This episode tackled European cakes and we are down to just six bakers… all of them talented. I have to say that the showstoppers in this episode were undoubtedly some of the most impressive on the show. I am glad that both Richard and Kate ended up staying despite having major wobbles (if you can call a three-tier multilayered cake a wobble) but it did, again, make for a rather tame episode. It was a twist I saw coming from miles away too – the only way for the series to follow its format would be to have no evictions this week. I would also like to declare a moratorium on dodgy Eurotrash accents and jokes… I think Mel and Sue flogged that dead horse joke to the ground last night.
For my bake along I chose the signature leaven (yeasted) cake. I love yeast cakes – my very first recipe on the blog was for mincemeat kugelhopf. I chose to make a Bienenstich – Bee Sting cake –something I have been meaning to make for absolute ages. Bienenstich is a yeast cake with caramelised almond topping filled with rich vanilla custard. I am surprised none of the bakers made one but it may have been a strategic choice – the custard filling definitely needs to chill in the fridge overnight otherwise it won’t be stable enough to fill the cake.
Remember to link your #GBBO bakes at the bottom of this post. There will be book prizes given out to three star bakers – and possibly more!
For the custard cream
375ml | 1 1/2 cups | 12 fl oz whole milk
1 vanilla bean halved and scraped
4 large egg yolks
100g | 1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
180ml | 6 1/4 fl oz cold double cream
3. Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture while whisking. Pour back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, for about 4 minutes until cream comes to a boil and thickens.
4. Pour cream through a fine sieve into a bowl and stir in the butter. Cover with cling film, pressing it directly on the cream. Make a small hole to allow steam to escape and put in the fridge overnight or for at least 6 hours.
5. The following day (or once custard is thoroughly chilled) whip the cold double cream with the icing sugar until you have firm peaks.
6. Fold the whipped cream into the custard – only using enough to lighten the cream but be careful not to make too soft or it will ooze out of the cake. Keep chilled until needed.
For the cake (adapted from Bake it like you mean it)
Makes one 22cm (8in) cake but could use a bigger tin as well
315g | 2 1/2 cups plain flour*
*The recipe specifies using 315g of flour I ended up using at least 415g
2 tsp instant yeast (the type suitable for bread makers)
1 tsp salt
120ml | 1/2 cup whole milk
60ml | 1/4 cup honey
1 tsp almond extract
85g | 6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
A couple tbsp unsalted butter, melted to brush over cake
For the topping (adapted from the Smitten Kitchen)
85g | 6 tbsp unsalted butter
75g | 1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp double cream
100g | 3.5oz flaked almonds
Pinch sea salt
- Spray a non stick springform cake tin with cake release spray and line the bottom with baking paper.
- Put the flour, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until just combined.
- Mix the eggs, honey, extract and milk together in a measuring jug.
- With the mixer running on low speed, add the egg mixture to the flour and mix until just combined. I found I need to add a lot more flour than the recipe specified. My advice would be to add 2/3 to begin with and gradually adding the rest until the dough has the right consistency.
- Start adding the butter and mix until incorporated. Keep mixing for 10 minutes or until the dough is shiny, elastic and passes the windowpane test.
- Cover the mixing bowl and let the dough rise until almost doubled – this can take up to 2 hours.
- Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work top and knock it back gently. Shape it into a dish and transfer into the prepared tin.
- Brush the top with a little melted butter, cover, and let it rise for 45 minutes.
- While the dough is rising prepare the topping: put all the ingredients except the almonds into a small pot and bring to a simmer. Let it bubble away for five minutes, stirring frequently, until the colour turns a little darker (will still be pretty pale beige).
- Tip the almonds in and mix them in. Let the mixture cool slightly.
- Preheat the oven to 180C | 350F. Spread the almond topping over the cake – don’t worry it it looks a bit messy – it will melt in the oven.
- Place the cake tin on a heavy tray lined with baking paper – the topping will bubble over during baking. Bake for 35-45 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean and the top feels firm and springy. Cool completely – I let mine cool overnight.
- Slice the cake in half or in three layers – mine was an impressive height so ended up slicing it into thirds.
- Pipe or spread a generous amount of custard over bottom layer and repeat with second. Best eaten soon after assembled.