I think I sometimes look back on school dinners with misty eyes. I’m not sure my memory of them being the highlight of my school day is always accurate. In reality I think we remember the highlights more than the low points. I don’t think many people look back with much fondness at bowls of rice pudding and prunes; it’s more the thought of cornflake tart and chocolate cake with chocolate custard which bring back the good memories.
I’m not sure modern day school dinners are based on quite so much stodge, but sometimes stodge is good and you need a comforting hot pudding and custard. I’m usually a packet custard kind of girl, but this chocolate custard recipe is really simple and it works so well with the chocolate cake.
When I shared my photo of this chocolate cake with chocolate custard on Facebook, there were many people saying it needed to be green, mint flavoured custard, or even pink strawberry custard. I think all schools were different, mine did chocolate crunch and mint custard, something I might make at some point soon.
Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Custard
250g baking margarine or unsalted butter
250g golden caster sugar
4 medium eggs, beaten
250g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
50g dark chocolate chips or dark chocolate, grated
1 tsp vanilla extract
100mls milk, warmed slightly
For the chocolate custard
300ml whole milk
300ml double cream
4 large egg yolks
3 tbsp golden caster sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp cornflour
How to make your Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Custard
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease and line a square 20cm cake or brownie tin with baking paper.
Beat the butter and sugar together until soft, light and fluffy; I use an electric hand mixer for this, but a wooden spoon or a stand mixer work just as well.
Add the eggs one by one, beat well after adding each egg. Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa into the mixing bowl and mix well, once combined, add the chocolate chips or grated chocolate and stir through.
Add the vanilla extract and enough of the warm milk to create a smooth mixture with a dropping consistency. Pour into the tin and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Once baked, pull it out of the oven and leave to cool a little on a baking tray. This cake is good served warm or cold.
To make the custard, heat the milk and cream together in a saucepan until it is almost boiling, stir often. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl with the sugar, cocoa and cornflour, then carefully and gradually pour the hot milk and cream over the top. This bit is really important as you don’t want the hot milk to scramble the eggs, so make sure you whisk it really well and add the hot milk gradually. Whisk well, then return to the pan.
Cook the mixture over a low-ish heat, stirring constantly until it forms a custard that thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon.
To serve, cut into 8 equal squares and serve warm with the chocolate custard poured over the top. School uniform optional!