“I have a friend who makes cakes out of something I know you threw away”
“What! I am a die-hard FoodCycle evangelist! What do I throw away?!” (Lots, actually, I am not nearly as imaginative or resourceful as I could be).
“I know you threw it away today…No I wasn’t watching, I just know.”
You can 100% make a cake with banana skins. Which you can also freeze as you eat one solitary banana a day until you have enough to make a whole cake.
My parents knew what was in the cake and they weren’t particularly excited about it, but when it was baking it definitely smelt really good, in the same way that standard banana bread fills the kitchen with warm, cinnamon-y banana caramel smells. They both had second helpings and they clearly thought it passed the test (we all have a test) as they gave some to the gardeners, missing out the key word “skins” when telling them it was “banana cake”.
In summary, then, this is extremely similar in taste to a banana bread (maybe not as gooey or incredibly amazingly more-ish, but still very close) and is a fun and really straightforward way to enjoy all parts of a fruit (or is it a herb now?) that we use and produce so much of we really could do it the courtesy of minimising its waste.
Considerations: I have told a few people about the banana skin cake because I think it makes me sound very creative, even though it is the brainchild of magical Polo’s magical friend. At least one person has added to the standard surprise a question about “isn’t it really bad for you to eat banana skins?”
I don’t know, and I haven’t looked it up (yet), but so far me, my parents and their gardeners are all still around.
Credit: I Looked up and read a few recipes to work out how to do this, and in the end adapted one from here: https://lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz/recipes/banana-peel-cake/
I found mine easier based on certain things I had, so theirs may be best for you.
4 banana peels (defrosted, if frozen), soaked for at least 30 mins in water, drained.
2 eggs, separated (I happened to have egg yolks to use because my Mum had made amazing meringues, so i used 2 egg yolks and then whisked up the water from a can of chickpeas to be egg white- the rumours are true! But it does take a lot of whisking.)
1.5 cups caster sugar
2 cups plain flour
50g butter or margarine
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp each cinnamon and nutmeg
Preheat oven to 200 degrees, and grease a 8inch cake tin.
Blend the banana skins with a cup of water until they are a dark brown puree (add more water if necessary)
Beat together the sugar, butter/spread and egg yolks until well combined and light
Add the banana SKIN puree and sift in the flour, baking powder and spices.
Fold together gently until evenly combined.
Whisk (with an electric whisk. It’s possible by hand but oh MY it takes a while) the egg whites or chickpea water until you get soft peaks (not stiff! We are not making meringues!).
Fold these in very gently to the rest of the batter, so that the air is not lost and the mixture is really light.
Pour into your cake tin and bake. Check after 35 minutes, it may need up to 45.
Let cool in the tin on a wire rack.