This Recipe created by Chef Dominique Persoone uses carefully selected ingredients that both satisfy hunger and offer a way of using products that often go to waste
Each year, food waste from households, retail establishments and the food service industry totals 931 million tonnes. Nearly 570 million tonnes of this waste occurs at the household level. 
In order to raise awareness of the issue and join the fight against food waste, the Agriculture and Fisheries Department and the Public Waste Agency of Flanders (OVAM) have worked with chef Dominique Persoone and creative agency, Wunderman Thompson Benelux, to create ‘Shopcakes’, a smart snack that can be consumed before grocery shopping to prevent hunger-fuelled impulse buying.
The recipe uses carefully-selected ingredients that both satisfy hunger and offer a way of using products that often end up going to waste. The ‘Shopcakes’ contain:
- Banana, full of satisfying natural sugar
- Nuts, to help people feel fuller for longer
- Whole-wheat bread, full of fiber to satisfy the stomach
- Flaxseed to stimulate hormones that satisfy hunger
- Dark chocolate, which adds bitterness and helps people feel sated
To launch the campaign, the ‘Shopcakes’ were handed out at the Colruyt Laagste Prijzen shop in Brugge-Sint-Pieters to fill shoppers up before they started their food shop so they weren’t buying unnecessary items that would eventually end up going to waste. Now, the organisation is sharing the recipe so you can make your own ‘Shopcakes’ to stop you from shopping hungry and in turn, combat food waste.
Chef Dominique Persoone said: “To a chef, throwing away food really is sinful. To combat the issue, we went in search of ingredients that not only taste great, but help you stay fuller for longer. We found ingredients such as chocolate, bananas, nuts, and bread often get thrown away because they’re perceived to be past their use-by date, so we created these ‘Shopcakes’ to hand out to people before they shop to quell their hunger. What’s more, is these ingredients will be found in most homes, so can easily be made from leftover ingredients to ensure the food doesn’t go to waste.”
Jan Verheyen at OVAM said: “In Belgium, 63% of Flemish people say they hate to throw away food, but every year, the average Flemish family throws 88kg of food in the bin. For the whole of Flanders, Belgium, this translates to 240,925 tonnes of food being wasted every year. We want people to be more mindful about their shopping and stop buying vast quantities of food that up being thrown away unnecessarily. With these cakes, Dominique has effectively solved food waste with food waste to show people just how easy it is to create a snack that will fill them up while they’re running their errands. We’re confident these delicious cakes will do their part in the fight against food waste and raise awareness of the huge quantities of food that are wasted and, in many cases, could be saved.”
Manuel Ostyn, Creative Director at Wunderman Thompson Benelux said: “Food waste is a huge issue globally, so we wanted to launch a campaign that would encourage people to use surplus food in a circular way. We were delighted to partner with Dominique who has brought our idea to life by creating a delicious product that people can easily replicate at home, and we’re confident these small but mighty cakes will play their part in the fight against food waste.”
Make your own Shopcakes
- 300g stale bread (or soft rolls, leftover Danish pastries or baps)
- 0.5L milk
- 185g granulated sugar
- 2 sachets vanilla sugar
- 2 tbsp custard powder
- 30g butter
- 4 large eggs
- a few ripe or overripe bananas
- 80g block chocolate
- 50g sultanas
- rum (optional, if preferred)
- handful of nuts (all kinds are good)
- 1 tsp chia seeds or flaxseed
- 12 g icing sugar
- 60ml water
- 120g dark chocolate
- 16g butter
- Take the stale bread, cut off any crusts and cut into 2.5 cm cubes. The bread must be really dry. If not, it is best to dry it out in the oven.
- Add the granulated sugar, vanilla sugar and butter to the milk and heat on the hob until everything has dissolved and the mixture is lovely and warm.
- Soak the sultanas in lukewarm water. You can also use rum for this, but water is just as good.
- Mash the bananas with a fork. We are using bananas for two reasons: they are a good source of fibre that will satisfy your hunger, and otherwise overripe bananas tend to be thrown away. Plus, overripe bananas add loads of flavour, so they are perfect for our Shopcake recipe.
- Beat the eggs until fluffy. Eggs are full of protein and improve satiety.
- Roughly chop the nuts. If they are raw, toast them briefly in a dry frying pan to bring out their flavour. All nuts – hazelnuts, pecans, almonds, … – are great sources of satiating fibre and protein. Nuts also contain healthy unsaturated fats that are digested slowly, which makes them perfect for our Shopcakes. Also, we all tend to have some leftover nuts lying around the house, so now you get to use them rather than throw them away.
- Dissolve the custard powder in a little water.
- Coarsely chop the chocolate into chunks. We are using dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa. The strong, rich taste satisfies the body so you will be less likely to feel hungry again.
- Pour the lukewarm milk over the bread. Mix well with a food processor or hand mixer. Add all the ingredients except the chocolate and mix well again. You can also leave some of the soaked bread cubes whole to add more texture.
- Add a teaspoon of chia seeds and/or flaxseed to the mixture. Chia seeds absorb moisture and form a gel-like mass in the stomach that makes you feel full. Flaxseed is also crammed with fibre and encourages the body to produce hormones that satisfy hunger.
- Grease some small cupcake trays with a little butter. Sprinkle with icing sugar and remove any excess. Divide the entire mixture between the cupcake cases. First fill the cases up to one third of their height and put a few chunks of chocolate in the middle. Then add the rest of the mixture to the cases up to about three quarters of their height.
- Put in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 35 minutes, then bake for one more minute at 160 degrees. The baking time depends a little on the oven, so it is best to test whether your Shopcakes are done by inserting a small toothpick.
- While your Shopcakes are baking in the oven, make a chocolate ganache for a finishing touch. Add 120 g of icing sugar to 60 ml of water and heat on the hob. Break 120 g of dark chocolate into pieces. When the icing sugar mixture is close to boiling point, pour it over the chocolate and mix well until smooth. Stir in 16 g of butter and your ganache is ready.
- Once the Shopcakes are out of the oven and the ganache is lukewarm, spread the ganache over the cakes and finish each Shopcake with a pecan.