Bienenstich: The Recipe of German Delight
Bienenstich or the Bee Sting Cake is a traditional form of cake and a classic treat straight form Germany. It get sticky and sweet enough as you get in deeper and enhances your appetite for more and more. You simply just cannot have a portion of it. The cake is made using sweet bread, a fine vanilla filling and beautiful droplets of almonds glazed with honey on top. It is a traditional and quite popular all over the Germanic lands and even in other parts of Europe. .
Understanding the history being Bienenstich?
This sweet, melodious, mouth full of creamy, crunchy delight got its name based on two stories. The first account is that of a baker who encountered bees while trying out a new recipe of cake. Apparently, the bees were attracted to the honey almond topping and the baker was also stung by a few bees, therefore, the baker decided to name the cake as Bienenstich. On the other hand, there is also a tale which goes back to the 15th century. In this account, a group of bakers prevented an invasion by throwing beehives at the invaders, and then for the purpose of the celebration created the Bienenstich.
This traditional cake dissert comprised of three layers: the cake dough, the smooth filling and the crunchy, crispy honey glazed topping. The main ingredients are flour, butter, sugar, salt, eggs, and milk. You can find yeast in most recipes as well but occasionally some people choose not to use it. The legendary filling is made by using vanilla and pudding mix. There is indeed a more elaborate process as per which you must use vanilla extract, butter, sugar and milk for the best pasty cream ever. Now comes the turn of the shiny topping. Traditionally speaking, the topping has to include almonds and honey. The two along with butter and on slow heat, they are turned into a very light shade of golden brown and voila, the topping is ready. It can be had as a snack or simply with coffee or tea.
For the pastry cream
- Milk: 1 ¼ cups
- Vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- Egg yolk: 3 large
- Granular white sugar: ¼ cups
- All-purpose flour: 2 tablespoons
- Cornstarch: 2 tablespoons
- Liqueur: ½ tablespoon
For the Brioche dough:
- Whole milk: ¼ cup
- Honey: 1 tablespoon
- Active dry yeast: 1 ½ teaspoon
- Eggs beaten: 2
- All-purpose flour: ¾ cups
- Granular sugar: 2 tablespoon
- Salt: ½ teaspoon
- Bread flour: 1 cup + 2 tablespoons
- Unsalted butter: ½ cups
For the Honey Almond Topping
- Unsalted Butter: ¼ cup or 4 tablespoons
- Sugar: ¼ cups
- Honey: ¼ cup
- Salt: A pinch
- Sliced Almonds: ¾ cup
How to make the Bienenstich?
- The Pastry Cream:
The first step is all about getting the apparatus ready. It is important to take a regular sized heatproof bowl. You are then required to add and mix: sugar and the egg yolks together into the bowl. The important thing to remember at this point in time concerning this mixture is to not let it stay for long because pieces of eggs will start forming.
In the meantime sift the flour and corn-starch or cornflour and then immediately add the egg and sugar mixture into this. Mix consistently and well enough till the point you get a pasty consistency. It has to be extremely smooth without any lumps.
Furthermore, take a saucepan and pour in milk along with the vanilla beans. Bring this mixture to a boil. Remember not to let it boil for too long, just till the point the foam starts to form. After it does so, immediately remove it from the heat and slowly add the egg mixture from above into the saucepan. Keep on whisking at all times consistently so that curdling doesn’t happen. Also, if in any case pieces of egg appear in the form of curdling then pour the mixture through a strainer so that they can be easily removed.
Now, you will be required to take the pieces of vanilla beans out along with the seeds and then place these seeds into the mixture of egg. Later on the vanilla beans, after washing and drying them, they can be put in the bowl of sugar so that they get immersed into the flavours of vanilla.
Furthermore, take the egg mixture and pour it into a medium sized saucepan while the saucepan is set over medium heat. Allow it to cook and let it boil while whisking constantly. After it appears to boil, whisk the mixture further for a minute or so till the point the consistency becomes thicker. It should not get too thick. Next, remove this mixture from the heat and pour the liqueur depending upon the requirement and do not forget to whisk. Then add the vanilla extract and mix it well.
Take another bowl and pour in the above mixture and cover the opening of the bowl using a plastic or a cellophane covering. This is done so that any crust doesn’t appear over the mixture. Furthermore, allow this mixture to set and cool down at room temperature. Then if the need allows refrigerate or serve as it is.