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Cooks' Forum



school puddings

Thread Starter: YSL.    Started: Wed 02 Apr 2003    Replies: 32

Hi all!

Can anyone remember chocolate concrete from their schooldays? It was traditionally served with pink custard. Better still, has anyone actually got a recipe for it? I remember my school ones being all crisp on the outside, yet still gooey in the centre. *licks lips*

Can anyone help at all?

 Latest Posts

Wed 2 Apr 2003, 5.42PM


Hi Yen San, if you look back over the postings (about two weeks ago) there was a similar question asked about chocolate concrete pud - the answer may be there. I remember it well and it was yummy!

Wed 2 Apr 2003, 8.14PM


Thanks LynneF!

The recipe for chocolate tiffin isn't what I remember though. This one has crushed biscuits and syrup. I seem to remember it's just cocoa, butter and self raising flour mixed to a paste-like mixture. then sprinkled with water over the top... Just cannae remember the measurements!

Sat 5 Apr 2003, 11.29AM


chocolate concrete? oh i remember, that square of chocolate sort of hard muffin? they are still serving it, best dessert in school (only without the pink custard!)

Sat 5 Apr 2003, 12.27PM


Hi Yen San,

The old Concrete Chocolate Pudding was the highlight of school dinners for the week, and the pink custard............yummmy.

Sat 5 Apr 2003, 2.35PM


Steve ask the cooks for the recipe?? so that you can put people out of their misery

Sat 5 Apr 2003, 3.25PM


Oh, yummy! We used to have chocolate sponge with white sauce. The sponge served up for us though was not hard at all: it was deliciously soft & gooey cake. I also used to love anything with custard, or just custard! There was always thick skin on top that no-one else wanted. It was mine, all mine! Loved it! I also loved all the milk puddings...including "frogspawn"! Looking back, our school meals were pretty good, even though when we said grace with the headmaster before eating, our mumbled version was, "For what we are about to receive, the pigs have just refused. Amen!"

Sat 5 Apr 2003, 4.29PM


ooohhh!!!!! dont get me started on chocolate muffins i have @ school some days!!!!!!!! lovely, im gonna need to ask the dinnerladies 4 the recipe!

Sat 5 Apr 2003, 5.18PM


I used to love school dinners even the liver with mushy peas and mash and spam fritters and a lovely lime mousse well it was green anyway. If you do a google search for school dinner recipes some caterers provide the recipes for you

Tue 8 Apr 2003, 1.10PM


I can remember a chocolate sponge with custard (and sometimes the custard WAS pink and tasted of some fruit) but it wan't particularly hard.

But that got me thinking about the other school dinners and features thereof (not thought about these for years):

- sponge with icing on it (my favourite)

- sponge that tasted like it had chillies in it (I think it was ginger) - I hated that one

- doughnut with jam on it (so-so)

- semolina with a dollop of jam (made me feel sick to see people stirring the jam in - why do kids always mess with their food?)

- Rice Pudding with a dollop of jam (the rice grains were the size of a decent marble - not like the stuff my mum used to get out of a tin)

- that dark green wad of cabbage you used to get with the roast beef/pork and potatoes

- the roast potatoes (picked straight from the stone quarry)

- that horrible grey slab of liver you used to get with mashed potato (you could see all the blood vessel tubes in it. Ugh).

- That perfectly spherical dollop of mashed potato with the lumps in it (from whence came my lifelong hatred of anything 'mashed')

- The tea or weak coffee you used to drink out of glass tumblers (not sure if this was just my school, though)

- those brushed aluminium jugs (red, orange, green, blue) they used to serve water out of (may also have been localised)

Tue 8 Apr 2003, 1.50PM


Hi Sualdam, gosh that takes me back - I remember chocolate concrete and the pink custard - yuck (hated it!!!!!!!), semolina - another yuck (looked just like frogspawn), also the "mashed" potatoes (still don't like mashed potatoes now, although I do like mashed swede or parsnip - must be something about the dollop of the potatoes!!!!!!!).

We also had the brushed aluminium jugs, but not the weak tea/coffee, instead we had warm milk in the summer (not deliberately - it was never kept cold) and cold milk in the winter - if we were really lucky it came with frozen bits in it !!!!!! Can't drink milk by itself to this day after having to have it at School.

Happy days????????? Not as far as School dinnners and milk were concerned. :-)

Tue 8 Apr 2003, 4.03PM


Frozen bits in the milk?

Ahh, that reminds me of when we used to get the little half bottle of milk with a straw. Sometimes the top half inch was a plug of ice if the crate had been sitting outside.

And you are right: summer milk was yuk! It always seemed nearly 'off'.

We used to get in trouble if we tried to drink it without the straw.

And thinking of milk, whatever happened to the Blue xxxxxx who used to peck through the foil? We still have loads of Blue xxxxxx around but they have definitely gone off milk.

Maybe they know something we don't... :-)

Tue 8 Apr 2003, 4.30PM


Hello I have emailed the school catering service in our area and they have promised to try to find the recipe for chocolate concrete that was served in the years before health conscious meals. So watch this space

Wed 9 Apr 2003, 11.06PM



Thanks very much karen!

I never got semolina when I was at school.. I remember this horrid thing that was a pastry base, a layer of jam, then it was topped with dessicated coconut and strips of more pastry in a criss-cross pattern. I hated it so much that I wasn't allowed to go and play outside because I refused to eat it. Heh, would you say that I was traumatised by that experience as a child? :p

Thu 10 Apr 2003, 10.48AM


Oh my goodness.....we used to also get given that coconut/jam sandwich affair. I loathed it too!! Didn't like dessicated coconut then, & I don't like it now. It was always served with custard at our school, so I just had the custard (gloriously lumpy with thick skin on top. Yum, yum!!)

Wed 16 Apr 2003, 4.00PM


i have just been emailed this recipe from the local school caterers I hope this is what you are looking for. Remember this amount will feed up to 100 kids
Dear Karen,

I am writing to you regarding your recent enquiry about Chocolate Concrete.
I have found the following recipe which I hope helps you to reminice!

Please note that the quantities are for 80-100 children, so you may have to
scale down the ingredients!

*****Chocolate Crunch*****
* Ingredients
Margarine (hard) = 1.2 kilo
Granulated sugar = 1.2 kilo
Cocoa powder = 225 gram
Eggs = 11
Plain Flour = 1.575 kilo
Wholemeal flour = 0.6 kilo
Vanilla essence = 10 ml
Granulated sugar = 0.28 kilo

* Method
Grease 5 tart tins.
Light oven gas reg 3/ or 325 farenheit.

1. Melt fat in a thick bottomed saucepan.
2. Add the fat to the 1.2 kilo of sugar, cocoa, flour and essence, then mix
in the beaten eggs.
3. Divide the mixture equally between the tart tins and press down well.
4. Brush tops with water and sprinkle with 280g sugar.
5. Bake for 25 minuted approximately until sugar on tops looks crunchy.
6. Remove from oven. Divipde each tart tin into 20 portions whilst still

I hope this is the one, happy baking!

Jo Young
Marketing Administration Assistant
Initial Catering Services

Wed 16 Apr 2003, 4.30PM


I feel like I missed out.Lunch at my school was no way near as interesting as you guys had it. My school served chips and sanwiches for lunch and pudding was a lukewarm forest fruit yoghurt, no pink custard or warm milk. I do remember getting milk in junior school though, being chosen as milk monitor was once of my geatest achivements!

Wed 16 Apr 2003, 7.11PM


Sharne you are probably not as old as us we didn't have a choice the meal was put in front of you and you had to eat it even if it was liver mash and mushy peas. But you tend to forget the bad meals and hanker after the ones you liked

Wed 16 Apr 2003, 11.31PM



Thank you EVER so much karen! I must admit, I'm still laughing at the thought of having to grease FIVE tart tins.. And then dividing each tin into 20 portions! SUPERB!

I shall make it this weekend (on a much smaller scale) and let you all know how I got on Smile

Thu 17 Apr 2003, 9.36AM


YSL make up the whole amount and then you can send some on to us LOL
If you do manage to cut down the ingredients to a suitable portion can you let us know the revised amounts. Thanks

Sat 19 Apr 2003, 4.33PM


I don't remember this one. My most vivid memories of our school dinners are of a birdsnest of fish bones that used to be called fish and was served every Friday. This pudding sounds good. I'll be watching for a good recipe.

Sat 19 Apr 2003, 11.13PM


Just going back to the yummy chocolate pud, we had chocolate custard with ours! IT WAS GORGEOUS! Especially if you mixed it up into a sort of mush! We also had a wierd chocolate topped, orange jelly with pastry base 'thing'. That was disgusting ....... almost as bad as semolina!

Mon 21 Apr 2003, 11.40AM


Hi all!

Just quickly want to say that I made a chocolate concrete yesterday and it was fine - crunchy on the outside but still quite gooey in the centre :D I'll post the recipe later Smile

Mon 21 Apr 2003, 12.44PM


Hello Ysl can't wait for the revised recipe glad you enjoyed it.

Mon 21 Apr 2003, 7.11PM


Right, I managed to find an old recipe I was given a few years ago over the weekend too. But I seemed to remember that it was very hard (very much concrete!). The ones I had at school were crisp on the outside, but quite gooey in the centre. So I combined the two recipes Smile


300g margarine (melted)
300g granulated sugar
50g cocoa powder
300g self raising flour
100g plain flour
2 eggs (beaten)
1 tbsp vanilla essence (optional)
Extra granulated sugar for topping

Preheat the oven to GM3

Grease tin and set aside.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Add melted margarine and vanilla essence (if using) until mixture resembles a paste.
Add beaten eggs and mix again.
Place in well greaased 1 inch baking tray, and spread out to equal density throughout mixture.
Slightly score top of mixture with back of fork, sprinkle top with cold water and sprinkle over the extra sugar.
Bake on shelf about half way in oven for about an 60-75mins. For best results, check after 45mins.
When cooked, cut into shape whilst still warm.


Note: I baked mines just below the middle of the oven for an hour and it was still slightly gooey and possibly undercooked in the centre. However, there were no complaints from my family Smile Also, I used a tin that was 12x10 and just patted out the mixture to fill the tin.

Mon 21 Apr 2003, 8.30PM


ive to try that recipe,can anyone remember "gypsy tart"it had a pastry base and a topping that tasted like toffee.