Up until a few days ago, I’d never heard of Travel Cake, or Gâteaux de Voyage as it’s fondly known in its country of origin. I’m going to tell you a little bit about them and have also included an easy recipe for Pistachio & Vanilla Travel Cake.
The Gâteaux de Voyage, which translates to “travel cakes” in French, has a rich history rooted in the culinary traditions of France. These portable cakes were originally crafted to provide a convenient and delicious treat for travellers on their journeys. The concept of travel cakes dates back to the 17th century when people began to explore distant lands, and the need for durable and transportable treats arose.
French pastry chefs, known for their exquisite craftsmanship, adapted their traditional cake recipes to create versions that could withstand the rigours of travel without compromising on taste and quality. The Gâteaux de Voyage became a favourite companion for explorers, adventurers, and those embarking on long journeys, offering a taste of home wherever their travels took them.
Over time, these travel cakes evolved into a diverse array of flavours and forms, reflecting regional ingredients and culinary influences. Today, Gâteaux de Voyage continues to be a cherished part of French patisserie, celebrated not only for their historical significance but also for the delightful fusion of flavours and textures they bring to those savouring them, whether at home or on the go.
Pistachio & Vanilla Travel Cake
This is the perfect cake for the weekend. One that can sit on your kitchen counter covered with a glass cloche and snacked on over a few days or on hand for visitors. You’ll need to weigh all of your ingredients, including the egg yolks. Save the egg whites for meringue. The cake will keep for up to 10 days if stored correctly.
- 200g egg yolks
- 200g castor sugar
- 200g cake flour
- 6g baking powder
- 80g melted butter
- 140g double cream
- 35g pistachio paste
- 2.5g vanilla paste
- 300g white chocolate
- 35g neutral oil
- 40g chopped pistachios
- Combine the egg yolks and castor sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk until pale
- Add the flour, baking powder, and melted butter and continue mixing until combined.
- Add the cream and continue mixing until combined.
- Fold in pistachio paste and vanilla and place the batter in the fridge to rest for a minimum of 40 minutes but ideally 24 hours to allow the flavours to develop.
- Preheat oven to 170°C, then line a 25cm loaf tin with baking paper and set aside.
- Pour the cake batter into the loaf tin, then tap on a countertop to get rid of any bubbles and bake for 40-45 minutes (depending on oven).
- The cake will be done when a skewer is inserted and comes out with a few crumbs left on the tip. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before removing from the loaf tin.
- Cool the cake completely before glazing (you can stick it in the freezer to speed this up).
- While the cake is cooling make the glaze by melting the white chocolate and combining it with the oil using either a stick blender or a whisk. Add the chopped pistachios.
- Glaze the cake and place it in the fridge to set before serving.