Chocolate Chip Blueberry Muffin Loaf

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Yeah, I don’t even know. This started as a brainstorming session due to my inability to sleep, in turn, due to my inability to apply sunscreen to my back, which is now very, very red. If you’ve read any of my other posts, you’d know I have an unhealthy obsession with pie. So, at approximately 2:45 am, I came up with the gem of an idea to take muffin mix, put it in a pie tin, and let it rise like some huge muffin. In the middle I could put blueberries or something. As I said, I don’t even know.

After going to my local Central Market to pick up ingredients for my lofty endeavor, I decided to tell my mother about my genius idea. About a minute into the conversation, I realized how idiotic I sounded, and that making a giant muffin pie was a moronic idea. The baking time it would take to get the muffin batter dry on the inside would render the top and bottom of the pie completely burnt. I already had the ingredients though, so what to do?

I’d be lying if I said I had a plan. I basically just whipped up some chocolate chip muffin batter. And in retrospect, I probably could/should have just poured them into baking cups and called it a day. But this is What A Twist. Dogs, dolphins, pigs and the rest of the intelligent animal community can easily bake chocolate chip muffins (read Redwall or The Wind in the Willows if you don’t believe me). Consequently, I took the aforementioned, and already purchased, blueberries and went rogue.

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Taking two loaf pans I layered about 1/3 of the batter into one. Then I took about 2 pints of blueberries and rolled them in 3 tablespoons of the finest, uncut cornstarch money can buy. I’m not really sure why I did this, put you’re supposed to do it when you make blueberry pies so why not? Then I layered the blueberries on top of the batter I had poured. Doing the same thing for the other loaf pan, I quickly realized there’s no way in hell I’m getting two loaves out of this. So, throwing caution to the wind (by caution I mean the batter and blueberries in one pan, and by wind I mean the other pan) I turned my creation into a double layered chocolate chip blueberry muffin cake loaf thing. Then I baked it f0r 40 minutes. And, to be real with you, it turned out to be a delectable treat, perfect, in the words of my mother, with tea or coffee. And with that, I give you the recipe.

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You’ll Need

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 – 1/2 white sugar (depending on how sweet you want this)
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup of milk (I used 1% because it’s swimsuit season and I’m that vain, but whole would probably be better)
  • 1/3 cup of vegetable oil (or melted butter if that floats your boat)
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 2 quarts of blueberries, rinsed, patted dry
  • 3 tbsp corn starch

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400º F
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and chocolate chips
  3. In another bowl, whisk together milk, oil and egg.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until you get a batter, obviously it will be lumpy because of the chocolate chips
  5. Add blueberries in a bowl and toss in cornstarch.
  6. Butter and Flour a 9×5 loaf pan.
  7. Add one third of the batter to the bottom of the pan, then add a layer of blueberries, trying not to get excess corn starch in the pan
  8. Cover the blueberry layer with another third of the batter and then add another layer of blueberries
  9. Pour the rest of the batter over the second blueberry layer
  10. Bake for ~40 minutes, using a toothpick to gauge when the loaf is done.

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Sea Salt Chocolate Pretzel Pie

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I love pie like Brick Tamland loves lamp. The love affair began when I crossed the threshold of Emporium Pies, a little slice of heaven nestled in the Bishop Arts District of Dallas. With items like Red Velvet Cream Cheese Chess Pie and Sweet Potato Crust Pumpkin Pie, it’s hard to not instantly fall in love with the Emporium. The great coffee and almost overwhelmingly friendly service are just bonuses that go along with these creatively contrived confections.

The only negative thing I can say about the Emporium is that the pies are a tad pricey to be buying on the regular. $30 for a normal pie and $40 for their deep dish apple “Lord of the Pies” does not a full wallet make. Therefore, there comes a time in every man’s life where he must buckle down and take the pie making process into his own hands. And so that is what I did.

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Since I respect and value all pies equally, regardless of gender, race, creed, or flavor, I found myself at a loss for direction when I made the (highly impulsive) decision to bake my own pie. I decided to crowd source ideas, and from my girlfriend I got toffee pretzel crust with a chocolate sea salt filling. While I didn’t exactly follow the toffee part of the suggestion — to be honest I always thought toffee was what old people eat while watching Maury at 3pm before bedtime — I took the rest of the suggestion and went ahead with this pie.

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One motto I’ve always stood by for pies (and tarts, and quiches, and pizza) is that a pie is only as good as its crust. And by god this was a good crust. The toughest part of making this recipe was crushing up the pretzels to use in the crust. It’s a similar method to graham cracker crust except saltier. To crush up the pretzels I put a half pound into a plastic bag and beat it senseless with my hands. Then I threw the bag on the ground and stomped on it for a while, doing a jig-like dance atop the pretzels. Next, I took the bag of semi-crushed pretzels and ran it over about 40 times with my car. Then I took the bag and emptied it into my Vitamix. Then finally, I poured the crumbs into a mortar and crushed it vigorously for half an hour with a pestle. At this point I had a pretty fine consistency of pretzel crumbs and was good to go. If I had to do it all over, I would probably just start and end with running over the pretzels with my car; it seemed to prove most effective. Using brown sugar and butter as my only other two ingredients for the crust basically added the toffee flavor in anyways.

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After baking the crust, I made a simple chocolate ganache, and poured it into the cooled pie crust for it to harden in the refrigerator. I also sprinkled a smattering of sea salt on top of the pie, as if the pretzel crust weren’t salty enough. Once the pie hardens, the obvious next step is to eat it. And god damn was it good, if I do say so myself.

DSC09787You’ll Need

  • 2.5 cups (half lb.) of crushed pretzels, crushed in one of the myriad aforementioned ways
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons of packed brown sugar
  • 10 oz. bittersweet chocolate broken into pieces (I used 62% cocoa but that can be adjusted)
  • 1 1/4 cups of cream
  • sea salt to taste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Mix crushed pretzels, melted butter and brown sugar into bowl. Combine.
  3. Pack mixture into 9″ pie dish, making sure there are no holes in the crust.
  4. Bake crust for 10 minutes, then remove to cool for at least 20 minutes.
  5. Bring 1 1/4 cups of cream to a simmer in a sauce pan.
  6. With chocolate in a glass bowl, pour cream over and mix until all chocolate is melted.
  7. Pour into the pie crust and smooth out.
  8. Scatter the sea salt
  9. Refrigerate to let set for 3 hours

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