How could you not fall in love with a dessert which translates into English as a bee sting cake. What a glorious name, and what a glorious cake to shove in your gob until your buttons pop.
The bienenstich is a brioche based cake with a caramelised honey almond topping and a wobbly custard filling. Any dish which includes a crunch a chomp and a squish with every bite is a dream come true in my books and whilst it is next to impossible to eat it without making a mess of yourself, I don't give a scooby dooby doo because cake is supposed to be indulgent. I promise you any goop mopping you have to do is well worth it for a slice of this cake ...as is all the finger twiddling you'll do whilst waiting for your yeasted dough to rise.
I'm a fan of what I call adult cakes (I'm talking less sugar and not boob shaped muffins here), and so I've used a dark muscavado sugar in the topping and scaled back the sweetness in the brioche. If you're an honorary member of club sacccharine then ramp up the sugar a bit.
I know this is Germany week, but I'm English so I will recommend pairing your cake with a nice cup of milky black tea. And for practicality reasons a bib.
- 100ml lukewarm milk
- 7g dried yeast
- 13g sugar
- 235g bread flour
- 1 egg
- 20g grated butter
bee sting topping
- 125g flaked almonds
- 85g butter at room temperature, cubed
- 100g dark muscavado sugar
- 3 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp double cream
- 2 sheets gelatine
- 3 egg yolks
- 140g caster sugar
- 30g custard powder
- 90g cornflour
- 750ml full fat milk
- 250ml double cream
NUTRITIONAL CONTENT PER PORTION
- Calories | 544
- Fat | 28.9
Serves | 10
Prep Time | 40 mins, plus 90 mins rising, plus 4 hours chilling
Cooking Time | 50 mins
- Mix together the yeast, milk and sugar. Cover and leave to activate for ten minutes in a warm draft-free space.
- Sieve the flour into a large bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingers until you have fine breadcrumbs.
- Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast/milk mixture and eggs. Whisk with a fork from the centre out incorporating the flour as you go.
- Once all incorporated turn out onto a work surface and knead for ten minutes until you have a smooth glossy dough. Cover and leave to rise in a warm draft-free place for an hour until doubled in size.
bee sting topping
- Meanwhile stir together the butter, sugar, honey and double cream in a heavy based pan. Heat over low/medium (without stirring) until the sugar has dissolved then brush the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush.
- Turn the heat up to medium high and cook until it reaches 115°c on a sugar thermometre.
- Remove from the heat and beat for 5 minutes until glossy and thick. Allow to cool slightly and then stir in the almonds
...back to the brioche
- Grease a 20cm round spring release cake tin.
- Place the dough in the greased cake tin, shaping it so that it fits. Cover and leave to rise in a warm draft-free place for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 175°c.
- Spread the almond topping on top of your brioche.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until the topping is golden and the cake is cooked through.
- Run a knife around the edge of the baking tin and leave to cool for ten minutes before unmoulding and leaving to cool on a cooling rack.
- Split the cake in two by slicing along the horizontal centre with a serrated knife.
- Put the gelatine leaves in a bowl of ice cold water.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and half the sugar for a couple of minutes with an electric hand whisk until it lightens in colour and you have thick ribbons
- In a large saucepan stir together the rest of the sugar, the custard powder and the cornflour. Stir in the cream in a slow drizzle and then the milk. Turn the heat to medium and bring to just before boiling point, stirring all the while.
- Remove from the heat and pour the hot cream/milk mix into the egg/sugar mix in a very very slow drizzle, whisking it as you go.
- Return to a medium heat and simmer for about ten minutes, stirring the whole time until the custard is thick and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat.
- Squeeze the water out of the gelatine and stir into the custard until fully combined. Allow to cool to room temperature, stirring regularly to prevent a skin from forming.
- Reassemble the springform cake tin you used to cook the brioche (clean it first).
- Put the bottom half of the brioche in the cake tin.
- Pour the cooled custard on top, smooth out and then gently place the top half of the brioche on top.
- Refrigerate for 4 hours or ideally overnight.