Ryan Thomas is a university graduate who enjoys cooking recipes from a wide variety of culinary traditions.
Peanut butter on its own is a nice thing, but it lacks a certain spark of greatness that comes from the addition of chocolate. Reese's recognized this long ago, and thus one has Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, the perfect addition of chocolate and peanut butter into a bite-sized package. For those with ambitions that go beyond this, what about cake?
Apparently the Pennsylvanians who came up with the peanut base of this recipe a long time ago didn't have such ambitions, but I happened to have a good amount of chocolate lying around, so what's the harm with experimenting? Combined with a healthy increase of sugar into what was originally, to be frank, a rather dull recipe, this makes a cake that nicely mixes peanut and chocolate into a splendid combination. For those who like chocolate, it would be easy enough to go even further with other layers of chocolate intermixed throughout.
This recipe is adapted from Dutch Treats: Heirloom Recipes from Farmhouse Kitchens by William Woys Weaver. Datsch seems to be a name for a cake type utilized in the book, and I decided to keep it—even if I changed around the composition and type to be more of a conventional cake.
- fine plain breadcrumbs, (to dust the greased pan)
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons sugar, (If one prefers this more like a coffee cake, use 1/2 cup sugar instead of 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 3/4 cup chopped toasted peanuts
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 yolks and whites separated
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 8 ounces chocolate
- 3 tablespoons bourbon, (or other substitute alcohol)
- Combine together the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 1/2 cups of sugar, and mix thoroughly.
- Add the peanut butter and beat with electric beaters or in a food mill until it creates fine crumbs. Add in 1/2 cup of chopped roasted peanuts.
- Separate the eggs. Beat the egg yolks until they turn a pale yellow, then add into them the milk and the sour cream, and mix together well.
- Create a trough in the center of the dry materials, then pour in the melted butter, then the egg yolks-milk-sour cream mixture. Combine all to form a sticky dough.
- Beat the egg whites until they are stiff and fluffy, then fold into the dough. Pour half of this dough into a large cake pan, such as a 9/10-inch springform cake pan.
- Melt the sweet chocolate with the bourbon in a double boiler, until it is melted to a liquid. Pour this over the 1/2 of dough, and spread it into a layer. Then pour the rest of the dough over this. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/4 cup of toasted peanuts, which have been combined with 2 tablespoons of sugar.
- Place into the oven for 40 minutes at 375°F.
© 2018 Ryan Thomas