Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Bienenstich and Big News!

Big News for our family!  We will be moving to Germany at the end of the school year and I can't be more excited.  The stars have finally aligned and we are packing up for a one year adventure in Germany.  My oldest graduates in May and will be going off to college.  My number 2 child will be staying behind to continue on with high school and his grandmother will live with him in our house, so that he can do that.  Why doesn't he come with us?  Winston is fluent in German as he has lived and gone to school in Germany.  Yes, we will miss him, but when all is said and done we felt that it was just too complicated working out his school credits.  He could home school, but he loves his high school experience, his friends, and has finally made the elite soccer team and doesn't want to give up his position on the team when there is no guarantee that he can have his spot back on the team when he gets back.  Where will we live?  We will be living just south of Frankfurt in a town called Weisbaden which is located along the Rhein River. Lots of details to still work out as it is no easy task to find an apartment or house for a family of 6.  I also have to get a visa to live in Germany.  I am the only one in our family who is also not a German citizen, so under law I am only allowed to stay there for 90 days.  Shouldn't be a problem though as I speak German and my family (husband and children) are all German citizens.  In celebration of the good news, I made Bienenstich a German yeast cake from Luisa Weiss new cookbook Classic German Baking which just came out this past week.  I was so excited when the cookbook arrived in the mail as I had pre-ordered it on Amazon. Luisa writes the beloved blog The Wednesday Chef  and is the author of My Berlin Kitchen.

I wrote about her book My Berlin Kitchen back here. I loved her book!!!  Bienenstich can be found in just about every German Bakery.  When I think of  Germany, Bienenstich is tied with my memories of this country because this is just about how popular the pastry is though you will also find it depending on the region filled with vanilla pudding.  I am in the same opinion as Luisa that it is so much better without the pudding. Making Bienenstich is super simple to make, but you will need a little time to make it as it does take time to let the yeast dough rise and to make the caramel honey almond topping.  Just saying caramel, honey, and almond in the same sentence sounds amazing doesn't it?   I can't wait to make other recipes from this cookbook.  Here is the recipe for Bienenstich.  I hope you enjoy it! Thanks Luisa!

In a bowl combine 1 2/3 cups of leveled minus 1 tablesppon of all purpose flour plus a little extra for kneading with 1 teaspoon of fast acting instant yeast with 1/4 cup of granulated sugar. Stir in 3 Tablespoons of whole milk 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and 1 egg.  Then add 3 1/2 teaspoons of softened high fat European style butter until combined.  Turn dough out onto counter top and knead until smooth.  Place dough in a clean bowl covered by a clean dish cloth and allow to rise for an hour. When the dough has risen roll out the dough so that it covers parchment paper that covers the size of a 9 by 13 baking pan.  Place the dough into the pan and set aside.  Then  in a sauce pan add 9 tablespoons of European butter, 1/2 cup of sugar, 4 1/2 teaspoons of honey, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream.  Bring to a boil and let boil for about 5 minutes until the sauce begins to change colors and is a light brown.  Take off the stove and add in the 2 1/4 cups of sliced blanched almonds allowing to cool for 10 minutes before spreading out on top of the dough mixture.  Place pan in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Top of the cake should be golden brown as seen in the above picture.  Allow to cool and then cut into pieces.  Enjoy!