Sunday, April 4, 2010

Chili's Paradise Pie..Cake

Sound too good to be true? That's because it was. This was a request for a birthday last summer. It was for a birthday BBQ for a guy who is OBSESSED with the Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie from Chili's. Don't know what that is? Check it out here. Basically to sum it up its a delicious mess of walnuts, coconut, and chocolate with a graham cracker base. This was definitely not your average birthday cake. I was pretty hesitant at first because I really wasn't sure how a cookie would slice as a cake. In the end, it was a bit messy, but non-the-less absolutely sinful. It was basically like biting into a giant gooey cookie covered in chocolate ganache and caramel. Really fun to make (and eat!) and a good idea if your looking for something a little different to bring to the table this time. For all you cookie lovers out there, this one's for you!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
I used the tollhouse chocolate chip cookie recipe for one layer, and a blondie recipe for the other.

For the cookie crust:
1 box (16 oz.) graham crackers
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. flour
1/4 cup butter melted (more if needed)

Combine all ingredients except the melted butter in a food processor and process until crumbly. Slowly add melted butter and process until combined. Crust should be able to "hold" together when pressed between your fingers (if this is not the case add more butter). Divide mixture in half and add to 2 9' springform or cake pans lined with parchment paper. Press down firmly with back of spoon or palm.

For the blondie:
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup (3 oz.) coarsely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup (4 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Cut the butter into chunks and melt in a saucepan over a gentle heat. Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar. Beat in the egg and vanilla, then stir in the flour mixture, walnuts, and chocolate chips. Poor batter on top of the cookie crust in your springform or cake pans.

Now for the baking times; if you were baking normal cookies on a cookie sheet the recipe calls for about 25 minutes, but because were obviously not doing that, the time has to be adjusted. I just winged it here keeping an eye on how done the "cakes" were about every 5-10 minutes after the first 25. I believe overall it took about 35-40 minutes to cook each one. They were slightly gooey in the center. You'll just have to keep an eye on your cakes and pull them out when you think there done. :)

Once both cakes are out of the oven, cool completely on a wire rack. Now you can start making the caramel & chocolate ganache.

Chocolate Ganache
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
8 oz. semisweet chocolate chopped (or 1/2 semisweet 1/2 dark)
dash salt

In a small saucepan heat cream, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and add chopped chocolate, let stand for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir mixture until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth. Let cool to room temperature and use right away.
(can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Soften glaze with a double broiler.)

Caramel Sauce 
1/2 c butter
1c brown sugar
1/3-2/3c heavy cream

1tsp. vanilla

Melt butter, add brown sugar whisk 2 min, add cream whisk 2 min, mix in vanilla. (Make sure you test the consistancy and be sure the sugars are completely dissolved, otherwise you can end up with a grainy caramel. )

Put one layer of cake onto a cake board or platter. Poor enough caramel to fill the "crater" on the top of the cookie (when the cookie cools it will drop about 1/2 a cm. in the center). Add second layer of cake on top. Poor more caramel over top of cakes with the addition of the chocolate ganache as well. I added some toasted shredded coconut around the edges and on top, optional. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and pig out! :)

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