganache.

  11. 11
    kickpleat   May 9, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Whitney, I think making a GF version should be a snap to do! Enjoy :)

    Thanks WVS!

    Oh yes, perfect for a celebration, Stefani! If you make it, please let me know how it goes!

    Thanks Sara.

    Jess, yeah, I always think you can cut the sugar out here and there without causing any grief. Glad this one worked out so well. Thanks!

    Ha, agreed, Sarah! Thanks.

    H&F, thank you again for the well wishes (can never have too many, you know?!). Yes, I’m all about the natural pb and it’s so easy to use in recipes that call for the processed kind.

    Joanne, good trick! I was just glad the water trick worked – pie crisis averted!!

    Oh, agreed – such a perfect mother’s day treat, Amanda.

    Joanne, yes, you should give it a try. C isn’t a pb dessert fan & this turned him around completely! And for the natural PB, my mom bought it from the hippy health store & was able to find it at regular super markets too. I like your ganache trick – so much easier without the double boiler! I’ll give it a try next time, thanks for the tip!!

  12. 12
    Sues   May 13, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    I’d do anything to have this in front of me right now!! :) Peanut butter is the best!

  13. 13
    Molly   May 15, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Oh gosh. I am a known chocolate+peanut butter addict, so this one is going into the need-to-make-this-ASAP files. Seriously, you have no idea.

    Actually: http://cheapbeets.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/something-lighthearted/

  14. 14
    kickpleat   May 27, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Sues, agreed!!!

    Molly, thanks for sharing!! Maybe homemade nutter butters are in my future – you know, it’s an American cookie and I’ve never actually had one, so I think I should definitely make some :)

  15. 15
    Kasey   May 30, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Ah! A very happy, very belated birthday friend! There’s always next year for cake :) I rarely ever end up making the best one for myself.

  16. 16
    kickpleat   June 3, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Thanks Kasey :) I did make a great carrot cake that I’ll post one of these days :)

  17. 17
    tara   June 6, 2013 at 6:43 am

    A stunner indeed! My youngest would positively flip … and it IS his birthday next week.

  18. 18
    kickpleat   June 17, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    tara, well happy early birthday to your little guy! This is a pretty wonderful treat :)

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