Beesting cake or Bienenstich is a yeast based desert that is similar to brioche in its consistency. Some people say the name comes from the bees that are attracted to its honey topping, others say that to be a true beesting it needs to have been stung by a bee!
Anyway, aside from that it is Mr Elf’s favourite and after lots of years without this cake I have decided to take on the challenge and create one for his birthday. I have been researching recipes and there are many variations out there. I have gone for a combination recipe taken from a couple of different sites (BBC good food and Good To Know websites) and combined them to make a recipe that is not to custardy (yuck!) and fingers crossed it will work out.
The recipe is a yeast based cake although if this seems daunting there are non-proofing recipes out there that I am sure would work just as well.
Ingredients for the dough:
250g plain white flour
125g butter (cold ish)
2tsp caster sugar
Pinch of salt
7g easy-bake dried yeast
3 medium eggs
Lightly butter a Medium baking tin. Mix the flour and butter together to make breadcrumbs, by rubbing the butter though the flour with your fingers and thumbs. Next add the sugar, salt, yeast and eggs and knead it in to the mixture until combined (take a little time to do this). Turn out on to a lightly floured surface form the dough into a ball, use a little extra flour if you need. Put the dough into a bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise for 1 hour in a warm place until it has doubled in size. Once it has risen knock the dough down, shape it into a ball and put it back into the baking tin you are going to use in the oven. Cover and leave to rise for about 1 hour, until doubled in size
Ingredients for the topping:
50g unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
80g sliced almonds
Bring the butter, sugar, honey, and salt, together in a non-stick pan on the hob and bring to a gentle boil. (Keep an eye on this or it will boil up over everything and this is very hard to get off!) Let the mixture reduce slightly then remove from the heat, and stir in the almonds, making sure that all the almonds are evenly coated in the honey mixture. (You can add extra almonds if you feel like it). Spoon over the dough making sure you get an even coverage. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 25 minutes until golden brown.
Ingredients for the filling:
250g Double cream
Make sure you allow the cake to cool right down to room temperature before you try to add the filling. Whip up the cream until thick and slowly add the honey and vanilla. Cut the cake in half (extra hands might be needed) and spread a generous layer of cream inside. Sandwich back together serve.
You could use Crème fraiche instead of cream, or you could go the custard based filling and make a thick custard instead. Don’t be afraid of this delish cake. It is remarkably easy and just needs a little bit of extra time and planning to allow for the proofing. (I didn’t remember to do this, and was baking in to the night)
Elf tip: Make sure your eggs are room temperature. Cold eggs make for sad yeast.