I wanted to put some of last year’s marmalade to good use before making another batch this January. So I did a bit of internet research for a good recipe which I could fiddle with and fine tune to my liking. This is what I came up with…. but not before having an ethical crisis about the butter that’s in the recipe.
Now, a couple of years ago (I think) I wrote a long rambling post about butter; about whether the evils of the dairy industry trump the evils of the palm oil industry. I’m still very undecided about his issue, and we tend to use organic dairy butter sometimes, and dairy free butter sometimes… while all the time experimenting with other diary free alternatives. We are sparing and mindful with our use of any sort of butter, and every now and then I get around to making my own coconut oil based butter, but we’re not perfect. I’m not sure what the right thing to do is in this situation, and what actions would have less of an impact on the planet and it’s creatures. Are orang-utangs and indigenous populations more expendable than dairy cows and their male calves? Why is our demand for ‘butter’, in any form, so important that we blinker ourselves to the methods of its production. Really, I just need to stop eating butter of any sort. But that’s hard too right?
However, recently I found this, Suma have started making an organic dairy free spread, the ingredients list seems fairly natural (not too dissimilar to the coconut oil based butter I sometimes make) but palm oil was there – albeit with an organic tag. So I researched organic palm oil; is it ethical and does it’s production protect rain forests? and the answer was – no, possibly not. 😦
The Suma website has this to say about it new product:
A high quality spread with a creamy consistency. Rich in sunflower oil with a fat content of 70% it is fantastic for baking as well as spreading, shallow frying and for making sauces. Naturally a good source of Vitamin E (25mg/100g) Contains only natural solid fats – including fats from coconuts and palm fruit. The organic palm is RSPO certified from sustainable forests in Colombia and Brazil.
This all sounded rather good… so I researched RSPO.
I tend to distrust large companies, but this organisation seems to be on the right side, working with the WWF for more sustainable and ethical palm oil production methods, which protect wildlife, the environment and indigenous populations, while also considering the positive economic impact of palm oil production on these localities and communities. This video sums it up nicely…
So right now, Suma’s organic sunflower spread looks about as ethical as it gets as far as butter is concerned. So I thought I’d use it in this bundt cake recipe.
Makes one 2lb bundt.
- 175g dairy free butter (£1.10)
- 100g golden caster sugar (16p)
- 3 eggs (£1.12)
- 150g coarse-cut marmalade + 3-4 tbsp to glaze (£1.17)
- 200g of light brown self-raising flour (27p)
- 50g ground almonds (70p)
- 100g of raisins (53p)
Heat the oven to 170 degrees and lightly grease the bundt tin.
With an electric mixer or by hand with a wooden spoon, beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat into the mixture, then add the 150g of marmalade.
Spoon in the flour and ground almonds and stir bit by bit until it is all combined, then lastly fold in the raisins. Carefully spoon the mixture into the bundt tin, (it requires just a little more finesse than my usual tip and scrape method when I fill loaf tins!) and then level out the top of the mixture by banging the tin sharply on the work surface a few times.
Place the tin in the middle of the moderate oven for around 35-40 minutes or until the top of the sponge springs back when you press it.
Just before you bring the cake out of the oven, warm the 3 tablespoons of marmalade in a small pan on the hob, until it is a thick sticky liquid. Then turn the hot bundt out straight away, (taking care not to crack it, turning cakes out while they are still hot can be dangerous!) and using a pastry brush, glaze the top with the warm marmalade. The cake should shine beautifully and be bejewelled with little strands of golden orange rind.
This cake is beautifully light (even with the brown flour) and wonderfully moist. It is sweet and sticky with the unmistakable bitter tang of the marmalade. Just perfect with a cup of tea.
The organic ingredients for this cake come to £5.05, but most are store cupboard ingredients that many of us have to hand in the kitchen. Why not knock up a beautiful bundt this weekend as a teatime treat, it’s only about 50p a slice… and I’m fairly certain that no cows, orang-utangs or indigenous populations have been harmed, displaced, or exploited in its making.