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Fairtrade chocolate and banana bread

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It's Fairtrade Fortnight and to celebrate we attempted Rachel Allen's recipe for Fairtrade chocolate and banana bread, with rather delicious results if we do say so ourselves...

Preparation time:

20 minutes

Cooking time:

1 - 1.25 hours

Makes about 10 slices

Ingredients:

  • 75g (3oz) Cadbury Dairy Milk Fairtrade milk chocolate
  • 250g (9oz) self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 level tsp baking powder
  • 150g (5oz) Fairtrade caster sugar
  • 100g (3 1/2 oz) butter, softened, plus extra to serve
  • 50g (2oz) walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Finely grated zest of 1 Faitrade orange (optional)
  • 475g (17oz) small Faitrade bananas (Sainsbury's have a policy to sell only Fairtrade bananas so get your non-evil ones there)
  • 13x23cm (5x9in) loaf tin

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees (325F), gas mark 3. Lightly oil and line the loaf tin with parchment paper.

2. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the Fairtrade caster sugar, butter and chopped nuts (if using) and, using your fingertips, rub it until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

3. Whisk the eggs, vanilla extract and orange zest in another bowl. Add the bananas and mash very well with a potato masher. Then melt the chocolate and fold it into the banana mixture.

4. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the banana mixture. Gently but thoroughly bring all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon, then pour into the prepared loaf tin. Smooth the top and bake in the over for 1 - 1.25 hours or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

5. Allow to cool for five minutes before removing the cake from the tin. Serve sliced and buttered.

Stylist's verdict:

The recipe was really easy to follow (bar a minor thumb injury when we were grating the orange, but that was our fault) and the results were delicious. This recipe has been added to our teatime stalwarts.

Find out more about Fairtrade Fortnight at fairtrade.org.uk/step

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