Retro Recipe: Chocolate Cake with Minty Green Custard

Ever since I served up a giant helping of school dinner style chocolate cake with chocolate custard to my family last year, I’ve been itching to make a version of that which many people who went to primary school in the 1980’s will remember fondly – chocolate cake with minty green custard. It’s a similar recipe, but the custard is green and flavoured with peppermint. 

If you didn’t go to primary school in the 1980’s, then this pudding may be a bit alarming to look at. I make no apologies for that. The version I remember was a slightly less vibrant shade of green, but this slightly too green version appealed to my son, who said it looked like a Minecraft block. I will take that as the compliment it was clearly intended to be.

Retro Recipe: Chocolate Cake with Minty Green Custard

Chocolate Cake with Minty Green 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 custard
1 pint of milk
3 tablespoons of cornflour
3 tablespoons of sugar
Green food colouring
Peppermint essence

Retro Recipe: Chocolate Cake with Minty Green Custard

How to make your Chocolate Cake with Minty Green 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…

To make the custard, mix the cornflour, sugar and a dash or two of the milk and mix it together to make a smooth paste. Add more milk if you need to.

In the meantime, put the remaining milk in a pan and heat until it is almost at boiling point. Once it’s almost boiling, remove the pan from the heat and pout the hot milk into the bowl with the cornflour paste, keep whisking until it dissolves and there are no lumps.

Adding the paste to the milk instead of the powder should mean you don’t get a lumpy custard!

Pour the milk back into the pan and return to the heat, stirring continuously until thickens and the custard reaches almost boiling point again. Once it’s thickened and smooth, turn the heat off.

Now for the exciting bit, cautiously add a few drops of the green food colouring, whisk the colouring through and add more if you want until you get to your desired shade of green. Traditionally it’s a fairly pale but distinctively green shade, but you can go darker if you dare!

Similarly it’s time to add some of your peppermint essence. I urge caution at this stage, add a few drops at a time, whisk through and taste as you go. Too minty and it’ll taste like toothpaste, but a few drops is probably all you need.

To serve, cut your cake into handsome squares (warm or cold, your choice), and generously top with your minty green custard. Guaranteed clean plates all round.

Retro Recipe: Chocolate Cake with Minty Green Custard

If you enjoyed this, you might also like my recipe for school dinner style cornflake pie.

Retro Recipe: Chocolate Cake with Minty Green Custard