Loving Ben And Jerry’s Almost As Much As My Own Creations

Ben and Jerry’s recently took a bold step in declaring their switch to be fully fair trade by the end of 2013. They’ve long used fair trade coffee chocolate in some of their yummy flavors (think Smooth Chocolate and Coffee Heath Bar Crunch) but now they’ve set their own bar even higher. Over the next few years the company will source all ingredients available Fair Trade Certified to be just that. They’ll be using fair trade bananas, sugar, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, nuts and other flavorings, adding new fair trade ingredients as the fair trade marketplace grows and new products become available. Wow! I have not heard of any other ice cream company making such a move. Ben and Jerry’s switch will influence over 27,000 farmers, according to a press release on their site. Impressive.

While we’re on the subject of ice cream, I wanted to let all you do-it-yourselfers in on my latest ice cream discovery. I received an ice cream maker from my husband for Christmas and let’s just say it’s a well-loved addition to our household. Our absolute favorite flavor is Chocolate Chocolate Chip made with Sunspire’s fair trade chocolate chips. A quart of this good stuff lasts about as long as it takes to inhale.  Warning: This is not a health food. Here’s my recipe:

Fair Trade Chocolate Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

2 1/4 cup whipping cream
6 tablespoons fair trade cocoa powder
1/4 cup fair trade sugar
Pinch of salt
6 ounces Sunspire fair trade semisweet chocolate chips (about 2/3 of a bag)
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon fair trade vanilla extract

Whisk together the cream, cocoa powder, sugar and salt in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk frequently until it begins to foam and boil. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate chips, stirring constantly. You want the chocolate chips to melt most of the way but still leave some small chunks at the bottom of the pan.  Once the chocolate is mostly melted (no big chunks coming up when you stir)  add the remaining milk and vanilla. Chill in the fridge until cold all the way through (at least 2-3 hours), then freeze in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.  Then enjoy a divine chocolate experience!

Adapted from David Lebovitz’s Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments

By the way, Sunspire chocolate chips are super expensive compared to regular old Nestle. Most grocery stores around here that carry them (Whole Foods, New Seasons) charge anywhere from $5.50-$6 per bag. That makes for a pretty expensive quart of ice cream or batch of chocolate-chip cookies, unless you do what I do. Sunspire has lately had a $3 off $10 on every bag of chocolate chips. I wait until they go on sale, usually for around $4.50/ bag, then stock up buying 6 or so bags at a time. With the coupon that makes them about $3.50 per bag. Still more than a cheap brand of chocolate chips but much closer, plus the Sunspire flavor does not compare to Nestle (which tastes like it contains more wax than chocolate).

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1 Comment

  1. Laura said,

    May 21, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    My students have become increasingly interested in fair trade products. I look forward to telling them about Ben and Jerry’s socially responsible ice cream.


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