Sunday, May 22, 2011

European Flashbacks- Part 1 - Bienenstich

Every now and then my OCD kicks in full-force and I do something obnoxious like organize all my photos in my picture library. I have to make folders and sub folders until everything looks neat. I wound up going through many of these photos - specifically the photos from my last European adventure. As I was skimming through, I came across pictures I took of some regional foods that I tried. I though it would be fun to research these desserts and find authentic recipes.

My first stop was Germany. I flew into Frankfurt on a cold, snowy day and discovered that it was very commercial. This was slightly disappointing. However, after speaking with the concierge, I was given directions to a quaint part of the city known as Romerberg. It was an adorable square with some shops, a few restaurants and a bakery. Of course I had to try something. The bakery was very small. There was a counter filled with all different treats, each with its own little sign saying what it was. I looked for the most "German-looking" thing and came across Bienenstich. Bienenstick, or "Bee sting cake," is a dense cake (some may even say sweet bread) with a thin layer of honeyed almonds and filled with a whipped cream or vanilla custard.


Bienenstich from the bakery in Romerburg

The bottom layer with the honey-almond caramel
My finished version of Bienenstich

The Bienenstich in Romerburg was filled with whipped cream. I finally came across a recipe that looked right to me - and boy was it dead on! I prepared the cake batter and got the two layers into the oven. While it was baking, I made a caramel with some honey, sugar, butter and heavy cream. When the caramel was done, vanilla and almonds are stirred in. The almond mixture is then spread onto the bottom layer of the cake and baked some more. After the cake is cooled, I made a not-too-sweet whipped cream and piped it onto the layer with the almonds. The other half is placed on top and then sprinkled with some confectioner's sugar.

I brought this to my aunt's house and it was a hit. I'll definitely be making this again.

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