Bienenstich (“bee’s sting”) is one of Germany’s most popular cakes. It includes a sweet yeast dough, vanilla cream, and caramelized almonds with honey. Easy to make but can also be found at any German bakery. Try it, it’s delicious. :)
Friesentorte is a North German specialty from Niedersachen and Schleswig-Holstein (Nord- und Ostfriesland). Made from short crust pastry, puff pastry, whipping cream and plum jam or other fruit, it’s a “special occasion” cake that accompanies Friesentee - a local tea blend of tea - or coffee in the afternoon. There are many variations, usually based on family recipes.
Yeast cake with vanilla custard filling topped with honey-coated caramellized almond slices
For the dough:
250 g wheat flour
20 g yeast
125 ml milk
35 g sugar
35 g butter
1 pinch of salt
For the topping:
75 g butter
100 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
5 tbs milk
2 tbs honey
100 g sliced almonds
For the filling:
500 ml milk
45 g starch
1 pck vanilla sugar
pulp of a vanilly bean
1 tbs sugar
75 g butter
40 g powered sugar
Stir sugar and yeast into the milk and let stand for a couple of minutes. Put flour, butter, and salt nto a bowl. Add milk mixture and egg and knead until you get a smooth dough. Cover bowl with a cloth, place it at a warm place and let the dough raise for an hour. Put the risen dough into a springform (26 cm diameter) and let rise for 20 more minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the topping.
Put butter, sugar, vanilla sugar, honey, and milk into a pot and cook it briefly. Fold in the almonds. Spread mass evenly onto the dough before it gets cold and hard. Bake for 20 minutes at 200 °C (390 °F) until the top is golden brown. Let cake cool down. While cake is baking, make the filling.
Heat up milk, starch, vanilla pulp, vanilla sugar, and sugar in a pot under constant stirring. Let it cool down to room temperature. Beat butter and powdered sugar until fluffy and gently fold in the cold creme.
Remove the rim of the springform and slice cake open horizontally. Spread a thick layer of filling onto the lower half of the cake (works best after reattaching the rim). Put upper half of cake on top. As it may be difficult to cut the cake because the topping is crusty and the creme in the middle is fluffy and smooth, the upper half of the cake may be pre-cut before putting the pieces on top of the creme.
In the Revisiting Vienna episode of Around the World With Orson Welles, Orson, er, revisits Vienna. He does mention The Third Man and there’s some Anton Karas, but mostly it’s Orson talking in his usual entertaining way about the Opera, Coffee Houses, and cakes. Lots of cakes. Plus he checks out the pastries in the kitchen at Demel. This is the episode that was long thought lost, so it’s ace to see it.
Roll out the dough on baking tray. Try not to do it to thin. Now cover it with almond mass. Let it rise for 15 minutes.
Bake for about 30 minutes. It has to be gold-brown when you take it out.
Cream: Meanwhile you can soak the gelatin in cold water. Separate yolk and egg white of the egg and then beat egg white with salt till it’s stiff. Boil up milk with cream, sugar powder, vanilla and cold mixed corn starch. (you do this with a bit of water) Don’t forget to stir otherwise it will get burned! Take cream from cooker and dissolve gelatin in it. (without the cold water of course! ;) Now let it cool. Is it cool? Fine. Then you can stir in the yolk and fold in the beaten egg whites.
Finally halve the cake and cut both halves across so you can apply the cream on the lower half. Now just put the upper half on top again and it’s finished! :D
This cake does take a lot of time but it’s worth it I think… (:
… Sting like a sweet bee. Behold the bienenstich, which translates literally to ‘bee sting’ although Cake Girl can assure you this one is all pleasure and no pain. Imagine soft bread sandwiched together with vanilla-flavoured whipped cream and topped with crunchy honeyed almonds. That’s a bienenstich, where the sum of the whole is more heavenly than the parts. The sweet toffee-like nutty topping contrasts beautifully with the plainness of the bread and billowy smoothness of the cream. Truly divine and perhaps more deserving of a prettier name.