Way back in the day before the PC-mongerers got their hands on school tuck shops and healthified them, one of the highlights of my secondary school was the occasional appearance at the tuck shop of "Chocolate Crunch". As we poured out of another boring lesson in a miserable classroom on a freezing winter day, the aroma of this yummy chocolate traybake, still warm from the oven, was enough to lift the spirits of a gaggle of not-easily-impressed teenage girls.
And so in my last days at sixth form I pled with the long-suffering dinner ladies to share with me the recipe of this divine food - and they took pity on me and shared it (scaled down because I really don't need to make the quantities that they made for an entire secondary school)! Over twenty years later I am going to share it with you - because quite simply it is almost insultingly easy to make - one of our most regular bakes if we have someone coming over or just fancy a snack and have nothing handy.
My boys call them Brownies, although they are actually nowhere near as rich as brownies. I call them Chocolate Crunch as that is what the dinner ladies called them all those years ago, although they are not very crunchy. Whatever you call them, they're just easy - and yummy. Enjoy!
270g butter/ margarine
225g granulated sugar
30g cocoa powder
370g self raising flour
1 small egg
few drops of vanilla essence
1/ Grease and line a tray-bake tin (mine is 18 x 28 cm)
2/ Heat oven to 180C
3/ Heat butter with vanilla essence until just melted (do not boil)
4/ In small glass, beat egg
5/ In separate bowl. mix flour, sugar and cocoa
6/ Add melted fat to flour mixture and stir
7/ Add beaten egg and stir until fully mixed in
8/ Press mixture into prepared tin
9/ Bake for 15-20 minutes.
10/ Cool in tin, and cut into bars before turning out
The aroma may not transport you, as it does me, back to frizzy eighties hairdos and pink & white striped uniforms (yes, really), but you've got to admit, they smell and taste g-o-o-d!