Sometimes you don’t need a reason to bake a beautiful cake. And sometimes, perfection is not the goal. If the flavor is right, and the smiles are big, then you’ve done a great job. Pat yourself on the back and pour a glass of milk.
Since my favorite candy is a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, this recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake from Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey: Recipes from My Three Favorite Food Groups and Then Some by Chef John Currence sounded just too good to be true. Imagine a dense fudgy cake, topped by peanut butter mousse and slathered with rich chocolate ganache and chopped peanuts. I mean, seriously, how could you go wrong?
Chef John Currence is a James Beard Award winning legendary culinary star in Oxford, Mississippi where his City Grocery restaurant group is known for flavor-packed and altogether “big bad” Southern food with an international flair. If I ever get to Oxford, and I hope to, I’ll be sure to visit Big Bad Breakfast, Oxford Boure, and Snack Bar – each with a unique menu and style.
You won’t find fussy presentations in Currence’s book. Instead, you’ll find the kind of food your grandma used to make – only amped up about a hundred notches. You’ll find great looking cocktails with twists on old classics. The book is divided into sections like Boiling/Simmering, Slathering, Pickling/Canning, Roasting/Braising, Muddling/Stirring, Brining/Smoking, and Baking/Spinning. When I flipped through its gorgeous pages, I found at least a dozen recipes that I have to try. Next on my to do list are making the classic dill pickles, and the pickled peaches that will serve as the base for a smoky agave pork sauce.
My conclusion: this cookbook is a keeper.