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.
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!
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
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
- 300g Plain Flour
- 300g Granulated Sugar
- 80g Cocoa Powder
- 150g Butter (Vegan butter works great too!)
- Preheat oven to 180C
- Mix the flour, sugar and cocoa in a large mixing bowl
- Melt the butter until runny (either in microwave or in a pan)
- Pour the melted butter into the flour mixture and mix to a crumble
- Butter a deep-sided tin, then tip the crumble mixture into it
- Use your hands or a spatula to press the crumble down to form a flat, dense cake
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with more granulated sugar
- Allow to cool for 1 minute if you like them warm and soft, otherwise allow to fully cool for a 'crunch'
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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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’.