Friday, August 16, 2013

Fair trade - Big Fair Bake

I just received all of these gorgeous goodies above from the lovely folks at Fairtrade NZ so I can test drive all this yummy goodness in preparation for the Big Fair Bake (details at - there's heaps of prizes to be won) 

I have been given a super yummy recipe for Deliciously Dark Chocolate Cake. If you're entering the Big Fair Bake - you can use your own recipe, or one of theirs from their website.The finished cake is so decadently yummy and the icing is even better!

The batter was deliciously dark - you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a photo of a bowl of ganache

The recipe for the icing in fact is quite similar to ganache, but is a little more spreadable

I deviated from the recipe and baked two 6'' rounds, to be stacked together to form a higher cake, with a generous slather of the gorgeous icing between. It has made a lovely cake, all ready for decorating tomorrow.

Caffe L’affare's Deliciously Dark Chocolate Cake

  • 25 MINUTES
  • 1 1/2 HOUR
  • SERVES 8-10
    • 200g Whittaker’s Fairtrade Certified Dark Ghana chocolate
    • 250g butter, diced
    • 1 cup hot Caffe L’affare Fairtrade Certified Organic Gusto plunger coffee*
    • 1 1/2  cups caster sugar
    • 3/4 cups self-raising flour
    • 1/4 cup Trade Aid cocoa
    • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
    • 2 tsp Fairtrade Certified vanilla extract
    • 3/4 cups cream
    • 175g Whittaker’s 72% Cocoa Fairtrade Dark Ghana chocolate
    • 1 Tbsp butter
    • 1/2 cup icing sugar

  • Method
    Preheat the oven to 150⁰C. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin. Break chocolate into pieces and melt slowly with the butter in a stainless steel bowl set over boiling water. Remove from heat and add the hot coffee and sugar and stir until dissolved. Sift dry ingredients together. Make a well in the centre and beat in the eggs and vanilla essence. Then gradually beat in the chocolate mixture until batter is smooth and glossy. Pour mixture into cake tin and bake for 1½ hours. For the icing, break chocolate into pieces. Heat cream until almost boiling, remove from heat and add the chocolate and butter. Stir until fully melted, then mix icing sugar in to thicken. Allow icing to cool before pouring over cake.

    There's heaps of yummy recipes on the Big Fair Bake website, such as this Yummy Banana Caramel cake from Kim Evans at Little & Friday

    30 - 45 MINUTES


  • SERVES 10-15
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • pinch salt
    • 125 g butter
    • 3/4 cup Trade Aid sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 3 cups mashed All Good Fairtrade Certified bananas
    • 4 Tbsp hot milk
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • Caramel:
    • 300ml cream
    • 1 cup castor sugar
  • Cream Cheese Icing:
    • 500g cream cheese, cut into small cubes. We use a firm cream cheese that holds its shape, such as Philadelphia
    • 125g butter, cut into small cubes
    • 1 cup icing sugar, sieved
  • To Assemble:
    • 3 Tbsp Caramel
    • 1/4 cup mascarpone
    • Cream Cheese Icing
    • chopped walnuts or banana chips, to decorate
    Note: The cake pictured is an individual serve, different to what is recommended in the recipe.
    Baking the cake
    1. Preheat the oven to 160 ˚C. Spray two 23cm cake tins with cooking spray and line the bottom and sides with baking paper cut to fit exactly.
    2. Sieve flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.
    3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter on low speed until light and creamy.
    4. Slowly add sugar and continue to beat on low speed until light in colour and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, and making sure to incorporate each egg before adding the next.
    5. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
    6. With the mixer on low speed add the banana.
    7. Dissolve soda in hot milk.
    8. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three equal batches alternating with the milk. Begin and end with the flour. Lastly add walnuts.
    9. Divide mixture evenly between the prepared cake tins and bake for 45 minutes until the tops spring back when lightly touched.
    10. Let the cakes cool completely in the tins.  When cool, turn out by inverting the tins, then turn the cakes upright
    11. Cover tightly and store in a cool place for up to 3 days. The banana flavour gets better with age at room temperature. This cake is best not stored in the refrigerator.

      NOTE: To avoid flour collecting in the crevasses of the walnuts keep them separate otherwise white flour patches appear throughout the cake. Fold them into the wet mix at the end just before you put it into the mix.
    Making the caramel
    1. Put the sugar in a sauecepan and just cover with water to achieve a wet sand consistency.
    2. Bring to the boil. Do not stir the sugar water mixture. Using a wet pastry brush, clean the sides of the saucepan to remove any stray sugar crystals.
    3. Continue to boil until the colour changes to amber. At this point, quickly remove from heat.
    4. In a small saucepan heat cream to boiling point.  Gradually add this to the caramelized sugar, stirring all the time to achieve a smooth consistency. This may take a while,  but will eventually combine.
      NOTE: Timing is paramount with caramel. Both the cream and the sugar need to be really hot when they are combined.
    Making the cream cheese icing
    1. Thoroughly cream butter in mixer on fast speed, continuously scraping down the sides of the bowl
    2. To the creamed butter, add cubed cream cheese that has been squeezed through your fingers.  Continue beating on fast speed until there are no lumps, again scraping down the sides of the bowl
    3. Turn the mixer onto slow speed before adding the sieved icing sugar. When fully integrated turn up the speed & continue to beat until the mixture is smooth and has no lumps
    4. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
    Assembling the cake
    1. Use a serrated knife to slice the domed portion off the top of each cake to make the tops flat
    2. Spread Caramel over one cake layer, then spread a thin layer of mascarpone over the caramel.
    3. Place the second cake on top. Spread with a thick layer of Cream Cheese Icing.  Drizzle with extra caramel and decorate with chopped walnuts or banana chips.
    4. Serve the cake at room temperature. If wanting to assemble the day before omit the mascarpone.


    Do you fancy making this delicious Banana Caramel Cake?. Leave me a comment below with the name of the recipe you'd like to make for the Big Fair Bake (it can be your own or one from the Big Fair Bake website). And a winner will be chosen at random to receive the Fairtrade pack above (prize will be sent directly from the lovely people at Fairtrade - due to the short life of bananas). Winner drawn at random 12 noon Wednesday 21st August. Make sure you leave me a way to contact you.

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