RECIPE: Bee sting cake

For the cake:

1 tbsp. yeast

1/2 c. whole milk

1/4 c. honey

3 eggs

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. almond extract

6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted.

3 c. + AP flour

Preheat oven to 200 degrees to use a warming drawer for the dough to rise. In a liquid measuring cup, place the milk and honey and put into the microwave for one minute to heat it up. Remove from microwave and stir to combine the ingredients. Poke your pinky finger into the liquid to test the heat level - you are looking for a heat between warm and hot. If you sense it is hot at all, then stir and let sit for a minute or two until you reach that temperature level - if it is too hot, it will kill the yeast. Once you have reached that temperature, add the yeast, stir to combine and set aside for five minutes to proof the yeast so you know your dough will rise.

In the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add the proofed yeast, eggs, salt, almond extract, melted butter and flour. Turn mixer on medium speed and watch for the flour to absorb all the liquid. You will need more flour, it all depends on the time of year and moisture in the air, etc. Once you see it is formed into dough, yet still sticking to the bowl, add 1/4 c. flour and watch again, repeating the process until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl - essentially 'cleaning it'.

Form into a ball, spray the inside of the bowl with cooking spray (or you can use a clean bowl too, I just prefer to not dirty so many dishes), spray the top of the dough with cooking spray, cover the bowl with a plate or pizza pan and put into the oven. Turn the oven heat off and allow the dough to rise until double in size. This can take 60-90 minutes.

Remove from the oven and knead dough gently. Preheat your oven again to 200 to use as warming drawer. Prep a 9" round springform pan with release spray and place the dough into the pan. Press the dough to the edges as best as possible. Cover springform pan to keep dough from drying out and place into oven to rise - turning oven off after you close the door. Let dough rise for 45 minutes.

Once dough has risen, you will prepare the topping. Remove dough from oven and set on counter.

Almond Topping:

6 tbsp. unsalted butter

1/3 c. sugar

3 tbsp. honey

2 tbsp. heavy cream

4 oz. sliced or slivered almonds

Pinch of salt

Place all of the ingredients except the almonds into a pan, and turn heat to medium. Cook ingredients to boil, then for 5+ minutes until it begins to turn color - it will still be fairly light in color. While mixture is cooking, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove from heat and add almonds, then pour over dough in springform pan.

Place springform pan onto another pan to catch any spillage and put in oven to bake for 45-50 minutes. Remove from oven and allow cake to cool completely before removing from pan.

Vanilla Custard Cream Filling:

3/4 c. 1/2 & 1/2

2 large egg yolks

1/4 c. light brown sugar

1 tbsp. cornstarch

1 tsbp. AP flour

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 tsp. vanilla bean paste

2 c. heavy cream

1/2 c. powdered sugar

In a saucepan add the 1/2 & 1/2, egg yolks, brown sugar, cornstarch and flour. Turn heat to medium and stir with a whisk until it boils and thickens. Remove from heat and place into a covered dish in the refrigerator to set up for at least six hours, preferably overnight. For the whipping cream, place the bowl into the freezer to get cold for roughly 20 minutes, then add the cream and whip to stiff cream with a whisk or whip attachment on your mixer - add the powdered sugar and whisk to incorporate, followed by the chilled custard.

Cut cake in half or thirds and fill with custard cream. Serve and enjoy!