Liam’s muddier than muddy pie is as delicious to eat as it is gruesome to look at, with a chocolate biscuit crumb and layers of chocolate ganache and fluffy Swiss meringue, topped off with lifelike jelly worms and crunchy chocolate soil.
To make the jelly worms, secure the plastic straws together with two elastic bands, then place into the tall container so that they are standing up. The bendy heads should be at the bottom of the container.
Cut the strawberry jelly block into cubes then add to a small saucepan with the water. Heat gently until the jelly melts, then transfer to a jug and sit in the single cream. Pour all the jelly into the straws and then chill in the freezer to set. Some of the jelly will leak from the bottom of the straws.
To make the biscuit base, in a food processor blitz the biscuits and cocoa powder to a fine crumb. If doing by hand, add the biscuits to a plastic bag with the cocoa powder, then break apart using a rolling pin.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then add the chocolate crumbs and the salt, and combine.
Press the mixture into the tart tin, ensuring that the crumbs are well pressed into the sides. Transfer to the fridge to set.
To make the chocolate soil, place the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and water over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Turn the heat to high and boil until the temperature reaches 130°C/266°F. Immediately pour the sugar mixture over the chocolate chips and whisk, taking care not to flick any of the hot mixture onto yourself. The chocolate should dissolve then seize creating a crumbly texture. Transfer to a shallow container to cool.
To make the chocolate ganache, heat the cream in a saucepan until just below boiling point, then pour over the dark chocolate. Add the vanilla extract and stir until you have a smooth, shiny ganache. Pour into the chilled tart case, then transfer to the fridge to set.
To make the Swiss meringue, whisk together the egg whites, sugar and vanilla extract in a large, heatproof bowl. Set over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure that the base of the bowl is not touching the water.
Whisk continuously until the sugar has dissolved, the mixture reaches 60°C/140°F and you have a thick, glossy meringue.
Remove the pie from the fridge and gently remove from the tin then transfer to your serving dish.
Top with the Swiss meringue, using a palette knife or the back of a spoon to create swirls and peaks.
Sprinkle over the chocolate soil.
Pull the straws out of the container, take off the elastic bands and break the straws apart. Squeeze out the worms and arrange on top of your mud pie.