Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Beehive Cake

I'm sitting in O'Hare airport on a delay from a cancelled flight and thought I'd take this opportunity to catch up on all the blogs I'm way behind on and post the beehive cake information that some of you have requested. And by the way, thanks so much for all of your wonderful comments. I love to read your comments and I try to answer all of them. Blogger is a weirdo though -- and I often can't find an e-mail address or website for some of you so that I can respond to your comments. So, just know, that if you don't hear from me (or if I don't reciprocally comment on your blog), it's not because I'm ignoring you!

Now, for the beehive cake. I've googled the pan and it seems to only be available from Williams Sonoma. It's made by Nordic Ware and I'm wondering if maybe it's made exclusively for WS. I love Nordic Ware pans -- I have an embarrassing number of them because MeMum and my DadLovesMeBestSister know how much I love them, so they are often gifts to me. I'm very lucky that way!

Here's the recipe (it's long and looks much harder than it really is, so hang in there):

Lemon Beehive Cake

For the cake:
2 3/4 cups (440g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
16 Tbsp. (2 sticks/250 g) unsalted butter
1 2/3 cups (410 g) granulated sugar
3 tsp. lemon zest
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup (160 ml) milk
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice

For the glaze:
1/2 cup (185 ml) honey
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt

For the quick buttercream:
4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick/60 g) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups (185 g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

For the royal icing:
1 cup (125g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 to 3 tsp. milk

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour the Beehive Cake Pan; tap out excess flour.

To make the cake, over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute. Add the granulated suar and lemon zest and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla just until incorporated, about 30 seconds.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition just until incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the lemon juice and beat for 30 seconds.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading the batter so the sides are highter than the center. Bake until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 55 to 60 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the glaze. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the honey, lemon juice and salt and bring just to a simmer, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Tap the cake pan gently on a work surface to loosen the cake. Set the rack over a sheet of waxed paper, invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Using a pastry brush, brush the warm cake with the glaze. Let the cake cool completely, at least 2 hours, before assembling and decorating.

To make the buttercream, in a small bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners' sugar, milk, vanilla and salt and continue beating until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes more. To make the royal icing, in a small bowl, stir together the confectioners' sugar and the 2 tsp. milk until smooth. If necessary, add more milk 1/2 tsp. at a time until the icing is thick but still pourable.

Stand one half of the cooled cake vertrically on its base. Using a serrated knife, level the flat side of the cake by trimming off 1/8 to 1/4 inch (3 to 6 mm) from the edge. Repeat with the other cake half.

Using an offset spatula, spread a thin layer of buttercream, about 1/2 cup (125 ml), on the cut side of one of the cake halves. Place the cut side of the other cake half against the frosted side and gently press to secure the two halves; using the spatula, smooth the buttercream at the seam.

Using the large spatula, carefully transfer the cake to a serving platter. Drizzle with the royal icing, making sure to cover the frosted seams of the beehive. Decorate with sugar honeybees. Serves 16.

I'm sure this recipe would be good made in other cake pans too -- TheManoftheHouse loved it cause it's plain and simple, just like he likes his desserts.

Congratulations if you stuck it out this long and you're still here. And thanks for keeping me entertained while I see if my standby status will pay off. I really must go now though....I'm being drummed out of my waiting area by people who talk too loud on their cellphones!


P.S. Check out this picture posted by PamKittyMorning. That crochet on cardboard is the cutest thing I've seen in a Long Time. I'm seeing it soon in our future! ;-)


meggie said...

Anna, what a great way to pass your forced waiting time!
There seems to be something odd here, with the comment box- it is all thin, & narrow.

Ragged Roses said...

That cake sounds deliciuos - going to have to try it out! Thanks
Kim x

FinnyKnits said...

Ok, normally I'm not into fancy shaped cake pans. Mostly because I can't ever get a cake out of one without destroying it OR because I am then responsible for decorating it properly without destroying it. It's touch and go.

HOWEVER, this pan has me charmed. It's too cute. I might have to cave and get one just so I can make a beehive cake for some odd occasion.

Vallen said...

Thank you for all of this, the pan info, the recipe and the link. Good stuff.

sara, the wine makers wife said...

That bee hive cake is toooo much fun! I love it, Ok next garden party I will be making that!

Sarah and Jack said...

I hardly ever bake, but man is that pan cute.

Barefoot_Daydreams said...

I finally gave in last fall and bought the pumpkin cake pan that they have at Williams-Sonoma cause it was so cute. The recipe on it was pretty good as well. That beehive cake looks adorable too. [Sigh] There's only so many times you can really use those, though, so I try valiantly to resist their charms! Where'd you get the bees?

Mrs. Staggs said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to share the pan info and the recipe.
I appreciate it!