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Chocolate Crunch

by Helen
Chocolate Crunch Recipe

This has been my go-to chocolate crunch for over ten years now. Eating hot chocolate crunches on my school break time is probably my fondest memory of high school. A couple of years after high school I started to really miss and crave the snack, thinking about sneaking into the school canteen to acquire a tray full. 

Then, a friend of mine who still attended college at the school asked a dinner lady for the recipe – and she gave it! I have adjusted this recipe since to make it a (tiny bit) healthier/lighter, and a bit richer in the chocolate flavour.ย 

I’ve always been a choc-a-holic. This is the best chocolate crunch recipe because it is a) very chocolatey, and b) very crunchy!

Chocolate Crunch Recipe

If you’ve not had a chocolate crunch before (where have you been?!) they’re a classic, English school dessert. A chocolate, tray bake made with very ‘short’ ingredients which sets to a hard, crunchy brownie like cake. There’s lots of texture to a chocolate crunch (also known as a chocolate concrete cake) and they’re super moorish.

There’s two ways to eat these – either immediately whilst they’re hot, when they’re soft and the main texture comes from the granulated sugar. Or cold, and crunchy – which is my preference!

Are chocolate crunches the same as chocolate concrete cake?

Yes! They are – in my school they were called chocolate crunches and served hot at 10:30am. I know other schools called them chocolate concrete cakes and served them with custard – i’ve never had them this way, but hear its amazing!

How to make chocolate crunches soft?

By their very nature, chocolate crunches are crunchy – but, your school may have served them super soft too (as mine sometimes did). When they were soft, the napkin used to pick them up was also saturated in grease – because of the high butter content!

The recipe below is for a short, crunchy chocolate crunch, but if you’d like yours to be soft add some more butter and eat them warm!

Step-by-step Chocolate Crunch / Chocolate Concrete Recipe

Scroll down for recipe card and ingredient list 

1. Make sure you have all the ingredients needed (list at the bottom of this post) and preheat your oven to 180C

2. To a large mixing bowl, add the cocoa, flour and sugar

3. Stir, using a fork or whisk

4. Stir until all ingredients are fully combined and you have a light brown mixture

5. To a pan add the butter (or if you prefer, you can microwave it)

6. Heat until melted through 

7. Then add the melted butter to the dry mixture

8. Stir 

9. And mix until fully combined – this could take a couple of minutes. 

10. Once fully mixed you’ll have a dry mixture which forms together 

11. Butter your baking tray (this will make it easier to get the chocolate crunch out of the pan)

12. Tip the mixture into the buttered tray 

13. Spread out until it’s in an even layer 

15. Then squash the mixture down to compress it – I do this by using my hand inside a sandwich bag but you could chose to flatten with a heavy object instead 

16. Once flattened it should look like this; the crumbs should form one solid piece. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes on 180C and once cooked, sprinkle with additional sugar 

Yield: 12

Chocolate Crunch Recipe

Chocolate Crunch Recipe

An easy to follow recipe for the school lunch classic: chocolate crunch. Sprinkled generously with granulated sugar - yum!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 300g Plain Flour
  • 300g Granulated Sugar
  • 80g Cocoa Powder
  • 150g Butter (Vegan butter works great too!)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180C 
  2. Mix the flour, sugar and cocoa in a large mixing bowl
  3. Melt the butter until runny (either in microwave or in a pan)
  4. Pour the melted butter into the flour mixture and mix to a crumble
  5. Butter a deep-sided tin, then tip the crumble mixture into it 
  6. Use your hands or a spatula to press the crumble down to form a flat, dense cake
  7. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes
  8. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with more granulated sugar
  9. Allow to cool for 1 minute if you like them warm and soft, otherwise allow to fully cool for a 'crunch' 

Notes

If you'd like your chocolate crunch to be softer than this, add more butter - i'm not 100% sure how much, but you really can't go wrong with this recipe. Or, eat is when its really warm. I'd advise against putting the chocolate crunch in the fridge as it will go solid - leave in a sealed concealer at room temperature if you plan on eating these over a few days.

Nutritional values calculated using VeryWellFit and are based on 12 servings.

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Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Amount Per Serving Calories 289Total Fat 11.3gSaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 27mgSodium 74mgCarbohydrates 47.8gFiber 2.7gSugar 25.2gProtein 3.9g

I wonder if these are still served in schools? I seem to imagine everything is a touch healthier now, with granola bars and fresh fruit. This recipe can easily be made vegan too, by using a vegan ‘butter’.

Chocolate Crunch Recipe

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22 comments

Richard 23rd February 2020 - 9:23 am

Just made a chocolate concrete to your instructions it was amazing, thank you

Reply
Kate 5th April 2020 - 6:11 pm

Lush but do you remember it was served with mock cream

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Helen R 5th April 2020 - 10:13 pm

Unfortunately at my school, it was just served alone… picked up by a napkin and eaten just plain! I’m definitely going to try it with custard or cream next time I make them though Kate!

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Tony 8th April 2020 - 6:47 pm

Hi, I was looking at making this, but have no cocoa powder, would drinking chocolate work? If your not sure, I’ll try it and let you all know ๐Ÿ˜‚

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Helen R 12th April 2020 - 9:52 am

Sorry for the late reply – how was it Tony?

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Donna Tonks 1st May 2020 - 4:06 pm

Ours was always served with pink custard !

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Hint of Helen 2nd May 2020 - 8:55 am

I’ve NEVER had pink custard but heard this before too – must give it a try!

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Sue Howat 12th June 2020 - 5:29 am

Hi Helen. Absolutely love the taste of this! But mine is very crumbly. What I have I put too much of in or not enough of?! Thanks.

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Helen 12th June 2020 - 2:33 pm

Hi Sue ๐Ÿ™‚ so glad you enjoyed it! Add a little bit more butter next time if you want it less crumbly (it depends on the type of butter/marg used sometimes) x

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Debbie 23rd May 2020 - 8:29 pm

Thanks Helen nice easy recipe to cook and yummy

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Clare Baines 25th May 2020 - 11:20 pm

Was delish I absolutely loved this at school!!! It was a lockdown recipe for us :))

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Susan 26th May 2020 - 9:30 pm

My daughters loved Chocolate Crunch & Chocolate Custard they had at school, that was a very very long time ago. Whilst they now bring me my groceries to the door during lockdown and I have to stay home, making this for them will be a good thank you to them. Thanks for the recipe.

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Jan 13th June 2020 - 12:10 pm

Just tried your recipe took me right back to my childhood taste delicious. Very quick and easy to make.

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Jean 16th June 2020 - 6:25 am

How do I convert 300 mls into grams

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Hint of Helen 16th June 2020 - 7:36 am

Hi Jean, 300ml is 300grams ๐Ÿ™‚

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Jeannie Jones 16th June 2020 - 6:26 am

Mine came out like a solid brick to hard to enjoy what am I doing wrong

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Hint of Helen 16th June 2020 - 7:41 am

Oh no, I’m sorry to hear Jeannie! There’s 2 things you can do to make it ‘softer’ next time – 1) Cook it for slightly less time (When it comes out of the oven it’ll be hot so, still ‘soft’ but will firm up as it cools – so, cook it to the timing or slightly less if your oven cooks things quicker. 2) It also depends on the type of butter you used, if it was a hard/firm block, once the chocolate crunch sets it’ll have the same quality, I tend to use a softer ‘easy spread’ type for this recipe most often – hope this helps and maybe you could salvage your ‘solid’ choc crunch’s in the microwave maybe? (wrap in a paper towel and micro for 5 seconds, see then maybe another 5 seconds? Eat instantly – whilst soft – with a scoop of ice cream? Fingers crossed Jeannie! Helen x

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Arianna 29th June 2020 - 6:19 pm

Just tried this recipe! Takes me back…itโ€™s just like it was at my school. Where did you all go to school- didnโ€™t know whether this was a northern thing?

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Judy 11th July 2020 - 11:09 am

Okay so Iโ€™ve made these so many times from various recipes. I must say this has got to be the best and tastes just as I remembered from my school days. Mine are soft centred and crunchy outside. They are just perfect…. thanks

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Hint of Helen 17th July 2020 - 1:42 pm

So happy to hear you enjoyed them Judy ๐Ÿ˜€

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Mary 27th July 2020 - 8:24 pm

Hi Helen thank you for the recipe. Iโ€™m looking forward to making it. I remember it being so crunchy at school that when you put your fork into it it sometimes shot out of your bowl. It was always served with green mint custard. Delicious.

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Hint of Helen 30th July 2020 - 7:04 pm

Hope you enjoyed the recipe Mary! Haha yes, choc crunch + forks don’t work so well ๐Ÿ˜€

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