Worrall Thompson's Snickers pie condemned as a health hazard

It is a dessert so lethal that food experts have issued a health warning on the perils of eating even a slice, which is equivalent to more than half a day's calorific limit for an adult.

The Snickers pie, invented as a treat for children by the celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson, became a favourite after featuring in his Saturday Kitchen television. The recipe, combining five Snickers bars with mascarpone, eggs, sugar, soft cheese and puff pastry, can be found on the BBC's website. But the dish has earned censure from the Food Commission, which is concerned at the damage it could wreak on the weak-willed.

According to the independent food watchdog, the pudding is "one of the most unhealthy recipes ever published". The condemnation is made in the current issue of Food magazine, published by the commission.

A single slice of the pie contains more than 1,250 calories. Each serving contains the equivalent of 22 teaspoons of fat and 11 teaspoons of sugar, the commission warned.

Worrall Thompson has himself published a book on the rewards of healthy eating after almost dying from a condition linked to an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. According to the Food magazine article: "Professional chefs know... that customers often put taste before health when ordering dishes in restaurants.

"Salt, sugar and fats are used in copious quantities to ensure that diners get their taste-buds tickled."

"We love a decent dessert as much as anyone, but this has to be one of the most unhealthy recipes ever published."

Worrall Thompson yesterday insisted the recipe had only been intended as a special treat for children and was designed to make them feel they were being "looked after".

"Obviously this goes straight on the hips and is not for regular use," he said. "We are not encouraging people to do this all the time. My message is don't exclude any food groups. We try to tell everyone to eat in moderation.

"On Saturday mornings, we attract children to the programme and... you have to make them feel... they are being looked after as well as the health police.

"Kids have to be allowed to be kids from time to time," he said.

Other lethal desserts

* Imposter tiramisu

A calorie-laden variation on the Italian dessert made of macaroons, heavy cream and chocolate, which provides 617 calories per serving and 36 grams of fat.

* Brandy pecan pie

An American creation which consists of butter, brandy, and pecan nuts, and a calorific value of 591 per portion.

* Banoffi fudge pudding A high-cholesterol pudding made of rich shortcrust pastry, double cream, bananas and coconut. This dessert featured in an "Ignore the Calories" recipe competition in Guernsey in January this year.