Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Stop the Traffick with Chocolate Cake!

As I was lying on the couch in my living room Sunday night, feeling sick as a dog, shaking, and avoiding the ingestion of anything too rich while consuming vast amounts of tea, I was letting ideas flow through my head for one of the blog events and contests that I stumbled across at RKhooks: Stop the Traffick Chocolate Competition. Simply put, the event which focuses on the use of fair-trade and slavery free chocolate to make decadent desserts. From Rachael's site:

“Nearly half the world’s chocolate is made from cocoa grown in Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa.The 2000 US State Department Human Rights report said “It is estimated that some 15,000 Malian children work on Ivorian cocoa and coffee plantations. Many are under 12 years-of-age, sold into indentured servitude for $140, and work 12-hour days for $135 to $189 per year.”
A heartbreaking story is viewed from here, about a child labouring for a chocolate factory. Call me jaded, but this is an absolutely ridiculous occurence in a 21st century world. Man has conquered the mysteries of flight, of space travel, and of construction, can we not conquer the mystery of slavery?? As Ghandi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

I was aware of the existence of slavery in the production of articles like clothing and rugs before, but did not know much about the existence of slavery-made chocolate and coffee. The only references to it that I saw were when I was on trips to one of my favourite stores, 10 000 Villages. The store follows the Principles of the International Fair Trade Association, as well as some of their own additional practices.
I knew that if I was taking part in this event, I was going whole-hog. This meant fair-trade sugar, chocolate, and vanilla, as well as trying my best to get locally sourced (at least Ontario-based) butter, flour, dairy products, fruit preserves and eggs. Essentially, I wanted to be as "pure" as possible, avoiding much of the over-processed goods out there. It was a task made easier due to the fact that my nearest orchard (Algoma) has a large assortment of such local products. All that's left is to make the delicacy! This chocolate – strawberry – orange cake is my entry to RKhook’s “Stop the Traffick” Chocolate Competition.

Fruits of Freedom Chocolate Cake
Serves 12
1 ¾ cups cake flour
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup unsalted cultured butter
5 oz Green & Black’s Maya Gold chocolate, chopped
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup strawberry yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
¼ cup pure strawberry preserves
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9” x 13” pan.
  2. Sift together cake flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and soda.
  3. Melt together butter, chocolate, and buttermilk over a double boiler or in the microwave.
  4. Stir in yogurt and vanilla.
  5. Add chocolate mixture to dry ingredients and mix.
  6. Add eggs and strawberry preserves, and beat for 2 minutes with a whisk.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes, or until tests done.


  1. what a great cause - and I LOVE how you made sure to use fair-trade ingredients in your cake.

    and thank you for visiting my blog - I've added you to my blogroll as well :0)

  2. MMMMMMMMMmmmm I bet that cake was devoured within minutes. Check out the other entries and send me your vote. Thanks for participating.

  3. A lovely name for a lovely recipe!


Thanks for the feedback!