We thoroughly enjoy winter baking in our kitchen, but with the thaw comes excitement at the thought of having wonderfully fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs once again. As snow melts and the molasses, spices and dried fruit are shuffled to the back of the pantry, the Dough House is gearing up to make some cake. It’s time to celebrate!
One of my favourite hidden gems in rural Ontario is the Chicory Common, for both breakfast and baking supplies. One part bustling café and the other a well-stocked natural foods store, the Common is a haven for happy food and happy people. Where else would I find locally milled whole wheat pastry flour next to juicy organic vanilla beans?
To celebrate their 5th anniversary, I am creating two lavish layer cakes featuring ingredients found in the store. The first will be a lemon cake with a curd filling and a silky vanilla buttercream, and other is planned to be a decadent triple chocolate cake complete with dark layers, whipped ganache, and a rich chocolate frosting.
My first task is to make several large batches of meringue buttercream, as this icing freezes beautifully and therefore can be made ahead of time. The velvety and lightly sweet icing is the perfect cream-coloured canvas for vanilla bean seeds, and their mellow notes will pair nicely with the bright lemon curd.