I've seen a lot of different boundary-pushing pies, but none have looked quite as appealing as the peanut butter chocolate cake pie at Marie Callender's. Classifying this concoction, which features chocolate cake layered with peanut butter cream and a topping of chocolate fudge icing, as pie is a shaky proposition, but it does come in a pie pan and sit inside of a crust, so let's just go with it.
Visually, the pie makes a great first impression. The chocolate fudge icing looks rich and shiny, and the ribbon of whipped cream around the edge invites swiping digits. Cutting into the cake, however, tells a different story. Compared to the promo shot (pictured above), which shows deep, dark chocolate cake layered with firm layers of peanut butter cream, the reality is disappointing. The cake is dull and spongy, with only a vague chocolate flavor, and the peanut butter filling (which lacked a salty kick) looks and tastes like a loose custard.
The first piece I cut didn't stay upright for long enough to snap a photo. The crust, along with the bottom layer of peanut butter custard, immediately broke away from the rest of the slice, effectively separating it in two. My second attempt stayed upright a little longer, but the wobbly texture of the peanut butter component and the mushy chocolate cake made it difficult to get a composed bite, or any bite at all, really. I basically had to mash the pie into a pulp with my fork to get it anywhere near my mouth without it falling off the tines.
I wish I could say it was worth the trouble. Sadly, it wasn't. Neither of the components delivered their promised flavor, and both were much too sweet, resulting in a droopy, dull dessert that's just not worth the calories.
About the author: Erin Jackson is a food writer and photographer who is obsessed with discovering the best eats in San Diego. You can find all of her discoveries on her San Diego food blog EJeats.com. On Twitter, she's @ErinJax
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