Once upon a time, a wonderful, amazing (albeit slightly bonkers) lady called Ruth changed my life forever. In actual fact, she saved my life.
Ruth ran a brilliant cafe called Roody's in my hometown of Hinckley, Leicestershire. Armed with a baking talent second to none and a passion for injecting fun into, well, everything, Roody's was a food playground for adults.
Desserts and cakes were inspired by the sweets and treats Ruth grew up eating, so every day deliciously decadent Caramac cakes, doorstep slabs of Pimms and Lemon cake and the richest, most incredible chocolate cake filled the shop. Oh, and let's not forget the wonderful chilli, lime and chocolate ice cream, created with liquid nitrogen.
Anyway, I'm getting sidetracked.
From my constant visits to the cafe, I started chatting to Ruth a lot. She slowly came to know everything about me, including just how unhappy I was in my job. When she heard how utterly miserable I was, she encouraged me to resign so that I could chase my dreams, giving me a part-time job as a "creations assistant" to help me along the way. I have never looked back!
Although Roodys is now no longer open, my summer working there was one of the happiest, most joy-filled of my life. I made some friends for life, learned how to bake and, every day, I would be doubled over with laughter.
Of course, it also helped having delicious treats like this Curly Wurly Pie around me at all times.
How could you be sad with this staring you in the face?
Needless to say, this recipe for Curly Wurly Pie, created using the old-school Cadbury's fave, is one of my favourites of all-time as it never fails to remind me of that summer. Completely delicious and irresistible, it's pretty much Ruth in a bite. Oh, it also happens to be super easy too! ;)
Thank you Ruth for being a truly awesome person - and thank you for bringing us Curly Wurly treats!
CURLY WURLY PIE
100g melted butter, unsalted
600ml double cream
100g milk chocolate
200g plain chocolate
1 tin Carnation Caramel
5 Cadbury's Curly Wurly bars
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp icing sugar
8 inch flan tin
1) Smash the hobnobs into crumbs, chuck in the melted butter and mix well. Press the mixture into the base and sides of the tin, then shove into the fridge and leave overnight.
2) Take half of the cream and stick it into the microwave until it's boiling. This should take about three minutes. In the meantime, break up the chocolate before adding it to the boiling cream. Whisk the mixture together until it's smooth and combined into a yummy chocolate goo.
3) Chuck all but two tablespoons of the chocolate goo on top of the biscuit base, then coat it over with a pastry brush until smooth. Bung the pie into the fridge for thirty minutes. In the meantime, chop up all but one of the Curly Wurlys.
4) Decant the Carnation Caramel from the tin and gently mix with the chopped Curly Wurlys until smooth and lump-free. However, resist the urge to over-mix, otherwise it will go all sloppy and yucky. Add to the chocolate ganache base and smooth over.
5) Add the icing sugar and vanilla extract to the remaining cream and whisk it together to form peaks. They should be lusciously soft and delectably lickable. Have a bit of fun by blobbing the cream mix around the edges of the pie – this makes it look pretty, or a complete mess. It depends on your school of decoration.
6) Take the piping bag and fill it with the final two tablespoons of the chocolate ganache. Pipe swirly patterns across the pie. This is your chance to be as creative and as bonkers as you like!
7) Slice the final Curly Wurly and smatter the slices on top of the cream. Leave the pie to set in the fridge for at least an hour, et voila! Let the compliments roll in...