Bee Sting Cake
1. In a small cup combine warm milk, honey and dry active yeast. Let mixture stand for 5 minutes until yeast is foamy.
2. Transfer yeast from cup to mixer stand and attach paddle (or hook) attachment. While mixing at low speed, gradually add eggs, all-purpose flour, sugar, and salt, and mix until blended. Mix at medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. The dough should not stick to sides of bowl.
3. Add butter 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing at medium speed until it is blended into the dough. (Dough will be very soft.) Transfer dough to a work surface and knead by hand a few times to ensure that butter is completely incorporated into the dough. Shape dough into a ball and transfer it to a medium buttered bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until it has doubled in volume.
4. Punch dough down to deflate it, and knead it a few times. Return dough to the bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or up to 12 hours). The dough should have doubled in volume. If it hasn’t, let it stand at room temperature until it has.
5. Butter bottom and sides of a 9” spring-form pan. Shape dough into a ball and arrange it, smooth side up, in center of the pan. Flatten ball gently with your palm until it covers the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan and let the dough rise until it is puffed, about 1 hour.
6. Combine the butter, sugar, honey, and salt, and bring to a gentle boil on the stovetop.
7. Remove from the heat, and stir in the almonds. Evenly pour over the dough half of the mixture and place the pan on a parchment (or foil) covered baking sheet.
8. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F for about 22-25 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.
9. Place on a cooling rack, and allow to cool four 10 minutes. Remove from the Springform Pan and allow it to cool completely.
10. In a medium-sized heatproof bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks together. Sift the cornstarch (corn flour) and then add to the egg mixture, mixing until you get a smooth paste.
11. Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the milk and vanilla extract just to boiling (just until milk starts to foam up.)
12. Remove from heat and add slowly to egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling.
13. Then pour the egg mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. When it boils, whisk mixture constantly for another 30 – 60 seconds until it becomes thick.
14. Pour into a clean bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming. Cool to room temperature.
15. Using a serrated knife, cut the cake in half. Spread the pastry cream and top with the remaining half of the almond mixture, leaving a narrow edge. Gently replace the top layer of the cake. Serve cooled.
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