HomeRecipesBee’s Knees by Simon Colacino

Bee’s Knees by Simon Colacino

(This recipe appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)

This dish was inspired by my love of both honey and the bees that produce it. I’ve tried to incorporate multiple aspects of the bee hive, including different types of honey, beeswax, honeycomb and bee pollen. Taking the honeycomb to the edge of being burnt – and the use of honey beer – adds the bitterness needed to balance this dish. My hope is to help bring attention to the importance of bees in pollinating a majority of the world’s food.

Yield: about 24 servings

Beeswax Ice Cream

  • 200 g beeswax
  • 1000 g full-fat milk
  • 180 g pure heavy cream
  • 20 g fresh honeycomb
  • 204 g superfine granulated sugar
  • 72 g skim milk powder
  • 76 g dextrose
  • 7 g ice cream stabilizer
  1. Cook the beeswax, milk and cream sous vide at 140˚F(60˚C) for 2 hours. Cool in an ice bath.
  1. Pass the liquid through a sieve into a medium pot and discard the beeswax. Warm the liquid to 104˚F (40˚C), add the dry ingredients, and bring mixture to 185˚F (85˚C), stirring constantly.
  1. Cool over an ice bath before churning in an ice cream machine.

Smoked Honey Mousse

  • 480 g full-fat milk
  • 150 g local floral honey
  • Hickory wood chips, loaded in smoking gun
  • 150 g egg yolks
  • 9 g gelatin sheets (gold), bloomed
  • 480 g semi-whipped cream
  1. Warm the milk and honey to 176˚F (80˚C), place in a heat-proof bowl, and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
  1. Using a smoking gun, infuse the mixture with hickory wood. Transfer the mixture back to a pot and bring to the boil. Temper in the egg yolks and cook the mixture, stirring constantly, to 185˚F (85˚C). Add the drained gelatin, cool to 100˚F (38˚C), and fold in the semi-whipped cream.
  1. Transfer the mousse to a honeycomb-shaped silicon mold (I used Silikomart ‘Miel 80’), spread flat and freeze.

Yellow Velvet Spray

  • 300 g white couverture chocolate
  • 200 g cocoa butter
  • 1 g fat soluble yellow food coloring powder
  1. Melt the chocolate over a bain marie.
  1. Add the cocoa butter, stir until incorporated, and then add the yellow coloring. Cool to 95˚F (35˚C) and transfer to an air-powered paint sprayer.

Burnt Cinnamon Cream

  • 22 g Ceylon cinnamon sticks
  • 200 g pure heavy cream
  • 28 g super-fine granulated sugar
  • 1 g gelatin sheet (gold), bloomed
  • 100 g semi-whipped cream
  1. Over an open flame, burn the cinnamon sticks until blackened all over.
  1. Heat the cream and burnt cinnamon sticks sous vide at 21˚F (70˚C) for 1 hour.
  1. Pass the cream through a sieve into a small pot and discard the cinnamon sticks. Add the sugar to the cream and heat to dissolve sugar. Add the drained gelatin and cool to 95˚F (35˚C).
  1. Once cool, fold in the semi-whipped cream. Allow to set, then gently re-whip and transfer to a pastry bag.


  • 330 g super-fine granulated sugar
  • 50 g orange blossom honey
  • 120 g glucose
  • 60 g water
  • 18 g baking soda
  1. Line a sheet pan with baking paper and set aside.
  1. Place the sugar, honey, glucose and water in a medium pot, place on medium heat and bring to 320˚F (160˚C); add the baking soda and quickly whisk to evenly combine.
  1. Pour onto prepared pan and allow to set without moving before breaking into small pieces.

Honey Beer Gel

  • 500 g Honey Mesquite Wild Ale
  • 112 g super-fine granulated sugar
  • 50 g Sosa Gelcrem Cold
  • 2 g citric acid
  1. Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend on low speed for 3 minutes. Allow to rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  1. Blend until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag and store in refrigerator.

Bee Pollen Meringues

  • 56 g egg whites
  • 56 g super-fine granulated sugar
  • 56 g confectioners’ sugar
  • Bee pollen, as needed
  1. Spray a flat sheet pan with canola spray and line with parchment paper; set aside.
  1. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, then rain in the super-fine granulated sugar, followed by the confectioners’ sugar, and continue to whisk until smooth and glossy.
  1. Pipe small drops of the meringue on the baking tray and sprinkle each with bee pollen.
  1. Allow to dehydrate overnight in a dehydrator before removing and storing in airtight containers.

Spiced Honey Cake

  • 140 g unsalted butter
  • 230 g super-fine granulated sugar
  • 280g leatherwood honey
  • 250 g whole eggs
  • 280 g crème fraîche
  • 220 g all-purpose flour
  • 95 g rye flour
  • 5 g baking powder
  • 5 g sea salt
  • 3 g ground cinnamon
  • 2 g ground nutmeg
  1. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and smooth, then add the eggs one at a time. Add the crème fraîche and then the remaining dry ingredients.
  1. Line a half Gastronorm tray with baking paper. Spread the cake over the pan, smooth with a palette knife and bake at 338˚F (170˚C) for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool.


  1. Remove the frozen mousse, spray with the cooled velvet spray and allow to defrost in the refrigerator.
  1. Place a portion of the honey mousse in the center of the plate. Pipe the Honey Beer Gel into some of the honeycomb cells and then pipe the Burnt Cinnamon Cream randomly on top. Arrange different-sized pieces of both the Spiced Honey cake and honeycomb, followed by the Bee Pollen Meringues. Finish with a quenelle of Beeswax Ice Cream and serve immediately.

About Simon Colacino

Simon Colacino is the Head Pastry Chef of Matilda 159 in Melbourne, Australia. His plating style is relatively modern, but his recipes usually use more classical techniques. He also likes to use vegetables or other savory elements in some of his desserts to make them a bit different and more interesting.

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