Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Hazelnut & Orange Torte - Cornwall CCC & Fairtrade

As I was on leave from work last week, I was able to attend my 3rd Clandestine Cake Club (CCC) meeting in Cornwall. This time it was in our lovely county city of Truro and in a newly opened cafe I've eyed up a couple of times, but not actually ventured into. Grounded specialises in coffee but also does some delicious sounding sandwiches to eat in or take away. Homemade cakes are also on offer.

I'd seen a fantastic hazelnut torte on a blog very recently and knew that's what I wanted to make for this month's theme of Italian tortes. I thought I'd bookmarked it, but when I came to find it, there was no sign; I couldn't for the life of me remember where I'd seen it, so I googled with a number of different key words, but all to no avail. Luckily, Sophie Grigson came to my rescue with her Chocolate & Hazelnut Torte on the BBC Food website and as is my wont, I adapted it in a number of ways, including making it gluten free.

As many of you already know, I try to bake with us much organic, fairtrade or local produce as I can. I try to buy local where possible as not only is the food likely to be fresher, but it helps support the local economy and reduces food miles. Sadly chocolate and quite a few other things I buy cannot be grown in the UK - warmer climes than ours are needed. These ingredients are often the ones to look out for as mainstream products can leave small producers in developing countries open to exploitation. Fairtrade guarantees a minimum fair price for the producers and enables them to invest in schools, health centres and other local infrastructure projects. In a continued bid to raise awareness, The Fairtrade Foundation are running The Big Fair Bake campaign from 24th September - 7 October. Try your hand at winning a KitchenAid in their baking competition - I know I'm going to.

This is how I made it:
  • Melted 100g of 85% dark Fairtrade chocolate plus 100g of 52% dark Fairtrade hazelnut chocolate in a bowl over hot, but not boiling, water.
  • Removed from the heat and added 125g of diced unsalted butter. Stirred until smooth.
  • Ground 90g of hazelnuts in a coffee grinder.
  • Separated 3 large eggs and 1 tiny one into two bowls.
  • Added 125g of Fairtrade caster sugar and 30g soft brown sugar to the egg yolks and beat until pale.
  • Poured in the chocolate mixture and stirred until just incorporated.
  • Sieved in 60g of buckwheat flour and 1/4 tsp GF baking powder.
  • Folded this in with the ground hazelnuts.
  • Stirred in 4 tbsp homemade orange liqueur - as lightly as possible.
  • Whisked the eggs whites with a pinch of rock salt until stiff, then folded them into the chocolate mixture.
  • Spooned into a 23cm mould and baked at 180C.
  • Allowed to cool then turned out onto a plate.
  • Dusted the cake with Fairtrade cocoa powder.
  • Sifted 1 tsp icing sugar over some cappuccino stencils to create some interesting motifs.
The CCC turn-out was quite small, which was just as well as Grounded is quite compact and we would have been stuffed to the gunwales with more people and unable to get to the all-important cake. Luckily this wasn't the case and for the first time ever, I was able to try a piece of every cake there. All of the tortes were delicious and luckily none of them were the same. Mine was moist, dense & hazelnutty with just a hint of orange and liqueur. CT, in true partisan spirit, pronounced it delicious and the best cake there.



As part of the Big Fair Bake Foodies 100 is running a baking challenge, whereby bloggers need to bake something using fairtrade ingredients and blog about it. This is my entry.

Whilst I'm on the subject of Fairtrade, Ndali Vanilla is the only vanilla that currently has fairtrade status. Following on from a recent visit to Uganda to report on Ndali Vanilla for the Food Programme on Radio 4, Vanessa Kimbell is organising a fairtrade vanilla gift swap on 24 September. You can see the details on her blog.


34 comments:

  1. Looks fab! I'm a sucker for anything with hazelnuts so I will be bookmarking this for future reference. Also, thanks for the link to the competition to win a KitchenAid mixer. I saw this on TV, I think, but I couldn't remember the link or anything.

    Keep up the good work :O)

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    1. It's a delicious and moist cake, well worth making. Glad you found the reminder useful.

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  2. As you know, I am a big nut fan so this would certainly appeal to me. In fact, my WSC cake this month features ground almonds but hazelnuts do have a real affinity with chocolate. I love a good bit of texture and have never used buckwheat flour, bet it's great!
    I am envious of that plate of cake you got to eat at the CCC and the cafe looks like a good find. I could do with a decent cafe in Epsom xx

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    1. I know the feeling Laura, we could do with a decent cafe here in Liskeard. Looking forward to seeing your WSC cake - like you I love nuts in cakes.

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  3. That looks really luvly. I would appreciate some cake now ... or even better a CCC meeting, but sadly I guess, I have to go without both of it ...
    I love the decoration on your cake ... especially the smiling face!

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    1. Thanks Chris, I was rather taken with the face too. How about founding your own CCC?

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  4. How dark is that cake? The white icing sugar really emphasises the darkness of the cake

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  5. Oooh look at that plate full of cake - how very, very lovely.

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    1. Kath, it just shows that dreams can come true ;-)

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  6. What a fabulous torte, the CCC always sounds like great fun.
    As you know I'm a firm believer in Fairtrade, and I'm going to follow the link and sign up, thank you for sharing it.
    I wish you were able to come to Fortnum's next week, I do hope it won't be too long until we can catch up. Jude x

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    1. Thanks Jude - it's always a great pleasure to eat and talk cake. Sorry I won't be seeing you next week, I'm sure it will be good fun, but hopefully another time .....!

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  7. Cake club is such fun and all the cakes look wonderful. Love the decoration on yours. It really stands out. Great theme too :)

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    1. Thanks Jac. What I'm wondering is why didn't any of us think about such a wonderful invention as CCC years ago :-S

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  8. What a pretty cake! I wish that I were able to attend the Vanilla event, but it's just too far away and bad timing for me. CCC sounds like lots of fun and great that you were able to try a bit of everything this time! I try and be mindful of fairtrade and buy when I can, but I should think harder about it routinely.

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    1. Thanks C Yes, it's too far for me too really, which is one of the reasons I'm unable to attend. It would be fun to go though.

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  9. your cake looks wonderful. I love the decorations. Thanks for letting me know about the challenge!

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    1. Thanks Alida, I was rather taken with the motifs too. I need to be a bit more careful next time and not get icing sugar over other bits of the cake, but I thought it wasn't a bad first attempt.

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  10. This cake looks really inspiring! I like the orange liquor flavour combined with chocolate. I would like to buy more local and organic too, but it is expensive. I found a few fairtrade products with a good quality/price and I regularly buy them (especially chocolate!!). Regarding organic vegetables I started growing my own. I like the picture of the plate full of cake slices!

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    1. Thank you rita. Glad to hear you're growing your own, it can be hard work, but it feels so good when your are eating our own produce I find. it's true, local and organic can be more expensive, but maybe the cost would come down if more of us brought it.

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  11. Oh look at all that cake. Your gluten free torte looks and sounds delightful and I live your simple and elegant decorating too. I also applaud your ethics and always have choclette. Great to celebrate this way! X

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    1. Oh Dom, I love it when people throw the word elegant in my direction, it's so not me, but so gratifying ;-)

      Thanks for your lovely comment.

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  12. I really wish I'd been able to go now, your torte looks amazing! Anything chocolate and hazelnut is good, but with orange as well sounds delicious!

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    1. Well hopefully, you'll be able to make the next one and we can overdose on birthday cakes. The torte was a good one, but I have to say, so were most of the others.

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  13. Lovely sounding cafe but your cake sounds worthy of being on their menu - I hope they make you an offer you can't refuse ;0)

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  14. I'd love to go to a CCC, there isn't one in my neck of the woods although I guess I'm the obvious person to start one!! Cake looks divine, I adore chocolate and orange together.

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    1. Thanks Sarah. You'd think there would be dozens in London. The trouble with Cornwall is it's such a long county, we usually have to travel a long way to get to a CCC. But it is worth it.

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  15. That looks delicious and beautiful. Gluten free as well! Glad you found the recipe :)

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  16. This sounds positively delicious, I would love to indulge in a slice. Blessings, Catherine

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    1. Thank you Catherine - it was a particularly good one.

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  17. It sounds and looks absolutely amazing. I wish I could try it.

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  18. I like the icing sugar/ stencil idea. Looks good.

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