I have lived in Vancouver for 4 years now but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss Toronto sometimes. I miss the hot hot summers, the bustling streets and the art galleries and museums. But not even a tiny part of me misses Toronto in March. It is a hideous time in Toronto, all sludge and grey sky’s and, while we may have clouds in Van, we also have cherry blossoms. It is overwhelming how beautiful the streets of East Van are these days. Whole streets are pink with petals. East Vancouver may have a bad reputation but my goodness there is no nicer place on earth in early spring than the side streets of Commercial Drive.
So when I was asked to make a birthday cake this weekend I knew it would be have to be girly and floral, because all I can smell is flowers and all I can think of is summer. So here is a pound cake with vanilla rose buttercream. It’s unbelievably moist with lots of vanilla and just a hint of lemon. And a hint of rose too. Because it’s spring, and there’s something very romantic about spring.
Vanilla Pound Cake
2 1/4 cup Sugar
3 3/4 cup Pastry Flour
1 tsp Salt
2 tbsp Vanilla
Zest of 1 Lemon
1 cup Buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350F
Butter and flour 2 7 inch cake pans
In a mixer with the paddle attachment cream Together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes
Add in the eggs one at a time beating well between each addition.
Add in the zest and the vanilla extract beating again for another minute.
Add in one third of the dry ingredients, then half the buttermilk.
Repeat again until all the ingredients have been just combined, do not overmix.
Spoon into prepared pans
1lb Butter, room temperature
4oz Egg Whites
2 Vanilla Beans
2 tsp Rose Water
Zest of one Lemon
Split the vanilla beans in half and scrape our the seeds out.
Break up the beans in a metal bowl with the sugar. Just squish them together, the abrasiveness of the sugar will do this easily.
Mix the egg whites into the sugar and set over a small pot of water on medium high heat on the stove. Whisk.
Keep whisking until it is frothy and is hot to the touch.
Remove from heat and pour mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk on high for about 5 minutes or until stiff peaks appear and the mixture is very glossy.
On medium speed whisk in butter knob by knob. If it starts to look split don’t panic, just add in a big chunk of butter and it should come back. Add in the lemon zest, the rose and a bit of vanilla if you think you need more. Taste and make sure the rose is strong enough for you (sorry I forgot to take a picture at this point)
Now cut the cakes in half lengthwise.
Put a dob of icing down on your cake stand and put your first layer of cake down. put a thick layer of icing on top and spread it out with a spatula.
Then coat the outside with a thin layer of icing and refridgerate until cool and solid.
Now ice it however you’d like!