Lindsay Jean Hard is one of my zero waste heroes. His book Cooking with leftovers (Workman, £14.99), who was born from his column of the same name for Food52, is full of intriguing recipes and ideas such as artichoke leaf nachos, coffee-ground cashew butter, and his famous recipe for banana peel cake, in which the surprisingly tasty peel replaces the bananas themselves. themselves. Here is my complete version of this cake, which with the addition of unrefined sugar and whole grain flour becomes seriously caramel-like (and especially so when drowned in caramel sauce frosting). I’ve also introduced brown bananas into the recipe, baking them on top of each cake, but that’s entirely optional if you have another use for them.
Caramel Banana Peel Cake
For this cake, Hard keeps the banana peels in the freezer until she needs them. she also says they’re great in smoothies. Although my version of her cake is full, it is still light and fluffy. Serve with or without the caramel sauce glaze.
For the cake
2 organic brown bananas
100g salted butter
250g unrefined sugar
3 small eggsseparate
120ml buttermilk or yoghurt
200g light wholemeal spelled flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
For the caramel sauce icing
100g salted butter
150g muscovado sugar
40-50ml whole milk
200-250g icing sugar – I make mine by mixing muscovado or powdered unrefined sugar in a high speed vertical mixer
Peel the bananas, set the fruit aside and soak the skins in cold water for an hour, replacing the water twice during this time. Drain, put the skins in a saucepan, add fresh water to cover, then bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes. Drain then puree the skins, diluting the mixture if necessary with a little cooking juice.
Cream the softened butter and unrefined sugar until light and fluffy. Beat the egg yolks, reserving the whites for now, then add the mashed banana peel and buttermilk or yogurt, then the spelled flour, baking powder and baking soda.
Whisk the egg whites until soft, then fold them into the cake batter. Divide cake mix into two greased and lined 18cm round cake pans. Cut the reserved brown bananas in half lengthwise and lay them cut side up on the dough. Bake at 200C (180C fan)/390F/Gas 6 for 35 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean, then remove and let cool.
To make the frosting, if using, melt the butter and muscovado, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Add whole milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Allow to cool slightly, then stir in the icing sugar. The mixture should now be spreadable; if not, add more icing sugar until it is.
Unmold the cakes, place one on a platter and spread a third of the icing on it. Place the second cake on top and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides, letting it drip off, then slice and serve.