Sponge cakes with candied fruits are a traditional specialty in several countries. Many of them keep old recipes, while others have been reinterpreted by new chefs and master bakers. We want to honour the variety of desserts with candied fruits in different posts (in here you can read about candied fruits in Christmas desserts), and today we will talk about Gâteaux de Voyage cakes.
What is “gâteaux de voyage”?
It is a traditional cake from France, and one of its varieties are cakes with candied fruits. They are called like that because they were desserts that could be several days without refrigeration and not getting ruined, and because of that they were perfect for travels.
That’s why it is said that it’s not just one elaboration, but a family of cakes with great variety, always with one thing in common: they are easy to eat and easy to preserve, and they are made preferentially with common ingredients in every kitchen.
A story about Versailles
First written reference about the existence of these cakes dates from the XVII century, and belongs to the personal correspondence of a nobility member, Sévigné marchioness. In one of her letters to her daughter, the noble mentions the “Gâteaux de Voyage” that she carried on her travels to “Britain and Versailles palace”, and the fact that it lasted the whole travel without ruining. The travel is long, and apparently the noble made it several times a year. In order to make the journey more pleasant, the marchioness asked her personal pastry chef to make a cake that could be preserved for a long time, like happens with gingerbread.
One name, many varieties (and some of them with candied fruits)
In the generic category of gâteaux de voyage cakes, there are integrated different elaborations, like cupcakes, financiers, waffles, marmol cakes and Breton cookies, that is every light sweet that can be perfectly preserved several days in a metal tin.
Some authors relate that financiers created by the pastry chef Lasne, located in Paris’ stock market area, were the first “gâteaux the voyage”. The form of these cakes is inspired by golden ingots, in homage to the clients of the patisserie that were stock brokers.
If we go back before that, in the XVII century the first financier appeared with the name of Visitandine. It was elaborated with almond powder, flour, egg white and sugar, and it was rounded and fabricated in Nancy, in a nun’s convent. With the whites, they made these cakes (the yolks were used for making paints). But during the Renaissance they stopped because it seems that almond smell was confused by cyanide smell (and there is some true on that, although the poisonous compound is only on bitter almonds).
Gâteaux from Nantes
On the variety of Gâteaux de voyage we can point out the gâteau from Nantes. It is a cake elaborated with traditional ingredients like almond pastry and lemon frosted, but also with others that arrived in Nantes from the Antilles, like rum and spices. This cake accompanied the sailors on their long boat journeys from the other side of the Atlantic in the XVIII century, and just like Bordeaux, Nantes has been French city really bonded to the cologne commerce… Although some time it was old-fashioned, the gâteau from Nantes has been included again in the menus of coffee shops and restaurants from the area.
What have in common every gâteaux de voyage
The common characteristics to every travel cake are that they are elaborated from natural ingredients, with the particularity that they can be preserved several days at ambient temperature (from 8 to 30 hours). They support travel conditions always with a smooth texture, without cream nor fresh fruit (although they can have candied fruits) that make its degustation easier.
People often eat these cakes with the hand, on the go, usually on a picnic or as a snack. That’s why this kind of cake can’t be greasy nor crumble, nor being covered in powder or anything that can stain hands or clothes (so many of them have glace…). When these cakes have fruit, to add the freshness and the scent that only this food can provide, it always is introduced candied fruits, the only capable of resisting without ruining the different temperatures over the day without the necessity of refrigerate the product.
Do our products serve to do cakes with candied fruits?
Lazaya products are specially designed to cover our customers’ expectations in the five continents. That’s why all our preserved fruit has intrinsic characteristics of quality, flavour and texture, while others we can adapt to each order. We could say that we have a community of loyal customers, that grows every year, because we are able to offer them the certified quality they demand, besides the scent and flavour of the best-preserved fruit and candied fruit from Aragon, but also to adapt the products to specific requirements: candied fruits without sugar, with natural colouring, with certain Brix Degrees, candied fruit without preservatives… Also, in our factory and on demand, we can adapt the cut of the preserved fruit or the type of package for your specific needs.
For all this, if you are in charge of an industrial patisserie, or you’re the owner of a pastry workshop and you want to make delicious cakes with candied fruits, you can count us in for whatever you need. We are producers of preserved fruit with great tradition in Calatayud (Aragón, Spain), managed by the third generation of Lazaro family. We love our work and know the specific needs of our customers so we can improve our product. That’s why we would be pleased for talking to you to understand what you are looking for and offer it to you. We are dedicated to quality and customer service. Do you want to talk?