Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:


    Beesting, 9 to 10 inches in diameter

Appears in


By Jeffrey Hamelman

Published 2004

  • About

Beesting is a Great and Classic German dessert, and brioche dough makes a wonderful base for it. The combination of the rich dough, the crunchy topping, and the smooth custard is irresistible.



U.S. Metric Home
Brioche Dough 1 lb 454 g

Honey Almond Topping

Butter 3.5 oz 100 g 7 T
Sugar 3.5 oz 100 g 7 T
Honey .7 oz 20 g 1 T
Milk .7 oz 20 g T
Sliced Almonds, Raw 3.5 oz 100 g cup

Pastry Cream

Milk 16 oz 454 g 2 cups
Sugar 2 oz 57 g 4 T
Unsalted Butter 2 oz 57 g 4 T
Eggs 4 oz 116 g 2 large
Vanilla .17 oz 5 g 1 tsp
Cornstarch 1.5 oz 43 g cup
Sugar 2 oz 57 g 4 T

Diplomat Cream Filling

Pastry Cream (See Step 2 Below) 17.6 oz 500 g 2 cups
Whipped Cream 6 oz 170 g ¾ cup
Gelatin .2 oz 6 g 2⅛ tsp (1 envelope)


  1. To Make the Topping: Place the butter, sugar, honey, and milk in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Cook to 230°F (110°C). Add the sliced almonds, stir, and set aside, stirring occasionally to keep the topping homogenized. The topping can be made up to 2 days before finishing the Beesting. If it sets up, reheat in a bain-marie or microwave until just fluid.
  2. To Make the Pastry Cream: Whisk together the eggs with the vanilla, 2 ounces of the sugar, and the cornstarch until there are no lumps. Meantime, in a heavy-bottomed pot bring the milk, the remaining 2 ounces sugar, and the butter to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and, whisking the milk mixture vigorously, stir the egg mixture in a slow steady stream into the vortex of the milk. Once it is all incorporated, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to stir for another minute. Transfer the pastry cream to a container, press plastic wrap directly on top of the surface, and refrigerate. The recipe makes more pastry cream than is required for one Beesting. It is, however, delicious and it’s unlikely there will be any difficulty eating it or sharing it with a willing friend. It will keep well for about 4 days in the refrigerator.
  3. To Make the Diplomat Cream: The Beesting is filled with a Diplomat Cream, which is a combination of pastry cream and whipped cream. The addition of gelatin gives the cream stability once the Beesting is cut. Important note: Do not add the melted gelatin to the Diplomat Cream until the brioche base is cut and the base is placed back into the ring it was baked in (see step 5). Adding the gelatin too early will result in the Diplomat Cream setting up and no longer being spreadable. Here’s how to make the cream: Bloom the gelatin in a small bowl by sprinkling it into 3 times its weight in water. Let the gelatin bloom for 2 or 3 minutes to absorb the water. Melt the gelatin by whisking it over a double boiler, until it is just dissolved. (If using sheet gelatin, soak it in cold water and when completely limp, squeeze out the excess water and melt it by whisking over low heat just until it is dissolved and fluid.) Whichever type of gelatin is being used, avoid overheating, which causes the gelatin to lose its gelling ability. Whisk the cold pastry cream until it is smooth. Whip the heavy cream until it is thick, and fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream just until they are evenly incorporated. Now whisk the dissolved gelatin into the Diplomat Cream. As soon as it is incorporated, quickly spread the cream onto the brioche base (step 5).
  4. Preparing the Brioche Base: Roll out the cold brioche dough on a lightly floured surface so that it is round and evenly thick. Roll it about ½ inch larger than the diameter of the mold so that if it shrinks, the dough will still touch the mold all around. Use a spring form pan without the bottom or an entremet mold, 9 or 10 inches in diameter and at least inches high. A cake pan can also be used; in this case butter a piece of parchment paper and place it in the bottom so the baked dough will release easily from the pan. Proof the brioche for about 1¼ hours at 80°F, until light and risen. Carefully spread the topping (see step 1) evenly over the surface taking care not to deflate the dough. Bake at 380°F for approximately 22 minutes, until the topping is a deep golden hue.
  5. Finishing the Beesting: Once the base is cool, run a knife around the inside wall of the spring form pan or entremet ring to release it. Place the pan or ring onto a cake board or serving plate. Slice the brioche base horizontally. Place the bottom portion into the spring form or entremet ring. On another cake board or cutting board, cut the top portion of the brioche into the required number of servings, generally 8 to 12. (Note that the top must be cut before finishing the assembly, because if it is cut after assembly, the Diplomat Cream will squirt all over the room.) Once the base is set and the top cut, melt the gelatin and whisk it into the Diplomat Cream; quickly spread the cream evenly over the base. Now place the precut top on top of the cream. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before removing the ring. The Beesting is best served cold, the day it is made.