The alarm chimes before the sun comes up. On go jeans, boots, and mascara on eyelashes with eyelids still at half mast. Lights turn on, and hair is tied up somehow. Face is washed. Dammit – mascara is reapplied. Drips of water on sweater are smudged with washcloth. Washcloth falls to floor, I pick it up, and miss the countertop.
Out the door, and into the streets filled with lamplights. To the airport. Through security – oh good, I remembered to pack my wallet. And my phone and my boarding pass. And, um, this pair of underwear should really be in my suitcase and not my carry on. Shoes off – ewww. Note to self: next time pack socks along with random undies.
To the gate. No, to the coffeeshop, then to the gate. Sounds, and lights and whiffs of caffeine are starting to wake me. The sun peeks through the windows of the terminal, over the profiles of the planes and news broadcasts report smooth sailing. My eyes are open and I sit down with time to spare, to sip my coffee and dig deep into my purse for treats wrapped in parchment paper – still intact after the morning travel scuffle.
Isn’t this how your jetsetter mornings go? Travel mornings are a bit tough, but pre-preparation (aka: adding “bake up treats for breakfast on the go and snacks en route” to your pre-travel to do list) is worth each and every moment spent.
I always carry homemade snacks with me on the plane; these, these and this are my favorites. But sometimes, something more seemingly sinful is in order. This cake was originally a pound cake, labeled as such for the full pound of butter used in preparation – I couldn’t imagine sitting on a pound of butter while flying from San Francisco to New York a couple of weekends back and so I did some tinkering. What resulted was a sweet, light cake with a hint of lemon and a rich sweetness that could only belong to maple. It was perfect for dunking, and snacking and did right well wrapped in parchment and tucked into my purse for that in-flight movie snack. I glazed it, but you could just as easily not. And, I used maple sugar, but you could just as easily substitute muscovado – the maple profile will be much more of an essence, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious and it is still an excellent weapon to combat against succumbing to stale, over-processed baked goods at the airport coffee shop.
- 1/2 cup maple syrup, preferably grade B
- 3/4 cup greek-style yogurt
- 1/4 cup maple sugar (or muscavado sugar)
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup organic powdered sugar, sifted
- 4 - 5 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Generously rub a metal loaf pan with coconut oil.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with your whisk in hand,) combine the syrup, yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest. Whisk until smooth and incorporated. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in stages (about ½ cup at a time,) waiting for the dry mixture to be completely incorporated into the wet before adding more. Drizzle in the oil, folding gradually until the oil absorbs into the batter.
- Pour the cake into the prepared pan and tap the pan on your worksurface to encourage any bubbles to come to the surface. Then, place cake on baking sheet in oven and bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 5 minutes. Cut around pan sides to loosen cake, turn the cake out onto rack, re-invert it and allow it to cool completely on the rack. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap and store at room temperature.)