Who remembers chocolate toothpaste or should I say does anyone remember this teeth cloying dessert that I still think of with a beaming smile? I grew up in Bedford known as ‘little Italy’ and this chocolate toothpaste tart is very much known as a classic Bedfordian school pudding. Now before we begin the toothpaste does not reference mint at all so please fear not!

I run a delicious food group on Facebook called ‘Friends and Flavours from Carmela’s Kitchen’ and we talk about all manner of food and drink matters from the past to the present day. I recently posted a photo of my simple jelly which contained tinned mandarin segments. Well this in itself started a flurry of excitement, discussion and yes of course memories from days gone by. Carmela do you serve your jelly with condensed milk or evaporated milk? I remember this, gosh I haven’t had it for years, thanks for sharing this Carmela! The list goes on and on and this is what I just love when we reference food to memories. Sharing of a simple teatime classic. My mum would always make lime jelly with tinned fruit cocktail, this is still a massive love of mine. It was made and served straight from the fridge in a small pyrex floral dish. Jelly and tip top trifle from a box were my favourites. You could keep your posh Sara Lee desserts (apart from the black forest gateau as regardless of the decade I could still manage to almost eat the gateau in its entirety!)

Think back to your favourite school pudding for a moment. Was it sponge and pink custard, cornflake tart (yum) or rice pudding with a blob of jam that you would whip up into a frenzy before burning your top lip and warming your tummy. I know how much thankfully school dinners and desserts have changed but I’m forever thankfully to have the recipe for the cloying yet claggy and moreish chocolate toothpaste tart in my forever recipe box. I’m now sharing this with you. But please when ready and prior to serving it is essential that the tart is cut into squares with a whirl of squirty cream proudly sat on-top, this is the only way I am able to eat it as this is how it was served to me at St Gregory’s Roman Catholic School in Bedford! Enjoy.


Original recipe, method and measure.


Chocolate toothpaste

Shortcrust pastry:

1 ½ Ib Plain flour  (I like to use 00 flour)

6oz Margarine

6oz Lard

Pinch of Salt

1 tbsp. Water


5oz margarine

10oz sugar

2oz cocoa

15oz powder milk

¼ pint warm water



  • Make the pastry and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  • Line a tin with the pastry.
  • Preheat the oven 400F
  • Blind bake the tart case for 20 minutes.
  • Cream the fat and sugar for the filling.
  • Add cocoa gradually and stir.
  • Add the dry milk powder and water alternately until the mixture is the consistency of whipped cream.
  • Spoon the filling into the cool pastry case and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Cut and serve with squirty cream.