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Fairtrade Chocolate Brownie

Jeff baked it as a special Fairtrade Fortnight treat in the Suma canteen.

I’d never been interested in baking before; too much science and not enough room for making it up as you go along.

However high expectations from Suma’s workers made me feel that I should make the effort to learn; there’s only so many times that you can fob them off with short-dated yoghurt.
Watching technique videos on the internet made me vaguely confident of scaling the recipe up a touch and by rummaging through Suma’s 60,000-sq/ft store cupboard (a.k.a ‘the warehouse’) it was easy to give my version Fairtrade status. What could possibly go wrong?

These are the measurements for Lesley Waters’ original Brownie; multiplying the quantities by five will roughly feed 100 hungry Suma workers. But there’s always short-dated yoghurt if you run out…

Bob’s your uncle! Thanks to Lesley I’m hooked on baking. Now if only I could keep the vegans happy…



  1. 115g Unsalted organic butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  2. 170g Billingtons Fairtrade Organic Caster Sugar – LJ190
  3. 2 Organic Free-range eggs
  4. 40g Divine Fairtrade 85% cocoa Dark Chocolate – ZX469
  5. 55g Suma Fairtrade Organic Pitted Dates – DR720
  6. 1 tsp Steenbergs Fairtrade Organic Vanilla Extract – LJ334
  7. 2 tsp Clipper Fairtrade Papua New Guinea Instant Coffee Granules – TE076
  8. 2 tbsp warm water
  9. 1 tsp Baking Powder
  10. 55g Organic Plain Flour
  11. 55g Suma Fairtrade Organic Cocoa Powder – LJ189
  12. Icing Sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. Prepare the cake tin. Grease an 18cm/7in square cake tin and line with non-stick baking parchment.
  3. In a clean bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  4. Chop the chocolate and put to one side.
  5. Chop the dates. Gently fold the dates and chocolate into the butter and egg mixture. Add the vanilla extract.
  6. Dissolve the coffee granules in two tablespoons of warm water and add to the mixture. Mix together well.
  7. Add the baking powder, then sift in the flour and cocoa powder. Mix well; the mixture will be quite wet.
  8. Spoon the brownie batter into the prepared tin and level out the top with a spatula.
  9. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Allow to cool in the tin for ten minutes, then place on a wire rack to cool.
  10. To serve, cut into rectangles and dust with icing sugar.