Take a moment to appreciate the sensuous anatomy of a Lady’s Slipper orchid or inhale the fragrance of a budding plumeria, and you can surely understand the Dutch and their infatuation with flowers. Aside from being prized for their healing powers, flowers have long been coveted for their beauty and fragrance; often symbolic of the transient nature of life as we know it. But it was in the Netherlands during the seventeenth century, a period more commonly referred to as the Dutch Golden Age, when floral fascination soared to new heights with the great tulip speculation. During this time, the most desirable tulip bulbs commanded exorbitant market prices that exceeded the value of even the most extravagant homes in Amsterdam.
Perhaps it was the selection of dainty sugar tarts filled with lavender ganache topped with the plumpest blueberries that may have caught your gaze, or the chocolate cake layered with espresso icing, rich blackberries, and sun-ripened Black Mission figs that may have stopped you in your tracks. Whatever the case, it certainly would never occur to the undiscerning eye that the smorgasbord of delectable treats would be born from a vegan and gluten-free boutique bakery situated in an otherwise nondescript industrial complex of Brooklyn, New York. Since the opening of Lael Cakes in 2011, pastry chef Emily Lael Aumiller has carved a niche in the baking world with her innovative focus on natural ingredients and original design.