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Beesting

Although Bienenstich is usually made with a yeast pastry base, the fine butter pastry in this recipe tastes just as good with a vanilla cream filling.

ingredients

130 g (4 1/2 oz) butter, melted and cooled
100 g (4 oz) caster sugar
2 eggs
5 g (1 tsp) lemon zest
130 g (4 1/2 oz) plain flour
60 g (2 1/2 oz) (generous) potato flour
2.5 g (1/2 tsp) baking powder

almond toffee

50 g (2 oz) butter, diced
250 g (9 oz) caster sugar
75 g (3 oz) flaked almonds
approx. 100 ml (3 1/2 oz) milk

vanilla cream (creme st honore)

250 ml (9 fl oz) milk
2 cm (1 in) vanilla pod
1 egg yolk
25 g (1 oz) cornflour, sifted
110 g (4 oz) caster sugar
2 egg whites

method

1. Make the almond toffee first. Melt the butter over a low heat, then stir in the sugar and mix until it has completely dissolved.

2. Toss in the flaked almonds and beat the mixture, adding enough milk to give a firm but spreading consistency. Leave to cool.

3. Prepare the vanilla cream by heating the milk with the vanilla pod, leaving it to infuse for a few minutes. Remove the pod. Beat the egg yolk with the flour and 40 g (1 1/2 oz) caster sugar in a heat-proof bowl, then slowly pour the hot milk over the mixture, beating all the time.

4. Set the bowl over a pan a quarter filled with simmering water, and heat and stir the mixture until it thickens. It must not boil. Draw off the heat and pour into a bowl.

5. Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff and well peaked, beat in half the remaining sugar and fold in the rest. Lightly fold the meringue mixture into the hot cream. Cool and chill.

6. To make the pastry beat the cool butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy; beat in the eggs one at a time blending well between each addition. Mix in the lemon zest.

7. Sift together the flours and baking powder and blend them into the mixture 30 g (2 tbsp) at a time, taking care not to overbeat.

8. Spread the mixture on a buttered 34 x 24 x 3 cm ( 13 1/2 in x 9 1/2 x 1 1/2 in cake tray and smooth even.

9. Cover with the almond toffee layer and bake at 170°C (325°F) Gas 3 for 1 hour in the preheated oven.

10. Cut the cake into slices while it is still warm; leave in the tin to cool.

11. Lift the slices out of the tin and cut each in half; sandwich together with some of the vanilla cream.

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