Peanut butter, the most basic comfort ingredient of many a childhood lunchbox or adult late-night sandwich. We always have a jar in the pantry, even though I seldom send my children to school with a peanut butter-laden treat and we seldom really delve into the buttery jar when there's no 'reasonable' occasion to. So why do we keep our stock of peanut butter? Just in case we have an uncontrollable urge to make something like this no-bake Peanut Butter Tart, I suppose.
I say uncontrollable, but in actual fact, the urge to make this has been under sufficient control for the better part of a decade. Yes, I've snipped this recipe off a magazine that I had subsequently thrown away many years ago - the date on the page says October 2001, and now 2011 is just around the corner! It had niggled away at me for 10 years, this tart with the humble peanut butter and not-so-humble chocolate components.
Before I lose the yellowing page completely (as we'll be moving house in a few months), I thought it's better to immortalise the recipe here and in the process, share it with others. Now seems like a good time to make it too because the festive season is looming and with the baking frenzy that precedes it, what could be better than a tart that doesn't need to shuffle for oven space (only fridge space)? This tart will surely help boost your superhost(ess) cred, and what's best, it requires only the minimal amount of fuss. The rest of life should really be like this...
In my book, the best desserts are often the simplest. Graham crackers or Digestives biscuits and butter are blended to form the easy-to-make crust. It is filled with layers of chocolate ganache and a creamy peanut butter mixture, and finished with whipped cream and shaved chocolate (because chocolate is something you can never have enough of!). And in case you're wondering about that last photo, yes, the photographer-cum-blogger-cum-aspiring dieter does always get the first bite!
Happy no-baking, my lovelies!
No-Bake Peanut Butter Tart
Makes one 13 ¾ by 4 ¼ -inch tart
10 graham crackers or Digestives
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 oz good quality dark chocolate, plus more for shaving
1 ¾ cups heavy cream
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup (4 oz) cream cheese
1/3 sweetened condensed milk
1. Place biscuits in a food processor and pulse until they turn into fine crumbs. Transfer to a bowl, add butter and stir until combined.
2. Place crumbs in a rectangular tart pan (ideally) with a removable bottom. Press crumbs up the sides of the pan with your fingers to form the edge of the tart, then press evenly with the back of a spoon over the bottom of the pan. Chill in the refrigerator while making the filling.
3. Chop the chocolate into small chunks and place in a medium bowl. Place 1/2 cup of the cream in a small pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Pour over the chocolate, set aside for 5 minutes to yield chocolate ganache. Whisk to combine. Set bowl in an ice bath (a bowl filled with ice and water) until ganache is cool, whisking constantly.
4. Once cool, remove from ice bath and whisk until ganache is just thick enough to hold its shape; do not overbeat. Spread in the bottom of the prepared crust, and return to the refrigerator until set.
5. Combine peanut butter, cream cheese and condensed milk in a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
6. Whip 3/4 cup heavy cream to soft peaks. Add whipped cream to peanut butter mixture, whisk to combine.
7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared crust, return to the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight. Remove tart and transfer to a serving platter 10 minutes before serving. Whip remaining 1/2 cup cream and spoon dollops of this on top of tart. Use a vegetable peeler to shave chocolate curls for garnish.