Hello October! After a humid summer here in the southern US, temperatures have finally cooled. To me, the world feels more awake and invigorated! The sky seems bluer, the landscape sharper, and the pugs are frisking in the brisk fall air. We are truly in our happy place!
Along with cool weather and mini specters, October brings us Fair Trade month. It seems like everywhere we look – in all corners of the world – there are needs to be met. It can be overwhelming to think about, but doing something small like buying Fair Trade Certified coffee and chocolate can positively impact someone’s life. It’s a good thing for you, too. Fair trade products are grown and prepared with care, using no pesticides, no GMO’s, and with practices that will protect the environment. Add to this list a slew of awards and accolades for outstanding flavor, and you can be sure that buying Fair Trade Certified products for your baking is a good decision!
These baby bundts were made using Lake Champlain baking cocoa and Guittard extra semisweet baking chips. Both are Fair Trade Certified and are known for their superior quality. Together they give this cake a chocolaty flavor that is deep and lingering; a quality I also attribute to the dose of Equator coffee added to the batter.
Speaking of coffee!
This year the folks at BeFair.org invited a handful of bloggers to be paired with a Fair Trade farmer, to tell their story. As a self-professed coffee connoisseur, I was thrilled to meet Basingwa Maria, a coffee grower from Rwanda.
Basingwa Maria started farming in 1974 and she says that after her husband died in the war she poured her heart into her coffee trees. Coffee was her family’s sole source of income, and she had to make it profitable. She joined the Dukunde Kawa cooperative in 2000, and with the increased income she has received from her fair trade coffee over the years, she has been able to bring running water to her home and invest in solar panels on her roof. She hopes to bring electricity to her house soon.
She has also been able to diversify her family’s nutrition. They used to eat potatoes and beans everyday with no change, and they could not afford food at the market or oil for cooking. Now her family is able to buy food from the market and they do not have to solely rely on growing everything they eat.
While she never attended school, she says that because of the cooperative all of her children were able to attend school and two of them are currently in university. She beams when saying that her children have good ideas, and that now they have the ability to fulfill their visions.
“After the war I never believed we could get this kind of life. Having this beautiful house, sitting with my children having discussions of how to improve our lives.” – Basingwa Maria
She has twice won the cup of excellence award from her cooperative, which is pretty amazing! These farmers put so much care and love into their coffee growing, and knowing that inspired me to make a dessert worthy of such an ingredient – and what’s better than chocolate-chocolate cake with a big dose of coffee in the batter?
I’m so excited to also be hosting a giveaway for the chocolate and coffee I used to make these little cakes – and more!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This prize package includes:
- Equatorcoffee, whole bean
- Guittard extra semisweet baking chips
- BarkThins snacking chocolates
- Lake Champlain baking cocoa (my new favorite cocoa!)
- LaraBar gluten free snack bars
- Traditional Medicinals green tea
- Dang Foods, chocolate covered toasted coconut chips (so good!)
- NumiGold Turmeric tea
- EcoLips organic lip balm
- Alter Eco dark salted brown butter chocolate bar (ohemgee.)
- Third Street green tea
- Celesteial Seasonings pure green tea
- Sunspire dark coconut-almond dark chocolate bar
- Nourish Organic pure organic shea butter
- Where Am I Eating? by Kelsey Timmerman
Big thanks to all the brands who generously donated these products to make this giveaway possible!
One more thing! The participating Fair Trade Month bloggers are having a friendly Recipe Rally pinning competition. Check out our Pinterest Board to find new delicious recipes, and pin your favorites!
Baby Chocolate Bundt Cakes
Yields 12 small bundt cakes or 1 twelve cup bundt cake
These baby bundt cakes took about 40 minutes to bake, which really surprised me. I expected them to bake in half of that time. My advice is to keep an eye on them so they don’t over-bake. They are done when the cakes spring back when pressed in the centers.
My bundt pans were metal, and about 3/4 cup capacity. If you don’t have small bundt pans, then a jumbo muffin tin can be used. This batter will also make one standard 12 cup bundt cake.
Baking spray with flour
1 cup/280 ml strongly brewed hot coffee
1 cup/120 g Lake Champlain unsweet cocoa powder
1 cup/240 g sour cream
3 cups/380 g all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 cups/450 g sugar
1 1/2 cups/282 g unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup/125 ml strongly brewed coffee
10 ounces Guittard extra semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
Make the cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat 8 mini bunt pans
(approximately 3/4 cup capacity each) or one 12 cup capacity bundt pan with
baking spray with flour.
In a medium bowl, whisk hot brewed coffee into the cocoa
powder until smooth; whisk in sour cream. In a large bowl, whisk together
flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat butter and sugar together in
the bowl of a standing mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a
time, until incorporated and then beat in the vanilla. Add flour mixture in
three additions, alternating with 2 additions of cocoa mixture and beat until
Pour the batter into the prepared pans, filling the small bundt pans no more than 3/4 full. Place the mini bundt pans on a baking sheet
and place them in the oven. Bake the mini bundts for 35- 40 minutes, or until
the cake springs back when pressed in the center. If making one standard bundt cake, bake for 1
hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack set over a waxed paper lined
baking sheet. Let cool 15 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and let the cakes cool
Make the glaze: In a medium bowl, pour the hot brewed coffee over the
chocolate and let stand 5 minutes. Whisk
until well combined. Dip the top of each mini bundt cake into the glaze and
then turn it upright and place it on the cooling rack set over waxed paper. For the standard size bundt cake, pour the
glaze over the cake allowing the glaze to drip down sides and cover cake. Let
set 3 hours at room temperature or 1 hour in refrigerator.
Make the chocolate leaves: To make the chocolate leaves, you’ll need chemical-free nontoxic fresh leaves – try min, lemon, ivy, rose, or strawberry leaves – and a clean, small paintbrush.
Using the paintbrush, brush one or two coats of chocolate
on the underside of each leaf. Wipe away any chocolate from the top side of the
leaf. Then place the leaves, chocolate side up, on a baking sheet lined with
waxed paper or a curved surface (such as a rolling pin or the bottom edge of a
pie plate) and place in the refrigerator until set. While the chocolate is cold,
peel the leaf away from the chocolate. Store the leaves in the refrigerator until
ready to use. Garnish each baby bundt with one or two chocolate leaves.