A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

Yield: 8 (4-inch) cakes Cake 8 (4-inch) ramekins (or 4 small springform pans) 1 cup brown sugar ½ cup vegetable oil ½ cup applesauce, made with N.C. mountain apples* 1¼

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

Yield: 8 (4-inch) cakes Cake 8 (4-inch) ramekins (or 4 small springform pans) 1 cup brown sugar ½ cup vegetable oil ½ cup applesauce, made with N.C. mountain apples* 1¼

The Pepsi ’n’ Peanuts Cake

Yield: 8 (4-inch) cakes

Cake

8 (4-inch) ramekins (or 4 small springform pans)
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup applesauce, made with N.C. mountain apples*
1¼ cups peanut butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¼ cups High Rock Farm Chestnut Flour
1¼ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 pinch salt
1½ cups milk

Reduction

1 (16-ounce) Pepsi

Filling 1

8 ounces Escazú chocolate 64% cocoa, chopped
6 tablespoons Pepsi reduction

Filling 2

¼ cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons Pepsi reduction

Whipped Topping

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon Yah’s Best vanilla extract

Garnish

¼ cup chopped Baker’s peanuts
Pepsi reduction

For the cake: Preheat oven to 400˚. Spray ramekins with nonstick baking spray. In large bowl, mix brown sugar, oil, applesauce, and peanut butter until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time; stir in vanilla. Combine flours, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Mix into peanut butter mixture, alternating with milk. Set aside.

For the Pepsi reduction: In heavy saucepan, on medium heat, reduce Pepsi until about half of original volume and thickened. Set aside.

For the first filling: In small, microwave-safe bowl, warm chocolate and Pepsi reduction in 20-30 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted together.

For the second filling: Combine all ingredients in small, microwave-safe bowl, and warm for about 15 seconds. Stir to combine, and cream.

For the whipped topping: Beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. While mixer is running, slowly add sugar and vanilla. Whip until hard peaks form.

To bake cakes: Fill each ramekin half full with peanut butter cake mixture. Put 2 teaspoons of each filling on top of each cake mixture. Top with more batter until ramekin is almost full. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes. Tops will crack slightly. Remove from oven, and run a knife around cakes to loosen. Let cool for 5 minutes. Invert onto serving plates. (If using springform pans, slide onto serving plates.) Top with dollop of whipped topping and crumbled peanuts. Drizzle with Pepsi reduction. Best if served warm just after baking.

*Note: For applesauce, use 4 cooking apples, 2 tablespoons water or apple juice, and 2 tablespoons sugar or honey. Peel, core, and chop apples. Place in microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle with water. Cover tightly, and cook on high about 6 minutes or until apples are tender. (Cooking time will vary depending on type of apple used.) Add sugar, and mash with potato masher until desired consistency. (If the apples are naturally sweet, you can omit adding sugar.)


Try the other quintessential North Carolina cakes that appeared originally with this one:

The Krispy Kreme Cake
The Maple Syrup & Country Ham Cake
The Pimento Cheese Cake
The Nabs Cake

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This story was published on Jan 27, 2012

Wendy Perry

Wendy Perry is a recipe developer, personal chef, and Franklin County native.