Today is my 5th Blogiversary! I can hardly believe I've been writing Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks for 5 years now! What started out as a tiny blog to share my recipes with friends and to give me something to do has turned into something amazing. I now have a fairly successful blog which had it's highest pageviews ever last month, I've met so many amazing food bloggers along the way and am part of a wonderful community, and I'm making a part time living with my blog! All of that and I'm still having fun writing it.
To celebrate this occasion I'm sharing a special cake with you.
I had my first Bee Sting Cake about 10 years ago. My husband took me to this little German restaurant in town and told me to order whatever I wanted as long as I saved room for dessert. He told me that the Bienenstich, or Bee Sting Cake, was amazing and I had to try it.
I admit, I can't remember what I had for dinner that night but I certainly remember the cake. The thing about this cake is it isn't terribly sweet. In addition to the cake it is baked with an almond crunch on top. Then it's filled with pastry cream and it has a light rum whipped frosting on top. The entire thing is awesome when it comes together. The German restaurant also makes a chocolate Bee Sting cake. I haven't tried that one yet because I like the original too much.
A friend recently asked me to make this cake for her husband's birthday. Before I started looking for a recipe I looked up the actual definition of a Bee Sting Cake. It turns out it's a German yeast cake with a baked on topping of caramelized almonds. It's usually filled with vanilla custard or cream and then is topped off with frosting.
I attempted a trial run several days before the birthday and it's a good thing I did. The cake I made rose beautifully and looked amazing. My husband and I couldn't wait to eat a slice. Only when we tasted it, it wasn't very good. The texture was off and the cake itself was way too yeasty. I ended up pitching it in the garbage can and starting from scratch.
My second attempt was with a different recipe and one that didn't use yeast. It came out fluffy and perfect. I had topped it with a crunchy almond topping that looked great. I put some fresh vanilla pastry creme in between the layers and then topped it off with whipped rum frosting. This version was awesome. The rum frosting worked well against the almond crunch on the cake and the pastry cream was just about perfect. While it wasn't the same as the cake at the restaurant, this one was definitely a winner.
For the cake:
- 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- 1 ½ c. sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 3 ½ c. flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ c. milk
- ½ c. honey
For the almond crunch topping:
- 1 c. dark brown sugar
- ½ c. water
- 2 Tablespoon honey
- 1 c. sliced almonds
For the Pastry Cream Filling:
- 1 c. whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean
- 3 egg yolks
- ⅓ c. granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons butter
For the rum whipped topping:
- ½ c. heavy whipping cream
- ¼ c. powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon rum
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a 10 inch springform pan with foil taking care to make sure that there are no tears or holes in the foil. (I place one piece of foil on the inside and one on the outside because otherwise it drips!)
- Combine the dark brown sugar, water, and honey for the almond crunch topping. Mix well and pour into the bottom of the foil lined pan. Sprinkle evenly with the almonds. Set aside.
- In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar. Add in the eggs and mix well. Stir in the vanilla.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another medium bowl combine the milk and honey. Stir half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture and mix well. Add in the milk and honey and stir until combined. Add in the remaining flour and mix well.
- Carefully pour the cake batter into the cake pan, taking care to pour it over top of the almond mixture.
- Bake for 75-90 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove the pan from the oven and run a butter knife around the edges. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove the sides of the springform pan. Place a wire cooling rack on top of the cake and flip it over. Peel the aluminum foil off the cake. Allow the cake to cool for 3 hours.
- Meanwhile, make the pastry cream. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. In a saucepan heat the milk and vanilla bean over medium heat. Heat until steaming but not boiling. Pour the milk into a liquid measuring cup with a spout and remove the vanilla bean.
- Rinse the saucepan with cool water and wipe dry. Off the heat whisk the egg yolks and sugar for 2-3 minutes, until pale.
- Whisk in the cornstarch and salt. Drizzle in the milk mixture while whisking constantly, until all of the milk is added.
- Return the mixture to medium heat and stir constantly until it begins to bubble. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes or until thickened.
- Immediately remove from heat and whisk in the butter. Place in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Using a serrated knife cut the cake in half. Pipe the pastry cream into the center of the cake and use a butter knife to smooth. Replace the top half of the cake.
- In a large bowl beat the heavy cream until it begins to thicken. Add in the powdered sugar, rum, and vanilla. Continue beating until the whipped cream is thick.
- Carefully spread the whipped cream over top of the cake. If desired chop some leftover almonds and sprinkle them around the outer edge of the cake on the whipped topping.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Cake is best served the day it is put together.
Recipe adapted from Warner's Restaurant Cookbook (restaurant located in Cumberland, MD).