Do you remember those school desserts we all loved as children? We’ve got recipes for five of our favourites for you to indulge in …
Nothing takes you down memory lane quite like the flavours on your plate. Whether it’s a recipe for your granny’s homemade bakes, your great grandad’s soup recipe, or your mum’s home cooking, food is at the heart of memories.
And school dinners are some of the most memorable dishes of our childhood, most notably the sweet desserts.
From chocolate sponge covered in chocolate custard to the sprinkled delights of a vanilla sponge traybake, not to mention tapioca, semolina and a butterscotch tart, we’re taking a trip down memory lane to uncover some of the old, but never forgotten recipes of our childhood school dinner desserts.
Sponge with sprinkles
(Serves around 20 squares)
- 350g plain flour
- 330g sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tbsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 200g softened butter, room temperature
- 3 large eggs
- 180ml milk, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla paste or vanilla extract
For the icing and decoration
- 480g icing sugar, sifted
- A small cup of water, to thin the icing
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Hundreds and thousands sprinkles
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F and line a brownie tin with baking paper.
- Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, milk, vanilla extract and butter.
- Beat the mix on a low setting until the ingredients combine. This can be increased to a high speed around a minute after to mix the batter together until it is completely smooth.
- Pour the mix into the lined baking tray and smooth off the top with the back of a wooden spoon or spatula.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the cake is golden. When checking the bake put your skewer or knife into the middle – if it comes out clean it is ready.
- Let the cake cool and then tip upside down and place on a cooling rack.
- Now it is time to make the icing to go on top of the cake. Mix the icing sugar with a few teaspoonfuls of water to make it into a thick glaze – note it must be able to be poured.
- Pour the icing all over the cake making sure you cover it all. Decorate with the sprinkles and leave to set before cutting into squares/slices.
(Serves 4-6 depending on portion size)
- 113g small pearl tapioca
- 711mls whole milk
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 64g cup of sugar
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- Firstly, cook the tapioca by adding the tapioca, milk and salt to a large saucepan, bringing it to a simmer. Cook on a low heat and add the sugar gradually as the tapioca pearls begin to plump up – stir occasionally to ensure it doesn’t stick. It is bet to buy pre-soaked tapioca to reduce cooking time. Please see individual tapioca pearl instructions on the packet
- Once cooked, temper the eggs with a little hot tapioca by beating them in a bowl and adding some of the cooked tapioca – do this slowly to stop it curdling.
- Beat eggs in a separate bowl. Whisk in some of the hot tapioca very slowly to equalise the temperature of the two mixtures (to avoid curdling).
- Add the egg mix to the saucepan of tapioca and put up to a medium heat. Stir the mixture, not allowing it to boil, until it is thick again. Add in the vanilla and leave to cool.
- Reheat if you’d like to enjoy it warm, or serve cold.
(Serves 6-8 depending on portion size)
- 1 Shortcrust pastry tart
- 4 tbsp plain flour
- 6 tbsp full fat milk
- 180g unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp full fat milk
- 180 grams (1 cup) Soft Light Brown Sugar
- In a saucepan over a low heat, melt the butter and add the milk.
- Once melted, stir in the sugar and stir on a low heat until it has dissolved
- Put the flour in a bowl and add the milk, mixing it into a paste.
- Pour the paste into a pan while whisking it until it is thickened.
- Take it off heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Pour the mixture into the tart case and spread it out evenly.
- Pop in the fridge for a few hours (around four) and once it is set, enjoy!
- 500ml cold milk
- 4 tbsp fine semolina
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 pinches of salt
- 2 knobs of butter
- Topping ideas: fruit, jam, nuts, nut butter or cinnamon
- Add the milk, semolina, sugar and salt into a small saucepan on a medium heat. Bring the mix to the boil, whisking to avoid any lumps occurring.
- When the mix is close to boiling, lower the heat and cook for 2-3 minutes, continuing to stir it. Take it off the hear and let it stand for 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the butter and stir.
- Plate up and top with toppings of your choice.
Chocolate sponge with chocolate custard
- 250g unsalted butter at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
- 225g golden caster sugar
- 50g soft dark brown sugar
- 4 medium free-range eggs, beaten
- 250g self-raising flour, sifted
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp dark cocoa powder, sifted
- 50g dark chocolate, grated
- 125ml warm whole milk
- 300ml whole milk
- 300ml double cream
- 6 medium egg yolks
- 3 tbsp golden caster sugar
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/gas mark 4. and grease and line a square cake or brownie tin (20cm).
- Beat the butter with an electric hand mixer in a large bowl until soft and then add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one by one and beat well. Add in the sifted flour, cocoa and baking powder, then carefully fold the mix together with the chocolate.
- Add in the warm milk slowly to create a smooth mixture. Pour into the tin and bake for 45-50 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the custard.
- Heat the milk and cream together until almost boiling. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl with the sugar, cocoa and cornflour and vanilla extract and then pour the hot milk and cream in. Whisk thoroughly and pour into a new pan.
- Cook over a low to medium heat, stirring well, until it forms a thick custard. Once made, set aside.
- Turn out the sponge and cut into equal squares – six or eight, depending on slice size and serve with the chocolate custard poured over.