“When a previous recipe calls for banana skins but not the flesh”
Recently my girlfriend was tasked with making two banana skin (yes, skin) cakes to celebrate a no waste cookbook. Of course the irony is that her making two of these cakes for work would mean a lot of banana flesh uneaten. Hence this recipe came to fruition.
Its the first recipe that I’ve posted that requires more than one board for the ingredients. I figured it would be a good time to show a more complicated recipe while also adding something sweet.
The first time I had ever made a banana cupcake I had used an under-ripe banana which I had learnt was the cause of it not having as strong a banana flavour as I was aiming for. And so if you do try this recipe I would say the older the better when it comes to bananas.
Cut the nuts in accordance to how much of a bite you would like in the cupcake. Its a lovely classic pairing as there’s the contrast in texture as well as the sweet versus the the bitter nuttiness.
The process for the cupcake will feel familiar; sieve the dry ingredients, add the wet and mix. Adding milk to loosen the mixture if necessary. When it comes to filling I find a large heaped tablespoon to be a good judge. Having said that I do tend to worry there isn’t enough mix half way through only to find I need to redistribute the excess at the end.
While the cupcakes are baking, it gives ample time to assemble the rest of the garnishes. I use the same sugar solution for both my swirls and my sauce so it can all be done at once. Hence I would recommend laying your walnuts next to where you’ll be making the sauce to allow quick access.
To make the garnish we melt butter then add the sugars and golden syrup until it reaches an amber colour. You can see it most clearly along the edges of the pot.
It is this solution that we can then use to drizzle over the nuts. Be creative and carefree with this part. Although as always, be careful when handling hot sugar…
Depending on how fast you made the garnish, adding the cold cream to the solution will make it harden but given time (and heat), they will come together to make a smooth butterscotch sauce.
Adding two tablespoons of the sauce will be enough to give that hint of bitterness to the buttercream.
Don’t forget to nibble on all those scraps from hollowing the cupcakes!
For the Cupcake:
- 125g Caster Sugar £0.20
- 140g Self Raising Flour £0.07
- 25g Walnuts – chopped £0.30
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda £0.02
- 125g unsalted Butter £0.55
- 2 Medium Free Range Eggs £0.50
- 1 Large very ripe banana £0.13
- 1tbps Milk (to loosen)
For the Butterscotch Sauce and Walnut Swirl:
- 50g Walnuts – chopped £0.60
- 75g Unsalted Butter £0.33
- 90g Caster Sugar £0.15
- 90g Demerara Sugar £0.19
- 75ml Golden Syrup £0.24
- 300ml Double Cream £0.80
For the Buttercream
- 200g Butter £0.88
- 300g Icing Sugar £0.53
- 2Tbls Butterscotch Sauce
Total Cost for 12 cupcakes ~ £5.49
Making the cupcake
- Preheat oven to 170C and line a cupcake tray (12)
- Sieve the flour, sugar and baking powder together into a bowl. Add the banana, walnuts, butter and eggs. Mix until combined. Add milk if necessary to loosen mixture.
- Split the mixture into the cupcake try; about a large heaped tablespoon each. Place in the oven for 22 minutes.
Making the filling and garnish
- Arrange the walnut pieces in 12 separate spherical forms on a baking tray.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan
- Add the sugars and golden syrup. Stir Occasionally
- Simmer the solution until an amber colour appears. Remove from the heat.
- Using a tablespoon, dip into the solution and swirl it over the walnuts, creating the desired form. Set the walnuts aside.
- Add the double cream into the saucepan. Stir well and return to the heat to boil.
- Simmer for 3 minutes then pass through a sieve into a jug. Allow to cool.
Making the buttercream
- Beat the butter and icing sugar.
- Add 2 Tbsp of the butterscotch sauce and mix.
- Fill a piping bag with the buttercream.
- Remove about 2cm of sponge from the centre of each cupcake.
- Fill the cupcakes with the cooled butterscotch sauce.
- Using a star nozzle, pipe on the buttercream.
- Place the walnut garnish on top.