Banana cake

A sweet and springy wedge of waste-saving deliciousness from Bread Ahead

“The trick with making banana cake is to use really ripe bananas,” explains Matt Jones. Bananas that are squidgy. Bananas that are speckled. Bananas good for nothing but ripening stubborn avocados. “We get ours from Turnips,” the founder of Bread Ahead continues, “when they are so soft, they can no longer be sold.”

It’s the perfect food from waste—not, of course, that banana cake resembles waste, with its soft dark yielding sponge, and sweetly spiced aroma—but it bears a secret. Like a rags-to-riches duke, its former self lived a life unloved and bruised, destined for compost until it was scooped up by a baker and introduced to its knights in shining armour: dark brown sugar, cheerful cinnamon, and free range eggs.

“We tried a range of recipes and this one, a home recipe from one of our British bakers, was the best,” explains Matt. “It’s not too dense. It’s light and simple.” It works beautifully on its own for breakfast, or for an afternoon treat with cream cheese frosting.

Beefy builders
To complete the tale, Matt recommends a tea so refined, we’re taken aback. Surely banana bread is built for a cup of beefy builders? But, on reflection, it seems quite fitting that this former pauper of the fruit plate should find itself served up with nothing less than the elegance of an earl grey.