Concrete cake isn’t something that I was aware of but my daughters were talking about a pudding they’d been given a school that was a kind of mix between a biscuit, cake and brownie with a sugary top that was often served with custard. After much research it seems this concoction is called a concrete or brick cake and is a school staple all over the land. It seems to have many nostalgic connotations for people, transporting them straight back to the dinner hall and this was one of the more popular puddings on offer.
Well I obviously had to make a friendly version – some recipes contained egg, some just butter and some a combo of butter/margarine and egg. I found most of the recipes made the mixture too dry and baked it for far too long – honestly we wanted a lovely cakey biscuity affair, not a burnt crisp!
I have to say, for a recipe with four cheap ingredients and no technique required it tasted pretty good. Well worth having in your repertoire for when the larder is virtually empty.
I can see why it’s such a popular pudding – it hits all the right notes of chocolate and sugar to be a hit with any age group, plus it’s cheap as chips to make en masse. Since you don’t need any particular rise and the texture is fairly biscuit-like this recipe would easily be made gluten-free with a gluten-free flour blend, pinch of xanthan gum and 1 tsp dairy-free milk.
As we’re nearing Halloween we had to get a bit spooky, so I’ve made my concrete cake rectangles into mummies with thick water icing bandages and some spooky eyes. I think these might be a great hit for Halloween – maybe even with an extra addition of some dark red ‘blood’ custard!!
School Pudding Concrete Cake
- 17cmx23cm baking tray
- 100 g self-raising flour
- 25 g cocoa powder
- 100 g caster sugar
- 60 g dairy-free butter or margarine
- 2 tbsp caster or granulated sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Centigrade fan
- Line the baking tray with parchment
- Pour the flour and cocoa into a large bowl and whisk to aerate the flour (this will make the resulting cakes lighter)
- Stir in the sugar
- Melt the butter and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix well until all the flour and cocoa is damp
- Press firmly into the lined baking sheet, compressing as much as you can with the back of a spoon.
- Brush lightly with water and sprinkle over the remaining 2 tbsp sugar
- Bake for 22 minutes until a knife comes out clean.
- Cool in the tin and then cut into neat rectangles