Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mousse Tart

For this chocolate-peanut butter tart, a delicate cookie crust cradles a lighter-than-air peanut-butter mousse and a chocolate ganache topping.

A slice of chocolate peanut butter tart with a cookie crust, peanut butter mousse filing, and a chocolate ganache topping

I’ve been making this chocolate-peanut butter tart ever since Rose’s book came out–one year before I started Leite’s Culinaria! It was a staple of our entertaining table for a couple of years, which really isn’t so surprising considering The One’s favorite sweet combo is chocolate and peanut butter. He used to beg me to make it, and, of course, I’d shrug my shoulders and pretend to be disinterested, just to torture him, and then in the end carry one aloft into the dining room.

But over the past decade, various lovelies of the baking persuasion have lured me away, and this tart recipe, sadly, fell out of rotation. That was until Renee suggested we tip our hat to National Peanut Butter Day, which is January 24th. “I have the perfect recipe to celebrate with,” I said. While preparing the tart for the photo above, the whole shebang went off without a hitch, her meticulous instructions (see “LC OCD In A Good Way Note” below) were like a siren whispering in my ear. Ah, the joys of an elegant and clearly written recipe.–David Leite

LC OCD In A Good Way Note

You may be wondering “Why in the name of all that’s good and flour-y is Rose Levy Beranbaum being so OCD about this recipe with her insanely detailed instructions and unusual ingredient amounts, like “1/2 egg”? Well, first, that’s just Rose. Second, that’s what’s made her such a standout cookbook author, and why mess with something that works?

A slice of chocolate peanut butter tart with a cookie crust, peanut butter mousse filing, and a chocolate ganache topping

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mousse Tart

  • Quick Glance
  • (9)
  • 35 M
  • 2 H, 50 M
  • Makes one 9 1/2- or 10-inch tart
5/5 - 9 reviews
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  • For the peanut butter mousse
  • For the milk chocolate ganache


Make the peanut butter mousse

In the bowl of a standing mixer, preferably fit with the whisk beater, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, and sugar just until the mixture is uniform in color. Reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla. Beat in 1/4 cup of the whipped cream just until it is incorporated. With a large rubber spatula, fold in the rest of the whipped cream, mixing until the mixture is well blended but still airy.

Scrape the mousse into the sweet peanut butter cookie tart crust and smooth the surface so that it is level. (If the dough is rolled to the exact thickness specified, the filling and ganache amounts will be exact. If the dough is rolled a little thicker, there will be a little leftover filling and ganache.) Refrigerate the tart while preparing the ganache.

Make the ganache topping

Break the milk and bittersweet chocolates into several pieces and place in the bowl of a food processor fit with the metal blade. Process until the chocolate is very finely ground.

Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat or in a heatproof glass measure in the microwave. With the food processor’s motor running, pour the hot cream through the feed tube into the chocolate mixture. Process until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl once or twice, about 15 seconds. Add the vanilla and pulse a few times to incorporate it. Transfer the ganache to a bowl. Cool to room temperature.

Assemble the tart

Pour the ganache over the peanut butter mousse in a circular motion, being careful so that it does not land too heavily in any one spot and cause a depression in the mousse. Using a small metal spatula, start to spread the ganache to the edges of the pastry, then spread it evenly to cover the entire surface of the tart. If desired, make a spiral pattern by lightly pressing the spatula against the surface and running it from the outside of the tart to the center. Refrigerate the tart for at least 2 hours to set or up to 5 days. (You can wrap the tart well and freeze it for up to 3 months.)

Remove the tart from the refrigerator at least 15 minutes before serving. Unmold the tart and cut it with a sharp, thin-bladed knife, dipping it in hot water after each slice. It is as good lightly chilled as it is at room temperature.

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    1. Hello! I have a question about the cream cheese – having moved from the US to the UK I’ve discovered that the cream cheese here is like the whipped cream cheese in the US and not the block kind. Do I need to make any adjustments to the recipe to take that into account? Before I realized this I had many failed cream cheese frostings that previously worked beautifully!

      1. How frustrating, Tiffany! We feel your pain. Unfortunately, whipped-style cream cheese and regular cream cheese aren’t interchangeable, particularly when it comes to baking. I fear that you may end up with a grainy, watery mousse if you use the whipped style. Perhaps a specialty American import shop might have some? Or there are many recipes online for making your own.

    2. Hi David! I have Rose’s Baking Bible, which gives the recipe for the chocolate hazelnut mousse tart. It was a lot of fun to make (and eat), but when I found your recipe for her original, I thought I’d give it a try! Quick question about the mousse: should the cream cheese and peanut butter both be room temperature?

      Thanks for sharing the recipe with us. I can’t wait to try it!

    3. My tart pan is 11 inches–what’s a girl to do? Will the recipe stretch that extra inch? Should I use a 9-inch pie or cake pan instead? Make 1 1/2 times the recipe? Suggestions?

      1. Katherine, if you hold my feet to the fire, I’d say, yes, the 1 1/2 recipe will fit an 11-inch pan. But I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaate to say such things because I haven’t tried it personally. My suggestion: Double the recipe, that way you’ll definitely have enough dough. Then make cookies out of the leftover scraps.

    4. Hi David (and the gang),

      Just stopping by to thank you for the fabulous recipe. Super easy, completely fool proof, and absolutely delicious! A definite 10/10!

      Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart

    5. Hey there I chanced upon this delightful recipe and I was thinking of baking it beforehand for a surprise birthday party. Do you think I can prepare the tart shell, filling, and ganache beforehand–say three to four days ahead? :)

      1. Farhanna, it IS a delightful recipe, I hope you try it! Yes, you can prepare everything in advance, provided you assemble the tart, refrigerate it a couple of hours until the various layers “set,” and then wrap it well and freeze it for the duration of time, as mentioned in step one under “Assemble the tart” in the recipe. You can allow it to thaw for several hours in the fridge. Let us know how it goes…!

        1. Thank you so much for your reply Renee! I’ll definitely try it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed everything will go according to plan!

            1. Sure I will :) Aww I’m only spreading the love for good food. The world needs a healthy dose of amazing tarts doesnt it!

      1. Tami, I would advise against it. The make up of natural peanut butter is different from the processed versions, especially when it comes to how it’s emulsified. Without a round of testing, we couldn’t hazard a guess. But if you give it a try and have info we can post, I’d be happy to hear it!

        1. I made this over the weekend for a Halloween treat. I only had natural peanut butter on hand (bought creamy just for this, then saw the note about using “regular,” not natural, pb), so I was nervous after reading your advice.

          I made sure the pb was well mixed on it’s own before measuring and whipping with the cream cheese. Fortunately, it turned out beautifully!

          1. Melissa, brilliant move to make sure the peanut butter was well mixed! Because the pb is natural, the oil separates, and that means it’s not homogeneous. Smart cookie, you.

    6. Fantastic, I can’t wait to have it again. I absolutely loved the crust and it worked out even though I admittedly had to freeze it as I was working under time constraints. What is the weight equivalent for 7 tablespoons of cream cheese??

    7. I own this book, and love its in-depth writing on all things pastry, making it, freezing it, serving, etc.

      I haven’t tried this recipe, thanks for the recommendation!

    8. Beautiful picture and beautiful story! Rose is meticulous and that’s why I LOVE her – I meant, ehem.. love her recipes :).

      HCB Baker

        1. You most certainly are. And I love so many of my RLB recipes. Therefore, using the if A equals B, and B equals C, then A equals C logic, I must love you. Right?

    9. I’ve made this tart many times and it’s always spectacular. HIghly recommended. Use a smooth, blended peanut butter.

      In honor of National Peanut Butter Day, a story:

      When I was growing up the Skippy Bandit inhabited our house. He (or she) would open previously unopened jars of Skippy and use his/her finger to draw an “S” on the smooth surface. The jar would then mysteriously be put back into the pantry. Somehow the Skippy Bandit has moved 350 miles north into my brother’s house to torment my 10-year old niece.

    10. 1. When we were small children, my father used to make us peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on oyster crackers on Sundays for brunch.

      2. I have a college friend whose father invented this sandwich, which might sound disgusting but is actually quite tasty, or it was quite tasty when we were in college (and no one was pregnant while eating this either!): Branola wheat bread, toasted, with a layer of peanut butter, a layer of ketchup, and dabs of horseradish.

      3. If you live in a place with the Potbelly chain, they have the Big Jack’s PB&J, creamy peanut butter and grape jelly (which I prefer on toasted multi-grain bread), a little bit embarrassing to order when they ask you to call it out from the line, but a spectacular version of the classic sandwich.

    11. This sounds heavenly. Can’t wait to make one. Has 2 of my favorite ingredients chocolate and peanut butter.

    12. In honour of National Peanut Butter Day, I’m going to have to try the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mousse Tart. Whilst thinking of things warm and melting, I do have a peanut butter favourite. A slice of warm toast with a thick layer of peanut butter, then a lighter layer of “spreadable cheese”, and one of mayonnaise (or sometimes “sweetened mayo”) topped with another slice of warm toast to hold everything in… sorta. Gooey, sloppy and sounds wierd, but I just can’t resist it! Maybe today’s a good day to celebrate with one while waiting for that lovely tart to cook and cool.

    13. so pleased you like this recipe. it’s my fav from the entire book. these days my sweetness level seems to have decreased so i now use only 3 tablespoons of sugar for the mousse filling. i also found a great two piece fluted tube pan in the shape of a heart–how perfect for valentines day.

      love you david!

      1. Thanks for writing, Rose. Funny, I don’t find the filling to sweet at all. in fact, it’s so good, not all of it ended up in the tart…if you know what I mean!

      2. Rose, I have made this recipe many times and it is one of our favorites. I just asked my husband for requests for a dessert for Valentine’s Day and this tart is it!

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