Lyndey Milan's Bee-sting cake is very popular in the Barossa Valley in South Australia, settled by German migrants, hence the German name Bienenstich. Named either because a bee was attracted to the sweet honey topping and stung the baker or because some German bakers in the 15th century threw beehives at raiders from a neighbouring village and the cake was invented to honour them.
2 cups (500ml) full cream milk
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
6 large egg yolks (approx. 110g)
½ cup (110g) caster sugar
1/3 cup (50g) corn flour
45g butter, room temperature
100ml lukewarm milk
2 tbsp redgum, bluegum or fruity honey
1 ½ tsp (5g) dried yeast
2 cups (300g) plain flour
50g unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 large egg yolks
1 large egg
70g unsalted butter
¼ cup (55g) caster sugar
2 tbsp redgum, blue gum or fruity honey
1 cup (120g) flaked almonds
Recipe by: Lyndey Milan
Photography by: John Paul Urizar
Styling by: Michaela Le Compte
1. For the custard: place milk, and vanilla bean paste in a large saucepan over low heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat. Combine egg yolks, sugar and corn flour in a large bowl and whisk to form a thick paste. Slowly add half a cup of milk at a time to the egg mixture while whisking. Continue until all the milk has been added. Pour mixture back into saucepan over low heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring for 1 minute. Remove from heat and pour into a clean bowl. Cover with cling wrap and allow to cool for 30 minutes before whisking through butter. Cool completely, then refrigerate until chilled.
2. For the brioche: combine milk, sugar and yeast in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook, sit until foamy, approx. 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low for 1 minute, before increasing the speed and mixing for a further 5 minutes. Place cling film over mixer bowl and allow dough to rise until doubled (approx. 1 hour).
3. Grease and line the base and sides of a deep 20cm round cake tin. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured bench and knead for 4 minutes, adding more flour if needed. Press into the base of prepared tin, ensuring dough covers the base of the tin. Allow to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
4. Pre-heat oven to 180°C (fan forced).
5. Begin topping at the start of the second rise. Place all ingredients except flaked almonds in a medium saucepan over medium heat until butter melts and mixture starts to simmer, cook for 1 minute until slightly thickened, do not brown. Remove from the heat and add flaked almonds, stirring well to combine. Set aside to cool.
6. Spoon topping over risen dough, no need to flatten. Bake for 20–25 minutes until golden. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in tin, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
7. Slice cake in half horizontally with a serrated cake knife and put custard in the middle of the base. It will spread when you return the top over the custard. Fill just before serving.