Weird right? I come from a family with quite a few southerners. My dad is a out and out southerner from East Tennessee. I have tried many southern staples from his childhood: ice box cake, ham hock and lentil soup, hard cake, but until recently I had no idea that this was a thing let alone a beloved treat for many families. Apparently the rumor goes that farmers from the south would pop their peanuts in their Coke so they didn’t have to touch the nuts with dirty fingers. No idea the validity of that, but according to the Coke.com website southerners have been having their coke this way since the 1920’s.
There are even recipes for cake with the peanut coke flavor pairing. They Look delicious! I mean cake… but after trying this pairing of peanuts and Coke for experimentation purposes it is a must bake for me now.
This is a gorgeous flavor combination. It is salty and sweet all at the same time. If you are a fan of salted caramel or anything of its ilk, you will dig it. Go out and buy a coke and a pack of salted peanuts and give it a try and who knows? Maybe you will become a southern convert and start frying everything and drinking sweet tea.
Recipe from www.food52.com
Serves: 24–30For the cake
- 2 cups Coca-Cola
- 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 8 tablespoons butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pats
- 3 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
For the frosting
- 1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
- 1cup butter, softened
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/2teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup peanuts (roasted and salted), chopped, for topping
Preheat oven to 350° F.
To make the cake, place the cola, dark brown sugar and cocoa powder into a medium sauce pot and mix to combined being careful not to fizz over the cola. Add the butter. Place over a medium heat and bring the mixture to a bubble, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted and sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat to cool slightly.
While the mixture cools, in a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Pour the slightly cooled but still a bit warm chocolate-cola mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Pour the batter into a large ungreased sheet pan or jelly roll pan. The pan should be about 12×16 (half-sheet pan size) but any similarly sized pan should do the trick.
Place the pan into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the middle to check for doneness. If the toothpick comes out clean, remove. If not, bake for 5 minutes more. Time may vary with the size of your pan. Remove from oven and let cool.
To make the frosting, mix together the peanut butter and butter in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment. Once well combined, slowly add in the confectioner’s sugar at a low speed. Once all of the sugar has been incorporated, carefully add in the salt, cream and vanilla extract. Once the ingredients have come together, turn the mixer on high and beat for 20 seconds just to incorporate a little air and to “fluff” the frosting.
Frost the cake. And garnish the top with peanuts.
Slice the cake and enjoy with a chilled bottle of Coca-Cola because, why not?