Upon reviewing the classic molten chocolate cake by Chili’s, I felt it apt to examine the underrated, visually less exciting but adventurously tasty dessert by the same masters of baked and adequately drizzled concoctions. The chocolate chip paradise pie is my personal favorite, despite my favorite health magazine writer David Zinczenko’s strategy to place it as the worst dessert of 2008, and a repeated offender on the worst desserts of America list, from a consumption standpoint. Caloric foundations, sugar cement and saturated fat paintings aside, this is one dwelling that any dessert monster should devour at least once.
Do not let the plainly conceived name mislead you: chocolate chip is one of my worst prefixes to any dessert, due to the commoditized proposition that it is associated with. Pies remind me of sludgy consistencies, which does not justify this heavenly slice. And the word paradise, despite its ethereally rooted meanings, is off late more reminiscent of unpopular and desperate travel agencies with undifferentiated propositions to whisk tourists to crowded lands that are distinct from their perfect looking posters. The combination does not evoke a feeling of a strong dessert, but, as they say, never judge a book by its cover. So never judge a dessert by its name (or many other things by their name, actually).
In laymen’s terms, its half a brownie and half a blondie. However, the taste is not an additive combination of the aforementioned quick-fixes. The texture is a collision of sponginess with crumbiness, yet delectably held together with caramel and walnuts, so as to not dilapidate with a spoon. There are mingling layers to the slice, with walnuts reigning on the top, and a crispier, denser cake layer at the bottom, with semi-melted chocolate chips in between. Each scoop brings with it the warm sensation of velvet chocolate and gooey caramel, semi-melted chocolate chips, which slide against the caramel drizzle of the plate as you’re swooping it up, attracting a few chopped walnuts en route to your mouth. Served warm, the paradoxical taste with the vanilla ice cream further demands repeated indulgence.
I lust for this more than the molten chocolate cake, which whilst heavenly, does not have the variety of juxtapositioned taste that the paradise pie succeeds so well in. I believe that the strength in the chocolate chip paradise pie (besides the weakness in its name) lies in its success in textures of distinguished yet aptly blended layers, a gooey partnership of sweet caramel and dense fudge, and the simultaneously paradoxical and complimentary crunch of walnuts with taste of ice cream. So, although it is difficult to choose between the two (which explains why I frequently order both), I would classify them as best and best-er, respectively.
My health freak buddies are not incorrect in describing the dessert’s unhealthy downsides, but when faced with this dessert, everything else falls into my blind spot. If fast consumption equates to fast food, then yes, I admit, I do eat fast food.