Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Pretzel Pie


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It is not often I make desserts, but when I do, I try to ensure they involve as many of my favourite ingredients as possible. As soon as I saw this pie, I knew it was meant to be. Chocolate? Good. Peanut butter? Goood. Cream cheese filling and pretzel base!? Gooooooood!

I originally came across a version of this pie on Come Dine With Me (which is on in our lounge 90% of the time) and when Dave Lamb listed all the ingredients, I suddenly started paying a lot more attention. The actual recipe was on the Channel 4 website but as with all CDWM recipes it was a bit wishy washy and this, coupled with the fact that under every entry Channel 4 writes something about how none of the recipes are tested so you could be gambling just like the contestants on the show, slightly put me off. I set my sights on finding a more refined version on t’interwebs.

And this is it! Nadia G’s Peanut Butter Pie from her show Bitchin Kitchen, which is coincidentally starting on Food Network in the UK tonight! I got really excited when I saw the advert as I’d spent all week obsessing over this pie and reading reviews, blogs etc of the show and her book. She seems like a pretty hilarious chef and her book has got great reviews so I’m excited to watch her show later on.

So, the pie. The recipe can be found here, although I did tweak it slightly as I found the ingredients weren’t enough to fill my pie dish. Disaster. Although, not really, as I ended up almost doubling the recipe so we were eating chocolate peanut butter cream cheese pretzel pie for days, which is in no way a bad thing. Although it is quite bad for my diet. Which ended on or about January 3rd, but that’s another story.

The pie crust consists of whizzed up salted pretzels, brown sugar and melted butter. Do pie crusts really get any better than that?

Not sure why I took a photo of this, possibly to show my delightful tablespoon/teaspoon measuring cups?

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Here is the pie crust, all mixed together. This is when I ran into difficulties; I realised this was not going to fill my pie dish so I added more and more pretzels, butter and sugar until it seemed like a good amount.

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I then smoothed the mixture into the dish and all up the edges to form a lovely pretzel-y crust.

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See?

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I popped that into the fridge to chill while I worked on the peanut butter filling. This is a no bake pie, so all it involves is a bit of chilling!

The peanut butter filling consists of smooth PB, cream cheese, whipped cream and brown sugar. Again, I wasn’t sure the amounts would fill my dish so I doubled them. I got to use my brand new American measuring cups which Ben bought me in Asda and make me feel like the Barefoot Contessa. ‘Add a cup of heavy cream!’ etc. She says that all the time, trust me. (Barefoot Contessa is on in our lounge the 10% of the time Come Dine With Me isn’t.)

All the goodies in the bowl!

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I mixed all these up and then carefully folded in the whipped cream. The recipe calls for 35 percent whipping cream but I just used double and it worked fine. When I was finished, I swirled the peanut butter filling into the pie dish, put it in the fridge to chill and started my final layer, the chocolate whipped cream.

This required the melting of cream and chocolate in a bain-marie which I then chilled for a couple of hours in the fridge, before whipping together using my little hand mixer. I spread the mixture on top of the pie dish and ta da!

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I took it to our friends’ house that we were staying at over the weekend and I have to say, with the chocolate shavings on top I was pretty impressed with how it looked!

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And I was even more impressed when it actually held together as I sliced it!

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The pie itself was incredibly rich and creamy; I don’t actually enjoy fresh whipped cream all that much (I know, I’m weird) so it wasn’t really the ideal dessert for me. But, our friends absolutely loved it and even my peanut-butter-hating boyfriend enjoyed his slice, as well as the second he had a couple of days later! The peanut butter flavour wasn’t quite strong enough for me to be honest, I feel the cream really overpowered it and I’d like to be able to really get a proper, intense, OMGPEANUTBUTTER hit of PB. I didn’t realise it’d be quite so creamy when I first read the recipe.

I’ve got an idea in my head that seems to be more tart than pie, with layers of pure peanut butter, chocolate ganache and a crunchy pretzel/digestive biscuit base. So I might try that out soon, once we’ve recovered from the calorific bomb that was this dessert. I recommend the recipe though, just be prepared to tweak it to make it fit your pie dish. And add more peanut butter!

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My Dad’s Corned Beef Hash


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I hardly ever had corned beef hash growing up; it wasn’t a dish on our regular circulation of dinners. But, my Dad would sometimes make it when my Mum was working late as a quick meal for himself and as I got older, I fell in love with it! I started having serious cravings for it last week so I bought all the ingredients and phoned him for a quick recipe recap before I made it. His method is simple and easy but I was obsessing about having lots of crispy bits on the bottom, so it took ages to cook and  was in the pan for about 20 minutes! If you don’t obsess over crispy bits it probably takes about 30 minutes from start to finish, perfect for week-night dinners. It is also incredibly cheap; although I was greedy and ate mine in two servings, it should really serve four. Corned beef is less than £2 for the tin, potatoes and onions are dead cheap and everything else is just bits and bobs of spices, sauces and flavours. The dish is very filling and perfect for wintery nights, I feel like I need to cook it again very soon!

Dad’s Corned Beef Hash 

(a very rough recipe as most things are according to your personal tastes!)

Serves 4 (or 2 greedy people/1 greedy person on 2 consecutive nights)

3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 tin corned beef (I used Princes!)

1 chopped white onion

ketchup

worcestershire sauce

salt and pepper

1 egg per person, to serve

Boil the cubed potatoes until nearly cooked through. Start frying the onions in a frying pan with oil (I used Frylight as I’m still meant to be on a diet…I just keep forgetting…) and add the cubed potatoes once cooked through. Fry both until the potatoes are starting to get crispy around the edges and the onions are light brown. Cube the corned beef and add it to the potatoes and onions. I had a slight issue here as my frying pan was not big enough to hold all the food so I had to use a smaller one as a back-up and split the mixture. Bit of a nightmare and I don’t recommend it; use the biggest frying pan you have!!) Fry the corned beef until it is hot through (obviously it’s already cooked) and add as much worcestershire sauce and ketchup as you like. I added a fair bit of both as I like a strong tasting hash. I then cooked the hash for a futher 15/20 minutes to ensure I had a lot of crispy bits. Fry your egg, season the hash and serve the egg on top of the hash.

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Posh!! Not at all. Mine does look quite posh but that’s just because I have an amazing camera. The following evening, I ate my hash in a big bowl with a fork. Classy!

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If you grew up eating corned beef hash and you haven’t had it in years or if you’ve never tried it but quite like the concept, give this recipe a go! It’s insanely easy, cheap and quick to make. You could even go all out and serve it with baked beans or tinned spaghetti but I found the simple mixture of beef, potato and onion was quite enough. And the runny yolk on the egg is amazing mixed in! Enjoy 🙂