About Me

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"Tout fait Maison" probably is the closest way to express how I like to live my life. I have always love making everything from scratch in my own kitchen since I was a little girl growing up in Hong Kong. Unfortunately kitchens in Hong Kong are much smaller and people do not always have the "real" oven there but only the toaster type oven. Therefore, things did not always turn out in my Hong Kong kitchen until I get my real kitchen here. To me, baking and working with dairy products are like doing science experiments. I get extremely excited when I see that my cheese is forming the way it should be or my bread is rising properly. When my end products come out perfectly, that is probably what I strive for. So I would like to share my secrets with all my friends who enjoy baking and enjoy kitchen experiments as much as I do. I have been a French trained aritsan chocolatier for the last 8 years and I still feel like there are so much to learn in the chocolate and pastry field. Having traveled the world and trained in two of the most amazing schools in France (Valrhona Chocolates and Lenotre),my goal is to spread my joy of baking to all of you.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake)

The first time I went to Berlin I was overwhelmed with all the beautiful pastries that they have on the display cases in the bakeries.  Unlike French pastries, the German pastries seems to be a lot more homemade looking to me than those fancy looking Religieuse or colorful Macaroons in the French bakeries.  I have tasted a lot of their Berliner donuts, their famous Apfelkuchen (apple cake), Kirshkuchen (cherry cake), etc. But nothing gets me as excited as the Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake).  It is called a cake but actually it is made with a brioche dough spread with caramelized honey sliced almond on the top and sandwiched with pastry cream. It is not easy to find them as they get sold out really fast and bakeries do not make them all the time because they are a bit time consuming to make.  So this is not going to be one of those easy recipes that you can just whipped up but I can guarantee you that the end result will be all worthwhile.

To make the brioche dough:

Honestly I am totally a kitchen appliances addict so I depend a lot on my machines and this will save you a lot of time if you make this dough in a bread machine under the dough setting.  Please put in the ingredient into your bread maker in this order:

One egg together with whole milk that equal to 140ml
40g butter soften at room temp.
30g sugar
A pinch of salt
100g of bread flour
100g or all purpose flour
1 tsp of yeast

Normally the dough setting will take around 1 hr 45 mins

Start to prepare for the topping and pastry cream about 10 mins before the dough is finished

To make the Glazed Topping:

2 Tbsp of sugar
2 Tbsp of butter
1 Tbsp of honey
1 Tbsp of Whipping Cream
1/2 cup of sliced almond

  • Bring sugar, butter, honey, and whipping cream to a boil and let it boil for 2 mins then lower it to simmer for another few more mins, keep stirring to avoid burning
  • Take off heat then stir in the sliced almond
  • Coat the almond well into the glaze
  • Let it cool

Baking the Bienenstich:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degree F
  • Once the dough is done from the bread machine, take the dough out and it should be a little bit sticky but nice and soft

  • Then lightly butter the 8 inch square pan
  • Push the brioche dough evenly into the pan and make sure that you cover all the corners
  • Use fingers and dimpled the dough as if you would making a foccaccia

  • Spread the already cooled almond topping on to the dough and spread it evenly on the top

  • Bake for 25-30 mins, please keep an eye on the topping as they brown pretty fast and if necessary turn the pan every so often to make sure it bakes evenly

Assemble the Bienenstich:
  • Once baked, let the brioche cool completely and this is very important as even a little warmth will melt the pastry cream
  • Cut the brioche into half horizontally

  • Then spread the pastry cream on to one side of the brioche
  • Put back the other side of the brioche
  • Cut into small pieces and serve

To make pastry cream:

1 egg yolk
6g of cornstarch
30g of sugar
100ml whole milk
1 tsp of vanilla

  • Put all the ingredient into a heavy bottom sauce pan stir under medium heat until the pastry cream is thicken
  • It is important to keep stirring the cream as it will burn easily if you do not
  • Once thicken take off heat and let cool in the refrigerator until use
  • (Pastry Cream can be used as is or I like mine a bit lighter so I will whip 1/3 cup of whipping cream then fold into my pastry cream to lighten the texture but some people prefer more dense pastry cream so this step is totally optional)


  1. You explain the steps soo clearly Ivy...really nice work! I can tell the brioche came out so light... Another yummy blog!!

  2. u so sweet and i hope you will make it soon too!!

  3. Great blog but most of all great recipes. Well done XD Keep it up

    1. Thank you and I wish I knew who you are ;)

  4. Your instructions make it seem so easy! But thankfully I was able to try it without doing all the work :-) gingin did a fabulous job of following your recipe and it was scrumptious! Thank you for sharing.

    1. Oh so happy u like and I m sure that gingin made it even better !