A rich decadent three layered chocolate cashew pie for a special occasion. It’s a biscuit crust, filled with dark chocolate ganache and topped off with a creamy confection of cashew nut butter, cream cheese and whipped cream.
Growing and harvesting cocoa beans to provide the chocolate we all love so much can be a very hard life. And it’s often very badly paid to boot. For this reason I do my best to buy fairly traded chocolate whenever I can. Fairly traded chocolate gives a fair price for the cocoa bean to help farmers pull themselves out of poverty and live a decent life. One of the main proponents of this is the Fairtrade Foundation who have been actively campaigning to improve peoples lives in the developing world for twenty years now.
Cocoa is, of course, not the only product that is open to abuse: thankfully Fairtrade wine, cotton, coffee, bananas, flowers and gold are now available, with additional products coming on to the market each year. This week marked the beginning of Fairtrade Fortnight and the focus this year is on tea, cocoa and sugar.
At the risk of repeating myself, I’ve been a supporter of the Fairtrade movement for more years than I care to remember. You can even see a picture of me with painted face helping out in our local co-op in the Fairtrade Fortnight breakfast post I published last year. The Fairtrade Foundation have been doing a sterling job for many years, trying to eradicate the exploitation of small farmers and agricultural workers in developing nations. They and we still have a long way to go, but by ensuring we buy Fairtrade products where we can, we will be doing our bit to make farming equitable and sustainable.
So take a break this #FairtradeFortnight. Grab a cup of fairly traded coffee, tea or cocoa and head over to the how to put Fairtrade in your break page. The choice of Fairtrade tea and coffee is huge now and many are easily found in supermarkets and other retail outlets. Likewise there’s a whole variety of fair trade chocolate to choose from. And if you have a sweet tooth, don’t forget the sugar.
We can now enjoy our break in the certain knowledge that impoverished farmers and farm workers are getting a better deal than they otherwise might.
I’m just about to take a break now and I’m trying to decide whether it’s too naughty to have a hot chocolate like this one I made the other day. I used Fairtrade chocolate to make the drink and the coffee cardamom chocolate sauce was made with both Fairtrade coffee and chocolate.
Choose Products That Save Lives
Clipper only work with producers who are striving to improve the standards and welfare of farm workers and their families. In their biodegradable cartons, you’ll find primary grade tea leaves inside unbleached bags. This gets extra brownie points from me and means we can cheerfully put both teabags and cartons into our compost heap. It also means I can happily use them to make my kombucha. Their Everyday Tea is brisk and full flavoured with a coppery golden colour. For something a little stronger, try Clipper’s punchy and bold Breakfast Tea.
Grumpy Mule Coffee
The beans of this organic Colombia ready ground coffee are grown in the shadows of the Hulia mountain range. It’s a dark and brooding coffee with notes of hazelnut, caramel and just a hint of red fruit. If you need a kick from a mule to wake you up in the morning, this is the coffee for you. Grumpy Mule prides itself on having coffee with character. They are a small quirky, ethical company that only sells 100% Aribica organic fairly traded coffee.
Tradecraft Coffee Granules
If instant coffee is more your thing, Traidcraft’s medium roast finest arabica coffee granules may be just what you need. Traidcraft have long supported farmers in developing countries and have been working to promote fairly traded products since 1979. They’re passionate about helping small producers to invest in their businesses and communities in order to create a sustainable future.
Traidcraft Raw Cane Sugar
Ideal as a sweetener for coffee, this unrefined demerara style sugar has a subtle honey flavour. It can also be used for baking – of course.
Steenbergs Vanilla Sugar
Just open the jar of this vanilla sugar and be wafted off on a balmy breeze to sun drenched tropical climes. Steenbergs provide a range of excellent quality organic spices, many of which carry the Fairtrade symbol. Vanilla sugar makes for an interesting flavour in coffee or tea, but I like to use it in baking. I made some very special brownies with it the other day. Keep a look out for the recipe, it’ll be worth waiting for.
Chocolate and Love
I’ve reviewed Chocolate and Love bars on my blog many times. Their chocolate is organic, rich, smooth and not too sweet. The beans are high quality and sourced in Peru, Panama and the Domincan Republic. The chocolate is gluten free, soya free and five of the bars are suitable for vegans. Why not take a break with a few squares? I find just a couple gives me the chocolate fix I need. The chocolate comes in seven different flavours with CT preferring the coffee 55% and me the Sea Salt 55%.
Chocolate Cashew Pie
The Fairtrade Foundation also sent me a bundle of Fairtrade chocolate goodies with which to create a recipe. Milk chocolate hearts and white chocolate and strawberry hearts from Divine were a welcome novelty. I have written many times about this company which is part owned by the growers themselves. Head to my post Divine intervention for more details.
I go through a lot of Green and Black’s cocoa, which is not only Fairtrade and has been for many years, but is also organic, so I was pleased to see a tub of it in the parcel. A tub of cadbury’s drinking chocolate reminded me of school. This too became Fairtrade in 2009 and tripled the sales of Fairtrade cocoa overnight. Lastly, there was a bar of Seriously, a new Fairtrade range from Waitrose. The cocoa for these bars comes from co-operative farmer groups in the Dominican Republic.
So, what to make? Well a chocolate pie of course. Following hot on the heels of my cashew brownies, I couldn’t resist reaching for the cashew nut butter again. I managed to use all of the products sent, other than the white chocolate strawberry hearts.So I gave myself a congratulatory pat on the back as I savoured a slice of what is, a most divine pie.
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this decadent chocolate cashew pie, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or via social media. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
Chocolate Cashew Pie. PIN IT.
Chocolate Cashew Pie – The Recipe
Chocolate Cashew Pie
- 200 g digestive biscuits
- 80 g unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp drinking chocolate powder
- 300 ml double cream
- 60 g dark chocolate - chopped (I used Waitrose's Fairtrade Seriously Rich 65%)
- 90 g cream cheese
- 60 g icing sugar
- 2 rounded tbsp cashew nut butter
- a little cocoa powder (or drinking chocolate powder) for dusting
- Crush the biscuits to a fine crumb (I did this with the end of a rolling pin in the bowl) and stir in the drinking chocolate powder.
- Melt the butter and mix into the biscuits.
- Press the mixture into the base and sides of a 20cm flan or pie dish with the back of a spoon, then leave to set in the fridge for half an hour or so.
- Bring 120ml of cream up to a near boil in a pan. Add the chocolate and leave to melt for a couple of minutes.
- Stir until just combined, then pour onto the biscuit base. Level and leave to set in the fridge for an hour or so, or until the ganache has set.
- Whip the remaining cream to soft peak stage.
- Beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and nut butter together until just combined, then fold in the cream, a third at a time, until just combined.
- Spoon onto the chocolate ganache and level. Dust with a little cocoa powder and serve.
Thanks to the Fairtrade Foundation for sending me samples of the products mentioned. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are, as always, my own. Thank you for your support of the brands and organisations that help to keep Tin and Thyme blithe and blogging.