Guess we won’t be emigrating to Australia

by Jessie K on November 11, 2012

My Australian friend Paul, who hails from Sydney but now lives in New York City, once commented he doesn’t understand Americans’ obsession with chocolate and peanut butter. He said Australians rarely pair those two bits of deliciousness in the same bite.

I couldn’t hear what else he said because I was too busy picking my brain off the floor. NO chocolate and peanut butter? What kind of crazy country is this? PB and chocolate is one of the world’s greatest pairings, like hot dogs and mustard, chips and guacamole, Coca-Cola and M&Ms!

I had no choice but to assume he was under some kind of peyote-laced hallucination. So I put the question to my other Australian friend Camilla, who happens to be a spectacularly talented chef and lives in Sydney.

Here’s what she said:

“NO, Australian families are not that big into peanut butter and chocolate. I can even still find the odd kid who has never tasted a Reese’s peanut butter cup (shock horror!!). However, it is becoming popular but it’s not the first combo you think of. Cherry and chocolate (Cherry Ripe bars), coconut and chocolate (Bounty bars) or whole peanuts in chocolate are popular but not peanut butter and chocolate.”

And there you have it:  Australians really are Communists.

(Jake, for one, would keel over and die without a daily infusion of these two ingredients!)

UPDATE: Camilla was nice enough to share her recipe for Moist Chocolate Cake that she says “kicks arse every time she makes it….a classic Aussie fave, but maybe it needs a good peanut butter frosting to take it to the next level??” (Maybe Camilla really is partially American.)

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate squares
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup percolated coffee
  • 1 1/2 cups self raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Melt butter and chocolate in a bowl over simmering water until it has melted then remove from heat.
Add sugar and stir until well mixed. Add cocoa powder and boiling water together to make a paste then add to the chocolate mixture along with the coffee then stir to combine. Add flour and lightly beat until mixed then add an egg one at a time followed by the vanilla extract. It is a very wet mixture so line your tin with baking paper. Pour in mixture, place on a tray and into the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Check with a wooden skewer that it is cooked. Cool on a wire rack and cover with chocolate ganache….or peanut butter frosting.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Camilla November 11, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Well I think you should at least come for a visit and I’ll make sure there are PB and chocolate cookies for Jake daily xxx

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Jessie K November 12, 2012 at 8:49 am

In my dreams, Camilla! Or better yet, you come here and bring back your amazing culinary skills.

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Lois November 11, 2012 at 7:49 pm

I spent some time years ago with a family from Australia when they moved to the US, I made dinner one night and served fresh homemade applesauce. They had never heard of applesauce and hated the taste. I was shocked. Never heard of applesauce???

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JennNY November 11, 2012 at 8:00 pm

The horror! Shocking really!! :P

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Kerri November 12, 2012 at 4:20 am

Not true, not true, not true!!! We love Reece’s Pieces – available lots of places in Sydney. Applesauce is also traditional with Roast Pork, Pork Chops etc. Come visit, we have lots of great food – TimTams and we would love to introduce you to Vegemite!!

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Kat November 12, 2012 at 8:18 am

Cherry Ripes?! I love them so and have missed them like crazy for the past 16 years since I left. There is no substitute. I never noticed the lack of pb/chocolate combos but you can’t miss what was never there in the first place I guess.

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Sandy November 12, 2012 at 8:20 am

I told my husband about the horrible lack of chocolate and peanut butter and he had the same reaction as Jake. Nice place to visit, couldn’t live there. But then I mentioned the alternatives and he wanted to know more about those Cherry Ripe bars. Wouldn’t be a replacement, but might be worth trying. HA, men.

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Leah November 12, 2012 at 8:41 am

Same goes for the English. My mother is from England. We never ate peanut butter growing up. My brother ate it at friends homes. She didn’t know what a watermelon was when she came here. She treated it like melons she did know. She cut it, cleaned out the center, cut off the green and tried to make my sister eat the white. Then again, if I went to England and was made to pull a snail out of the shell and eat it I would run like crazy in the opposite direction, Yuck!

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Rebecca November 12, 2012 at 10:34 am

Yep, as Leah said, same for the UK. I lived there in my 20s and has fun introducing my flatmates to the combo. They just generally don’t eat a lot of PB. It’s not the staple it is here. I sent an old friend there PB M&Ms and she thought they were heavenly.

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Chin November 12, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Thanks Camilla for the recipe! Can’t wait to try it. Love this post.

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Camilla November 12, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Enjoy Chin, you will love it–Ohh I miss you guys xxx

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Jane November 12, 2012 at 6:13 pm

But the peanut slab – peanuts in chocolate – is heavenly.

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Farm Wife November 12, 2012 at 8:20 pm

oh my gosh i forgot about vegemite. Also, don’t bother asking for sweet tea…you get a warm bowl of tea :) But lots of places are not big on sweet Ice Tea like we Virginians

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Jenny November 13, 2012 at 7:46 pm

this ACTUALLY breaks my heart. i eat my chocolate and peanut butter raw, as in chocolate chips dropped strategically into the pb container and then fished out by the glob via spoon.

oh well. more for me…?

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Jessie K November 14, 2012 at 10:08 am

Mmm, mmm, mmm, now that is what I call soaring to new culinary heights.

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