Sunday, May 31, 2009

SMS #9 - Bee Stings

I'm back after a 2-week hiatus. Our vacation to Boston was great. As soon as I find some time, I'll post about that (teaser: whale watch excursion and America's Test Kitchen tour).

This week's SMS recipe, Bee Stings, was chosen by Jaime of Good Eats and Sweet Treats. After reading through the recipe late Saturday night, I was about to sit this one out due to the overnight refrigeration step. On Sunday morning, the idea of sitting out yet another SMS week, didn't sound right and so I decided to just skip the overnight refrigeration.

After only 21 minutes in a 350 F degree oven, the brioche buns were golden brown and delicious.

As you might remember from my Lemon Icebox Cake post, I'm not big on egg-y things so I wasn't going to make the pastry cream filling. Instead, I decided to make an eggless Butterscotch Pudding which I've been wanting to try for a while. I figured that the butterscotch flavor would pair well with the honey caramel glaze. Boy, did it ever! You can find the recipe for the pudding on Twitter ("Cookbook" does the coolest thing: all recipes fit within Twitter's 140 characters). Couple changes: omitted the whiskey, and added 1 tsp of molasses to intensify the butterscotch flavor.

Find the recipe for this week's Bee Stings here. Check out what other SMS bakers thought of this week's recipe. If you wish to join the SMS baking club, you'd better hurry. The membership cap is 50 and there are only a couple of open spots left.

Final thoughts/tips:
  • Hubby and I liked this pudding-filled brioche a LOT. He gave it an 8.5 out of 10. One of my close friends, an avid baker whose opinion I value very much, also liked them a lot. Needless to say, I highly recommend trying this recipe.
  • The dough was a bit fussy. It didn't come together into a ball at all. I ended up using 8 Tbsp of extra flour (= 2 oz), bringing the total amount of flour I used to about 13 3/4 oz. This is why I ended up with 14 Bee Stings instead of 12.
  • I used the dough cycle on my bread machine to make this brioche dough. This worked great.
  • I like to use my microwave as a proofing box. So for the first rise, I placed a cup of water in the microwave and brought it to a boil. Moved the cup of water to one of the corners inside the microwave and placed my dough inside the microwave (in an oiled bowl, covered with plastic wrap). This warm and humid environment does wonders to yeast doughs.
  • The honey caramel glaze was "the icing on the cake", hands down. I used orange blossom honey which was great! This glaze recipe could work well for other baked goods too, such as sticky buns.
  • Would I make this recipe again? You betcha! I might even try the overnight refrigeration step for comparison purposes.


  1. OH WOW! I bet those were great with butterscotch! YUM!

  2. Awesome! Butterscotch is a great alternative!

  3. Great looking Stings!!! The pudding sounds so good. I passed on this one but just might have to make it in the future.

  4. Wow, yours looked great too!!

    BTW, I am looking forward to your Boston post -- I am headed to Cape Cod in August! (Is the America's Test Kitchen anywhere near there?!)

  5. I'm happy this one was so successful for you, they look fantastic and butterscotch pudding sounds like a great filling. I forgot to take pictures of the various rising stages, it would have been helpful. I'm hoping to head to Boston this summer; I love the idea of touring ATK.

  6. I'm glad they were a success for you. They look great!

  7. thanks for baking along w/me this week! those look great, esp w/the butterscotch pudding - good idea :)

    i do have pics of the inside of them on my blog - there are 2 - did you not see them? :)

  8. I'm so jealous you got to tour America's Test Kitchen! I'm glad your Bee Stings turned out go well and that everyone liked them! You've given me hope that when I get around to making them, it won't be a total disaster!!

  9. Great post, yours turned out great - love the substitution of butterscotch.


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