Fairtrade choc-A-Lot cake competitionBy Linda Fort
March 12, 2012
A table was chock-full of ‘conscientious cakes at the Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC) last Friday night.
More than 20 cooks in Reading brought their offerings to the centre in London Street to the Choc-A-Lot cake competition to launch Fairtrade Fortnight.
Before the contest Ghanaian Fairtrade Co-op farmers Agnes Armah and Elias Mohammed of Kuapa Kokoo gave a talk.
Then London Street Brasserie owner and chef Paul Clerehugh introduced the competition, offering tips on how great bakers make their cakes moist – Mary Berry adds boiling water, Nigella Lawson adds Carnation milk and “Delia adds booze”.
He explained he had been given two criteria for judging – the best cake, which “tastes the greatest and looks fantastic” and the “conscientious cake that is right on”, with the most organic, local and Fairtrade ingredients.
The cakes all had to include Fairtrade chocolate.
Overall winner in the best cake category was Rebecca Chapman, from Sackville Street in the town centre – originally from Seattle in the USA.
She said: “I didn’t use butter, I used oil and I also used hot coffee in it.”
She said she has renamed it Miss America’s Chocolate Cake, but it was really called Grandpop’s Special Chocolate Cake from the website www.allrecipes.com.
Winner for the “most ethical cake” was Mary Tindall, of Southdown Road, Emmer Green.
Her cake contained 27 ethical ingredients including ginger, chilli and hazelnuts fron the RISC roof garden, beetroot, pumpkin, raspberries and loganberries from her own allotment, ingredients from the True Food Co-op in Reading as well as Fairtrade molasses, syrup and Divine Chocolate.
Mr Clerehugh called for help from the audience to judge the cakes, saying 22 cakes were too many for one judge to do justice to.
After the judging, the cakes were shared out among those present in the packed meeting hall at RISC.
The first prize was an Ethiopian meal for two in the Global Cafe and the second prize a Fairtrade hamper.
Other events coming up include course on Global Citizenship tommorrow at RISC from 10am and a talk on Faitrade gold at RISC on Wednesday, March 14, at 7.30pm,
RISC is also running courses on Global Citizenship for school governors and teachers.