If you were to compare any Australian household's pantry today with one from a generation ago, there is one item you can be sure will feature in both: a jar of peanut butter. Why? Because, like a Best of Fleetwood Mac record or Tom Selleck's moustache; this classic kitchen condiment never goes out of style. The last twelve months, however, have been particularly significant for this humble breakfast spread, as it has moved out of the pantry and into the kitchens of some of the best, most innovative cafes, bars and restaurants across Melbourne.
This reinvigoration of a classic favourite has lead to the creation of an unbelievable selection of desserts, drinks and breakfast dishes of next level perfection, all of which we practically insist you must try immediately. To help you in this endeavor, we have rounded up below seven of the most covetable examples of peanut butter dishes for your dining pleasure. Enjoy.
Peanut Butter Parfait | Supernormal in Melbourne CBD
There are almost no words to describe the experience that is this peanut butter parfait at Supernormal. However, if words were demanded (as, in this case, they are), we would have to go with 'nonpareil'. Beautiful, creamy parfait topped with a scoop of perfect soft chocolate and a sprinkling of crushed peanuts, this is the ultimate indulgence. We would almost recommend one between two due to its richness, but we promise you won't want to share. Best when paired with a glass of Choya Umeshu 'Kokuto', a Japanese dessert sake of plum wine, brown sugar, rum and black vinegar.
Peanut Butter Brownie | Tomboy in Collingwood
After going from strength to strength selling their brownies in institutions like De Clieu, Brother Baba Budan and Seven Seeds, Pia Hambour and George Marsh decided to take their wholesale baking business, Box Brownies, to the next level by setting up their own café, Tomboy, in which to showcase their mouth watering creations. While any decision you make after perusing the brownie cabinet will be a delicious one, the peanut butter brownie in particular is well worth your time. Soft, gooey and generously sized, this brownie is your ultimate morning treat or afternoon snack…or both. We definitely recommend both.
PB & J(ulep) | Thomas Olive in Collingwood
While the classic PB&J is as old as the hills, we can guarantee you've never had one quite like this before. Alan Mulvihill, the mixologist extraordinaire at Saint Crispin's hidden attic bar Thomas Olive, has reinvented this school lunchbox staple for a new generation with the creation of his peanut butter julep. Crafted from a house made peanut butter mix, strawberry jam, strawberry puree, Bulleit Bourbon and crushed ice, this creamy and unique drink is a lesson in innovation. While Mulvihill created this daring concoction as part of Bulleit Bourbon's current cocktail competition, the julep is due to transition onto Thomas Olive's permanent cocktail menu next week. Oh, and did we mention it comes served with a house-made peanut butter parfait sandwich…?
Ron and Hermione's Muesli | Brighton Schoolhouse in Brighton
Home to some of the best breakfasts in Melbourne, Brighton Schoolhouse have outdone themselves with this delicious peanut butter dish. From a breakfast menu that features the likes of 'Katniss Everdeen's Bircher', 'Marty McFly's Porridge' and 'Ja'mie: Private School Girl's Heirloom Tomatoes', comes 'Ron and Hermione's Muesli', a dictionary-requiring blend of cacao rolled buckini, amaranth and coconut, peanut butter, tahini, agave syrup, coconut oil, chocolate almond milk and winter berries. Tasting a bit like an adult version of coco pops, this feel-good breakfast features only a slight tinge of peanut butter, but as there are so many amazing flavours going on here, it's done to perfection.
Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate | Bowery to Williamsburg in Melbourne CBD
If there was one thing on this planet that could improve the epitome of excellence that is a hot chocolate, it's peanut butter. Lo and behold, American style café Bowery to Williamsburg have stood up to the plate and delivered this creamy, nutty, absolute home run of a hot drink. Not at all as sweet as you might fear, this specialty hot chocolate is the only way to start your workdays.
Nutter Shake | The Nutrition Bar in Richmond
People who tell you you shouldn't start the day with chocolate should be culled from your friendship group; or, at the very least, introduced to the Nutter shake at Swan Street's superfood setup, The Nutrition Bar. Made with choc almond milk, banana, peanut butter, choc protein powder and ice, the protein packed Nutter Shake may be masquerading as a naughty treat, but it is actually the ideal post gym hit or morning after pick-me-up…or a just-because-it's-delicious drink. Enjoy it with the peanut butter acai bowl, consisting of acai, peanut butter, banana, coconut water, strawberries and cacao nibs.
Crunchy Peanut Butter, Heirloom Tomatoes, Salt and Pepper Peanuts on Toast | Barry in Northcote
If this list of ingredients has you raising your eyebrows slightly in trepidation, Northcote's best café, Barry, is way ahead of you. To ease concerns over this flavor combination, the menu listing urges punters to 'trust us'…and trust them you should. This unlikely hero of a dish consists of thick cut toast, lashings of the finest crunchy peanut butter, juicy heirloom tomatoes and a sprinkling of salt and peppered peanuts. Savour it with their very own Mork peanut butter hot chocolate.
Main image credit: Half Baked Harvest