Monday, May 13, 2013

Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich)

When I saw the recipe for Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich) on smitten kitchen's website, I immediately printed it off and began to devise reasons to make this cake.  Any reason would have done, but I knew Mother's Day was coming up, and my family did not have anything planned!  I immediately called my mom and told her we were having afternoon tea with this cake as the star.  She was game; the cake is German in origin, and Germans really do make the best desserts.  (Warning--we might be a bit biased as my Mom is German)

{Bee Sting Cake}

{Bee Sting Cake--side view}

German sweets and pastries are not sickingly sweet.  That's probably why my family prefers them.  I don't want a sugar rush when I eat cake; I just want to satisfy the sweet craving with as little sugar (aka calories) as possible.  This cake definitely delivers.  The yeasty taste of the cake with the sweet and crunchy topping coupled with the slight sweetness from the cream filling--oh man am I craving that last piece that is sitting on my counter!  As far as the tea went, this cake was mostly gone and EVERYONE took a slice home to their husbands!  That's what I like to hear!

This cake was a bit more work than what I normally like to do, but this is really simple to make.  There are just several steps and parts.  I am positive that even a novice baker can make this delicious cake!

Making the cake:

{Bloom the yeast}

{Mix cake ingredients together}

{Let cake rise.  The cake will not double or anything, but it should noticably rise}

Making the topping:

{Add ingredients to saucepan}

{Melt and boil for 3-5 minutes or until color changes}

{Add almonds and cool}

Bake the cake:
{On the recipe, she said just put the almonds on the top and they will spread out themselves.  That didn't happen with me so PLEASE make sure that you spread the almond topping as evenly as possible}

{Cake should be  dark and done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean}

Making the filling:

{Whisk egg yolks and sugar together until thick and light lemon color (I used farm eggs so the yolks were a bit darker)}

{Add flour and whisk until smooth}

{Add hot milk slowly whisked thoroughly after each addition}

{Mixture will be liquid but add heat and mixture will thicken}

{This was a little lumpy so keep whisking!}

{Press plastic wrap onto the top to prevent a skin from forming}

Assemble the cake:

{Get a long serrated knife and a spatula to spread the filling}

{I didn't free-hand; I lazily used the plate lip as a guide.  Why?  Because it was perfect!}

{My almond topping fell through in some places, but the cake was still delicious!}

Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich)

Makes 8-16 slices depending on how its cut

1 package (think it's 1/4 oz) active dry yeast
3/4 cup whole milk, heated to 100 degrees (if you don't have a thermometer, place a clean finger in the milk--it should be slightly warm to the touch)
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons heavy cream or 1/2 and 1/2
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
Dash of salt

3 egg yolks, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
Dash of salt
1 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2-3 tablespoons cold butter
  1. Cake:  Mix warm milk and yeast together to bloom; let stand 3 minutes.  Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl.  When yeast is done blooming, add to cake mixture.  Mix with mixer on low-medium setting for 2-3 minutes.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place (like oven with door propped open to allow light to heat the oven) for 60 minutes or until it's puffy (it won't double which is fine).
  2. Topping:  Mix butter, sugar, honey, and heavy cream together in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and boil for 3-5 minutes or until mixture darkens slightly stirring frequently.  Once color is achieved, add almonds and stir to combine.  Set aside to cool.
  3. Filling:  Whisk egg yolks and sugar together in a saucepan until thick and pale, lemony yellow (about 2 minutes).  Add flour and salt and whisk until smooth.  Meanwhile, heat milk and almond extract in microwave until hot.  Add milk to egg mixture, drizzling slowly and whisking the entire time.  Once milk is fully incorporated, turn heat to medium-high until it bubbles whisking the entire time.  Let it bubble for 2-3 minutes until thick, whisking to make sure no clumps form.  Take filling off the heat and add cold butter, whisking to make sure no clumps form.  When finished, filling should be smooth, thick and creamy.  Place in a container with plastic wrap directly on the cream so no skin forms.  Cool in the fridge.
  4. Bake cake:  Butter a 9 inch springform or cake pan (springform will be easier because you won't have to take the cake out of the pan, just pop off the sides).  Stir cake batter gently to deflate then place in buttered pan.  Allow to rest another 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350.  Spread topping evenly on cake batter surface.  Bake cake for 20-25 minutes or until top is bronzed and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes, then remove cake from pan.  Allow cake to cool overnight before assembly.
  5. Assemble cake:  Using a long, serrated knife cut cake in half horizontally.  Remove top and spread cream filling on the bottom half of cake.  Replace the top half of cake and serve.
  6. Try not to die from the deliciousness!
See--not too complicated just many, many steps and processes.  Please don't be intimidated!  I am always here to help!  I would really, really hate for you to be deprived of this cake!

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