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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to make Bienenstich, German honey cake. I've got a nice sweet yeast dough crust happening, a not-bad glaze from Richard Sax (needs tweaking, though)... and completely the WRONG THING for the middle.

All the recipes I've got say "fill with pastry cream," and the recipe for pastry cream is basically a custard. Now, when I go down to my favourite German bakery and order a Bienenstich, the stuff in the middle is SO NOT custard. It might have custard in it, but it's much more stable, and fluffier, and richer, and thicker. What is it? Is it typically a German custard-buttercream perhaps, or a Bavarian cream as per the Joy of Cooking recipes maybe (custard with whipped cream folded in?) It also seems to be stabilised somehow (well, it must be, to sit contentedly in those bakery cases all day). We talking some kind of gelatine thing here?

Custard, bah! I want the real thing. Anyone? Can any of you real pastry cooks help me? Recipes most gratefully received. I've looked in ALL my books.

danke schoen...
 

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Good question. All the recipes I have ever read call for a pastry cream center (some even use pudding). Honestly, I think what you are familar with is just like the fake whip cream grocery stores use on their cakes to make them shelf stable. I tend to beleive what your familar with is wrong and not how any Germans did it in the old days....it's not logical. You could try playing alergic and see if they'll tell you at the store what their using....

I've always avoided making this item because it won't slice nicely with a thick pastry cream filling (it oozes out when sliced). My German mother makes it using pastry cream, for whatever that's worth.

But provided I had refridgeration or it wouldn't sit out forever....I'd make a pastry cream and then fold whipped butter into it. You can then apply it thicker and it won't mush out when sliced. It's similar to a napoleon filling adding more butter to stablize the pastry cream.

My best guess...
 

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For what its worth:

Where I live there is a german baker who makes the most wonderful cake called a "bavarian cream cake" and is served with a spooned-over rasberry sauce. I ordered one for my upcoming birthday. It is delivered FROZEN about 2 hours before serving time and is supposed to be in great slicing condition by serving time. Cost is about $150 for a serves-50 cake.

H
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, t'isn't that fake whipped stuff; it tastes, you know, real. It does slice very neatly and squarely, though, which is why I wondered about the gelatine. (A. wondered, horrified, about the gelatine too; these are his very favourite pastries, hence my efforts, and he's MUCH more vegetarian than I am.)

I think you're right, and it's pastry cream with whipped butter (which is what I mean when I say German buttercream. My mother's recipe is a batch of 2 cups cornstarch pudding, one full brick butter (yeigh!) and 2-3 tablespoons of sugar, all brought to precisely the same room temperature. She creams the butter and sugar, and then beats in the pudding, a little at a time. She uses it to fill and frost cakes, piping it for decorations, and I love it SO much better than that nasty American "buttercream", which is just butter (or worse, shortening) and way too much confectioners' sugar, and makes my teeth hurt.)

Do you think a Bavarian-type filling would work? I don't think I can bring myself to make a WHOLE PANFUL of something as extremely bad for one as a Bienenstich filled with that much buttercream!
 

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Technically a bavarain would "work" but it wouldn't be right at all (in my oppinion)! It's the wrong texture, wrong everything for a brunch pastry.

Sorry, I'm not familar with what cornstarch pudding is? And is a brick of butter 4 oz. or 16 oz.'s?

First, pastry cream with butter in it isn't as rich tasting as buttercream frosting, nor as sweet. It's what goes between the layers of a classic napoleon, more like a full/firm bodied custard or pastry cream.

You can also whip heavy cream (2 c.), splash of vanilla, 3/4 c. sugar, 1 instant pudding (sm pkg of instant vanilla) and marscarpone (6 oz) cheese together to get a similar result that isn't quite as rich. The cheese and the instant pudding really stabilize the cream and it holds well! This tastes better than it reads.

A bienenstich is rich, not plain not healthy. If you want anything like it you have to compromise somehow? The fillings some bakeries use is shelf stable stuff, I don't know what's in it. But it's not real dairy! It's most likely some sort of stablized pudding your bakery is using....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cornstarch pudding is just custard without eggs - you know, 2 cups milk, 4T starch, sugar. A full brick would be 4 sticks, so 16 ounces.

The fillings I've had in good Napoleons does taste like what's in these particular Bienenstich. There is definitely either genuine butter or genuine whipped cream in them. (I live in German/Austrian immigrant country, so good bakeries tend to be REALLY good.) What's the proportion of butter/custard for that?

Actually, I'm liking the look of your shortcut. It looks like something I COULD make healthy... :p That's my hobby, you know, taking deadly good desserts, and turning them into things that still taste good (if not with quite the same devastating unctuousness) but are also good for one. I am SUCH a sweets addict, but I also have no desire to find the (many) pounds I lost.

I like doing it without the cheap'n'icky lowfat junkfood shortcuts, though. You will probably wince when I tell you that I made the sweet dough with whole-grain flour. Despite that, the half-panful of Experiment One that I brought into work is now gone.

Thank you so much! Onward, into unexplored cream country!
 

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we use a flat glazed brioche type dough, our filling is a double strong pastry cream, chilled and whipped smooth, to this we add 1/4 buttercream flavored w/honey, and fold in 1/2 whipped cream. This is very stable.
We cut like Naps: cut through the top, put a stopboard and run a paring knife through. And of course when they go out for catering we use one of W's bees.
PS, we build them in collars, put a sheetpan on top and weight them for a while before cutting. Sam as Nap.
 

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Hate to sound too dumb but how are you flavoring your buttercream with honey. In the syrup that goes into you eggs or after it's finished??? (Never thought about honey before, but it's a good flavor idea, I'll have to remember!)

O & W filling sounds like a the best way to go....I'd follow his recipe compassrose. Basicly adding the buttercream frosting is like what I've mentioned then the whip cream lightens it. That's your best taste!

P.S. I made a mistake on my shortcut recipe w/the pudding, use 4 c. cream not 2.
 

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Hey Wendy,
We just add the honey to the finished buttercream. You know the filling, mousseline with some whipped cream. We have used this with great success. Try using the honey, it will especially help in 6x frosting to help rid the cloying. The old Y&Y,lemon juice and the honey.
I will try to send some fudge this week, we did a cherry walnut that is killer. Dried r.s.p. cherries and black walnuts, compound.
Also a rum raisin. Yum. I know! I'm going to break my arm patting myself on the back.
Jeff
 

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I think Sophie made a good choice! ;)

Thanks for the info.....as always!
 
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