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Fair trade cooking tips for Christmas

Pioneering fair trade organisation, Traidcraft, has teamed up with top chef and chocolatier, David Greenwood-Haigh, to pass on some top fair trade cookery tips for Christmas ...

Pioneering fair trade organisation, Traidcraft, has teamed up with top chef and chocolatier, David Greenwood-Haigh, to pass on some top fair trade cookery tips for Christmas.

As well as offering the chance to cook up an array of delicious dishes for guests, buying and cooking fair trade helps to lift producers and artisans in some of the world’s poorest regions out of poverty and supports them to build sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their families.

Yorkshire-based David Greenwood-Haigh is an award-winning chocolatier with more than 40 years’ experience in the food industry. He is passionate about ethically sourced, fantastic quality chocolate and food and has spent time with producers around the developing world, including cocoa farmers in Ghana, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, who taught him to understand the subtle nuances of cocoa production.

In 2011 David set-up ‘Coeur de Xocolat’ to embody the skills and passions he has gained throughout his career in food. The business specialises in chocolate events, consultations and demonstrations, which allow David to share his knowledge and experiences with chocolate by putting his unique twist on the world of chocolate.

David talks about how easy it is for everyone to make a few simple changes, which can make a big difference to people’s lives around the developing world.

He said: “People think cooking fair trade will be more difficult, but actually, with a few simple changes, it’s really easy. In my travels around the developing world, I’ve witnessed just how fair trade is helping communities out of poverty and I think Christmas is the ideal time to think about our buying habits and make a few small changes.

“Really easy things people can do include stocking up on fair trade produce so you’ve always got the basics in your kitchen cupboard. Having things in like tasty fair trade pestos and sauces, chocolate, sugar, quinoa and rice, means you can throw meals and snacks together quickly and easily.

“If you love baking, cooking fair trade will help create something extra special. Why not get the whole family involved and try some of our sample recipes? It’s a great way of teaching the little ones where their food comes from and experimenting with new baking ideas. It’s great fun too!”

The call to cook fair trade, comes as part of Traidcraft’s Show You Care campaign, which urges people to buy fair trade.

Larry Bush, Traidcraft’s Marketing Director, said: “Not only are Traidcraft’s fair trade food, drinks and snacks absolutely delicious, in buying fair trade, you’re showing you care about others. Every bespoke product sold by Traidcraft earns artisans and producers a fair wage, enabling them to work their way out of poverty and change the lives of families and communities in the developing world.

“We’re delighted to team up with David Greenwood-Haigh to showcase some delicious recipes and give people tips and advice on what they can do to make fair trade a part of their lives not just at Christmas – but on a daily basis too.”

People looking for ideas for tasty treats can find them in abundance in Traidcraft’s Bake a Difference cook book, which is jam-packed full of delicious fair trade recipe ideas. The 164-page cookbook contains more than 80 recipe using ingredients from across the world and offers real insight into the conditions people in the developing world are living in.

Larry continued: “Everyone loves a home-made foodie gift and Christmas is the perfect time to make something really special for your loved ones, as well as helping people in some of the world’s poorest countries. Our Bake a Difference cookbook is packed full of ideas and inspiration to help you get started.”

Top recipe ideas for Christmas from David Greenwood-Haigh, Coeur de Xocolat

Churros with Xocolat dipping sauce

Preparation Time – 30 minutes
Cooking Time – 35 minutes
Makes 6

Ingredients:

Churros
100g Unsalted butter, diced; 175g Plain flour (sieved); 1/4 tsp Baking powder; Eggs 3 large, beaten; Sunflower oil for frying; Pinch sea salt; 200ml cold water; Golden caster sugar for sprinkling

Xocolat Sauce
150g Dark 70% choc; 150ml single cream; 25g Unsalted butter, softened; 1 Cinnamon stick; 1 Vanilla pod

Method:
Put the diced butter into a pan, add 200ml cold water and a pinch of sea salt. Put the pan on the stove and bring to the boil. Sieve the flour and baking powder together in a bowl. As soon as the water boils, take it off the heat and quickly stir in the sifted flour and baking powder.

Beat the mix with a wooden spoon until smooth and it comes away from the sides of the pan. Tip the mixture into a bowl and cool for a couple of minutes. Then gradually add the beaten eggs one at a time, beating well until the mixture is a smooth, glossy batter that drops reluctantly from a spoon. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave the batter to one side to rest for 30 minutes.

Xocolat Sauce

Chop the dark chocolate and put into a bowl. Put cream into a small pan, add the cinnamon stick, butter and vanilla pod split and seeds removed but put in cream, and bring to a simmer. Remove vanilla pod and Stir until smooth then pour over the chopped chocolate and continue to stir until smooth.

Fill a large pan one third full with oil. Heat to 180-190C. Fit a large piping bag with a large star-shaped nozzle and fill with batter. Once the oil has come up to temperature you can start to cook the churros. Pipe 2 or 3 finger-length strips of batter directly into the pan cutting off each strip with a pair of scissors. Don’t try to cook too many at or the oil will cool down and your churros will be heavy and greasy, rather than crisp, golden and light.

Cook the churros for about 45 seconds to one minute on each side until golden and crisp. Remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle liberally with caster sugar. Serve with thick hot chocolate dipping sauce.

Dark chocolate spread

Preparation Time – 10 minutes
Cooking Time – 20 mins plus cooling
Makes 2 jars

Ingredients:
100g 75% dark chocolate; 100ml double cream; 100ml water; 75g light muscovado sugar; A pinch of sea salt; 25g butter

Method:
Break the chocolate into small, even sized pieces and put in a mixing bowl. Put 100ml water in a small pan, together with the cream, sugar and salt, bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Pour over the chocolate and mix well until all the chocolate is melted and smooth. Leave to cool for 30 minutes, then mix in the oil until smooth and glossy.

Pour into sterilised labelled and dated jars, seal and use within 2 weeks or refrigerate until needed for up to one month.

Anyone interested in purchasing from Traidcraft’s fair trade range can visit Traidcraft’s online store, www.traidcraftshop.co.uk, as well as buying from Fair Traders and Traidcraft stockists across the country. To find out more about David Greenwood-Haigh and Coeur de Xocolat, visit www.coeurdexocolat.com

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