Happy Mother’s Day!

I have to say I love Mother’s Day.  Breakfast in bed, and my husband doing absolutely everything is probably one of the best parts of the day.  That and my boys actually allowing me to hug them.  (This is a rare occurrence as they are now 20 and 17).

I’ve been going over what to make for Mother’s Day, as making dessert is my thing.  I’ve been going over recipes and trying to figure out something different to make, something we haven’t had for years.

When I was little my Oma used to bake all the time.  This is where I get my obsession with baking from.  It skipped a generation, my mother cannot bake if her life depended on it.  She even has a problem with those biscuits in a tube (she burns them).

My Oma used to make the best desserts (and never share her recipes) when I was little.  One of them was a Bienenstich cake (Bee Sting as my mother told me).  It’s one of those cakes that looking at it, it doesn’t seem like much, but that first bite takes me back to my childhood.

This past December my Oma passed away and we still haven’t been able to find any of her recipes.  My theory is she either hid them in the floor boards or she threw them away so that no one would be able to recreate any of her recipes.  (This was her thing, she would give you a recipe and either leave out ingredients or change the instructions on the recipe so that it wouldn’t work for you.  Think “Everybody Loves Raymond” and his mom – that was my Oma).

So now starts the internet search for a recipe to be able to recreate something from my childhood.  I never realized there were so many different versions of this cake.  My only real knowledge is that it is a yeast cake.  So I simply eliminated the recipes that called for just a regular cake, because this wouldn’t be authentic German.

I came up with a couple of recipes, and ended up using the cake recipe from one and the custard from another.  Now my Oma would never make a custard from scratch, it just wasn’t something she would do.  This is where Dr. Oetker comes in.  Trying to find a recipe where they use Dr. Oetker’s Vanilla Pudding as the filling was almost impossible.  I finally found one, the problem was, their cake recipe.  They added cinnamon to the cake??  Now I know this isn’t something that goes in a Bienenstich.  Even without my Oma’s recipe.

Now, most recipes I noticed only make one 8″ round cake.  We always had this in a sheet pan.  You would have a huge square slice right from the fridge, just thinking about it makes my mouth water.   When I bake I always like to make multiples of everything.  One for my house and one for my mom and step-dad.  I also like to make things a little smaller, that way there aren’t leftovers sitting in the fridge for days on end.  (My husband and younger son have no sweet tooth, so if my older son doesn’t eat it, it’s left for me and I really don’t need it).

So now came “baking day”.  I tried following the original recipe, which called for instant yeast.  It was a complete failure.  So I started over again.  First was the custard filling.

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I couldn’t find any Dr. Oetker Vanilla Pudding, so Jell-O cook & serve pudding had to do.  But I added some Vanilla sugar to it, just to give it a little bit more of a “vanillay” flavor (I know that’s not really a word, but it should be!)

While that was cooling in the fridge, next came the dough.

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I mixed up the dough in my stand mixer, a lot easier than having to knead by hand.  And let it rest for 30 minutes.  After the first rest, I divided the dough into two balls and rolled them out into 7″ circles and placed them into my 7″ cake tins, lined with parchment paper and sprayed with baking spray.

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Then I covered them with plastic wrap and a towel and placed them in a warm place to do their second “rise” for 45 minutes.  About 15 minutes before the end of the second rise, I started the almond topping.

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Let this cool for about 8 minutes.  (I originally made a double batch, thinking that I would need more for the two cakes.  I was wrong and found this out with my first batch of cakes.  I fixed this and only made a single batch of the almond topping the second time.  It was definitely enough.  Once it was cooled slightly, you spread it on top of the slightly risen dough.

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Then this gets baked for 35 to 40 minutes at 350°F.  Depending on the size of pan you bake this in.  You might need up to 45 minutes.

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Second time came out perfect.  Let it cool at least 2 hours, the slice horizontally into 2 layers and fill with 1/2 of the custard mixture and place the top of the cake on the custard.

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I let this sit in the fridge overnight and it was perfect!  I hope you try this out and enjoy it as much as my family did.

 

Bienenstich

(Makes one 11X15 pan or two 7″ cakes)

Dough

2 1/2 cups All Purpose flour

3/4 cup milk – warmed (110°F)

1 Tbsp sugar

2 1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast

4 Tbsp butter, room temperature

1 egg, room temperature

pinch of salt

Topping

1/3 cup sugar

6 Tbsp. butter

3 Tbsp. honey

2 Tbsp. cream

1/2 cup almonds, sliced  (you can use 3/4 cup if you like more almonds)

Pinch of salt

Custard

Pudding mix (make as per the directions – cooked pudding is best)

1 pkg. Vanilla Sugar

 

Custard:

Prepare the custard (pudding) as per directions on the box, and add 1 pkg. of Vanilla Sugar.  Let the cooked pudding cool slightly, pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap (placed on the top of the pudding so the “skin” doesn’t develop) and put in the fridge to set up.  You can make this the night before.

Dough:

Warm milk in the microwave (about 30 to 40 seconds) to 110°F and add the yeast to the milk and stir to start dissolving the yeast (it will not proof, you just want it to start dissolving).  Place the flour and butter in the stand mixer and stir to combine.  Add in the sugar and salt and stir again to combine.   Add in the egg (slightly beaten) and milk/yeast mixture and stir until it becomes a cohesive dough.  Switch over to the dough hook and knead at speed 2 for 4 minutes.

Leave the dough in the mixer bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.  While this is resting prepare your pan(s) by lining with parchment paper and spraying with baking spray.

After 30 minutes the dough will have slightly risen (it won’t be very visible).  If you are baking this in a sheet pan, roll the dough out to fit the sheet pan, if baking this in 2 pans, divide the dough in half and roll each out to a 7″ circle and place in the cake pans.  Cover this with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Almond Topping:

With 15 minutes remaining, starting making the almond topping.  Place all ingredients except the almonds into a sauce pan and cook until boiling.  Turn the heat down to medium low (3) and let boil for 3 minutes.  Add in the almonds and stir to combine.  Let this cool for 6 to 8 minutes.

When ready to bake, spread the almond mixture on top of the cake(s) evening and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the cake you are baking.

Let the cake cool completely (approx. 2 hours) and then slice horizontally in 2 layers and fill with the custard.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

*This cake tastes better the second day.

Enjoy.

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