The sweet taste of travel cake

Yes, it's the cake for consumption when you're travelling. You didn't put "cake" on your travel packing list yet? Well you should consider it. Actually this recipe originated from travelers in older times; when transportation wasn't so advanced, travel times were long so people needed to prepare food with high calories and durable – hence got its name, "travel cake".

To help your visualization, this travel cake actually looks and tastes like modern day pound cakes. The S**a Lee cake we often seen in supermarkets would be the representative. This type of cake is can be really called "cake" in France (dessert classifications are quite specific there; "cake" is defined specifically as this type of butter cake made with baking powder).

In our impressions, pound cake may consider as the example of cheap cakes; but in a famous patisserie in France, one would easily cost you 17 to 20 Euros, and they taste so good which can beyond your expectations! I'm going to share with you the secret to this sweet treat here.

Usually pound cakes are made out of sugar, butter, flour and eggs at 1:1:1:1 ratios; that's why the French also calls it "Quatre-quarts", meaning four quarters. This recipe has been modified so that it won't be too sweet. Homemade version is also going to moister than supermarket-bought version.

Fig and apricot travel cake (300g portion)
Flour : 68g Egg (room temperature): 56g
Baking powder : 4g Melted butter : 50g
Sugar : 35g Dried apricots : 25g
Salt : 1g Dried figs : 25g
Honey : 5g Lemon zest : 10g

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius (ideally, check the temperature with a kitchen thermometer to ensure it is at 150 degrees)
  2. Mix the flour and baking powder, then sift through a sieve.
  3. Pour some warm water (40-50 degrees Celsius) in a big bowl; place a slightly smaller bowl in the bowl of warm water, and mix the sugar, salt, honey and egg in the "warm water bath".
  4. Add in the sifted flour and baking powder, then mix using a cake mixer. Be careful not to over-beat the mixture.
  5. Mix in the melted butter till the texture is consistent.
  6. Mix in the dried fruits and lemon zest.
  7. Brush some melted butter on the inside of a cake tin, then pour the batter into the cake tin.
  8. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 40 minutes.

When we're waiting for 40 minutes, we can prepare the syrup that goes on the cake. "Syrup? Wouldn't that be too sweet?" I hear your concern. Don't worry! This syrup will moisten the cake, and it's not going to be too sweet because we'll add lemon juice.

Water : 30g
Lemon Juice : 5g
Sugar : 5g

The syrup is very easy to make; just mix and boil the water, lemon juice and sugar together. When the cake is ready, take it out from the cake tin and place onto a cooling rack. Brush the still warm syrup onto all surfaces of the cake, until the cake slightly saturated with the syrup. Cover the cake and let it cool for 6 hours or longer, and it would taste good!

This cake won't be too dry, and if you're quick cook in the kitchen, it can be done within an hour. Perfect for snack when you go travelling or for walking in the mountain!

A Patissier in Paris
Lammy

A patissier currently living in Paris, loves traveling, cooking, photography and all about culture. Lammy discovered the fun of desserts from his early kitchen experiences with mum, and decided to learn making them in France before he turned 30. To get enough money for this, he worked in some totally irrelavant businesses for 3 years, at the same time kept learning French and Japanese to explore their aesthetic senses. Luckily made his dream come true before 30, he is starting a sweet-sour dessert adventure with his broken French.