I’m not really a fan of custard, oven-set tarts like the poor bakers have to make this week. Not that there is anything particularly wrong with them, I can just think of 100 things I would rather stick in a good tart tin. Like this, a Fat Elvis!
This recipe is a take on something I saw on TV a while back. On the program ‘Sugar Rush’ the guy from Ace of Cakes, Duff Goldman, travelled around America searching for the best deserts he could find. When he stopped off at the Hoosier Mama Pie Company in Chicago he came across this mountainous beast of a pudding which comprised Pretzels, Graham Crackers, Nuts, Bananas, Chocolate Pudding and a cream cheese & peanut butter frosting!
Although I had only seen this episode once, I couldn’t get it out of my head. This is exactly the type of baking I like best, big, brash and over the top. It helped that I have a bit of a thing for chocolate pudding. In fact my, normally level headed, girlfriend gets jealous of me making it for anyone else for fear that people may try and kidnap me and my pudding skills! I waited until the episode was next on TV, took down my notebook and started taking notes. Simple notes about basic construction as I enjoy working out the semantics myself!
All that was left as to wait for a reason to make it. This is not a pie you create for just a few people as it contains more calories than the entire Oxford Street branch of Greggs. When a friend invited me to a BBQ on the week before Pie\Tart week on the Bake Off, I knew it was time. Into the kitchen I went, starting the crust from scratch. No pre-bought crackers for my crust thank you very much.
As the smell of a thousand sweet goods drifted from the kitchen, my girlfriend appeared, wanting to know if I had passed out into a bowl of frosting yet. Like a mad scientist I shouted “NO woman, leave me be with my franken-pudding” as steam poured from an over -flowing saucepan. Hours went by in a haze of custard and chocolate until………
I carried this like a mother carries a new born baby all the way to my friend’s house for the BBQ. When the time finally came to crack into it, all I can say is it was worth the wait. At first I was worried about it being overly sweet but yet the cream cheese seemed to cut through the sugar with a fresh and light hit. The cracker base was worth all that effort in the end (there is no substitute for Graham Crackers) and with the chocolate pudding…..well……..if there is a heaven then I hope it is pudding filled!
Only as I came to write this recipe did I bother to see if there is already one online and, as sods law has it, there is here (http://foodfanatics.usfoods.com/recipes/fat-elvis-pie). I didn’t use that one though. I made my own and it looks far more umptious then theirs, even if I do say so myself!
As always with my recipes, this is neither quick nor particularly easy. Still, if you were to set aside a day for talking it and take your time then you should run into very few pitfalls. Just don’t eat too many of the components before you build the finished article or you may find you don’t quite have enough!
Graham Crackers – For the Base. You could wimp out and use digestives instead but where is the fun in that?!
240g Wholemeal Flour
50g Plain White Flour
90g Dark Brown Sugar
90g Unsalted Butter
3/4tsp Baking Powder
1/2tsp Baking Soda
1/4tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2tsp Vanilla Paste
1) Add the flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder & cinnamon into a bowl and stir to combine.
2) Rub the butter into the mix as if you were making shortcrust pastry
3) Add the treacle, vanilla and milk and work together with your fingers until the mixture turns into a rough ball. Add a tiny bit more milk if needed but be very careful about making the mix to wet. Cover with cling film and place into the fridge for half an hour.
4) Pre-heat the over to 180c and line a baking sheet with silicone paper.
5) Once chilled, cut the dough into three. Place two sections in the fridge whilst you work on the third. Roll out the dough to around 5mm thick. Try to get the same thickness all over. Cut the dough to the same size as your baking sheet and transfer it onto the silicone paper.
6) Using a pizza cutter, cut dough into squares about 2” thick. Prick each biscuit 4 times with a fork.
7) Bake in the centre of your oven for around 15 to 20 mins, turning half way. Due to the Treacle content, they will burn easily so be very careful
8) Remove crackers from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Once crackers have cooled you will be able to break them along the previously cut lines.
9) Repeat with the remaining dough until all has been baked.
200g Graham Crackers
100g Pretzels. The small snack kind, not the big doughy kind!
50g Pecan Nuts. Lightly roasted.
150g Melted Butter
1) Add the dry ingredients into a food processor and blitz until crumb like. It doesn’t matter if you still have a few larger bits left over, it all adds to the texture.
2) Slowly add the melted butter to the dry mixture whilst continuing to run the processor. Stop when the mixture starts to clump together.
3) Empty the crumb mixture into a 12” non-stick tart tin. Press the mixture round the edges and base of the tin to create your base.
4) Refrigerate for at least 30mins.
Chocolate Pudding. This is really just a thick chocolate custard but, as it’s an American Pudding, I thought I best stick with the American name!
4 Free Range Egg Yolks.
65g Caster Sugar
15g Plain Flour
350ml Whole Milk
Seeds of 1 Vanilla pod.
40g Dark Chocolate – chopped
40g Milk Chocolate – chopped
1) Add the egg yolks, sugar, flour and corn flour into a bowl and stir to combine.
2) Heat the milk and vanilla seeds to boiling whilst stirring continuously.
3) Remove pan from the heat and slowly, whilst whisking, add the milk to the egg\flour\sugar mixture. This ‘tempers’ your eggs and stops them curdling.
4) Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and place over a medium-low heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.
5) Remove from the heat and add the chocolate a little at a time whilst stirring to combine.
6) Spoon mixture into a clean bowl, cover with cling film directly onto the custard (to stop a skin forming) and place into the fridge to cool completely.
Peanut Butter & Cream Cheese Frosting
200g Full-Fat Cream Cheese
75g Unsalted Butter
120g Crunchy Peanut Butter
Seeds of 1 Vanilla pod
Pinch of salt
1) Please the cream cheese and butter into a bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed 5mins until light and fluffy. This can be done by hand, just make sure it is well combined!
2) Add the Peanut butter, Vanilla seeds and salt and beat again for another minute until mixture is smooth and creamy.
3) Refrigerate for at least half an hour.
1) Take your crust from the fridge and cover with the chocolate pudding, making sure to push the pudding up the sides of the crust, leaving a large crater in the middle.
2) Cut up a large banana into 1cm slices. Place these on top of the chocolate pudding.
3) Using a pallet knife, smooth the cream cheese frosting over the top of the bananas. You want to use as much of the frosting as possible, don’t go skimping out now!
4) Decorate the sides of the pie with roughly chopped pretzel pieces. Refrigerate for at least half an hour.
5) Remove from the tin, serve and eat! Don’t blame me for making you fat!
I forgot to take a photo of it when it was released from the tin. I was too busy eating it!