Last weekend, me and the OH went to a German themed pub. Now I’ll hold my hands up and admit I’m a food snob. Themed pubs are not my usual eating establishment of choice. But it was late and everywhere else was packed out. So the German pub it was.
A plate of sausages, a stein of beer and a good dosage of 80’s electro-pop later, we were actually having a pretty good time so decided to brave the dessert menu. The OH plumped for the Bienenstich for the simple reason that we didn’t have a clue what it was. A fortuitous decision as it turned out.
For Bienenstich, (or ‘bee sting’ as it translates into English) just happens to be one of the most delicious, light-as-a-feather cakes I’ve ever tasted. Rather than sponge, the cake is made from an airy, sweet brioche dough which is filled with a vanilla creme patissiere and topped with a layer of crunchy flaked almonds cooked in butter and honey.
If a pub dessert could be that good, I just had to see how amazing a homemade version could be and a quick Google led me to this post by Debby from A Feast for the Eyes and published on Ask Chef Dennis.
Debby’s recipe produces a gorgeous Bienenstich. Every bit as light and fluffy as that slice I ate in the pub. Plus I loved how the butter and honey caramelised around the edges of Debby’s version to give a truly decadent and sticky topping.
My only word of advice would be to make that custard filling thick. Really thick. Thicker than you think it needs to be when you are stirring it on the hob. Otherwise when you put the layers of the Bienenstich together, your beautifully crafted creme patissiere will splurge all out of the sides like mine did on the first attempt.
You can find Debby’s wonderful and thoroughly recommended Bienenstich recipe here.