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Monday, April 19, 2021

Fair Trade Month of Chocolate, etc. Dark Chocolate Layer Cake, or cupcakes.

 There are always reasons.  So many great reasons for choosing to make your food, using Fair Trade products, local, and ethically raised.  Imagine knowing that no child labour, or slaves were used, for you to enjoy the foods that you do.  

We are celebrating Fair Trade month in May.  I will be posting recipes and information about products throughout the month.  Here is the birthday cake to get started.  


 Look to MCIC for more information on Fair Trade as well as events.

Dark Chocolate Layer Cake

1 cup butter.  I use the wonderful, local Notre Dame butter.  I spoke with the owner and he assures me of the quality.  It is soft at room temperature.
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs.  I use Nature's Farm for a few reasons.  They are excellent, local and I need to use a commercial egg for my products.  If you have access to farm fresh eggs, use them.
1 tsp vanilla.  I make vanilla with beans that I got from Kerala, South India.  Vanilla is very expensive because it is quite labour intensive.  I visited a fair trade spice plantation and purchased the beans directly.  I soak them in bourbon for a while.
2 cups flour.  I use Prairie Mills Flour, again, for a few reasons.  It is always an excellent product, local, and a great price.  After NAFTA, we have been losing local mills to large corporations. 
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder.  I use more like a cup, for this recipe, as well as additional buttermilk.  I use a Fair Trade dark cocoa by Callebaut.  It is available at DeLuca's. 
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup buttermilk +  I made kefir with Stoney Brook Creamery.  They are located in Steinbach and produce amazing organic dairy products.  They are also available at the St. Norberts Farmers Market.

In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy and well incorporated.  Add eggs, and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
Alternate mixing into the butter mixture with thirds of dry and buttermilk. 
Spoon into 2 greased and parchment paper-lined cake pans (9 inch)  Bake at 350ºF for 30 - 35 minutes, until tester comes out cleanly.  Let cool and remove from pans after 20 minutes.  Let cool completely.
Layer or frost as you wish.  Each cake can be cut into two layers.

I'll be preparing this recipe as cupcakes.  They bake for 15 - 17 minutes.

8 ounce dark chocolate callets, or chopped chocolate.  I used Callebaut Dark, which is Fair Trade.  It is available at DeLuca's, Sobey's Cash and Carry, and other locations.  Camino chocolate is also excellent.
1 cup heavy cream or whipping cream.

1. Heat cream on the stovetop until just simmering.  Do not boil, or it could separate.
2. Place chocolate callets (chips), or chopped chocolate into the saucepan and cover for 2 minutes. 
3. Whisk cream and chocolate until smooth and shiny.  Set aside and let cool until workable for spreading or dipping.  It can be whisked as a frosting texture as well.


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