Although it has a French name, because it was adapted from a French cake called Dacquoise, it is an all-time favourite Filipino cake. A Dacquoise cake is made of almond and hazelnut meringue layered in between luscious butter cream frosting and some fruit. Another variation of this dessert cake is the Marjolaine, which uses chocolate butter cream and chocolate ganache.
Sans Rival on the other hand is made with the same principle of its French counterpart, but uses ingredients readily available in a typical Filipino pantry and supermarket. So instead of almonds and hazelnuts, a Sans Rival cake would have cashew nuts or plain ole peanuts used in the recipe and just layers of butter cream.
The cake is a bit tricky to prepare especially on high humidity days and can be a quite a challenge to cut. Even so, almost every coffee shop and cake shop in the Philippines serves this. Don’t be discouraged with the word meringue, as every cook and chef knows how delicate making meringues can be. With a little practice, I’m sure you can get the hang of it and proud yourself with this gateau. It’s worth every drop of sweat because it is just tres deliceux!
SANS RIVAL CAKE
6 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 ½ cups cashew nuts, chopped
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
• With a pencil, draw 2 rounds on a piece of parchment paper each round measuring 9 inches. Turn the parchment paper on its reverse side and place on lightly greased cookie sheets. Whip the egg whites until it form stiff peaks. Slowly add the sugar a little at a time, while continuously whipping. Carefully fold in the nuts and vanilla, making sure not to flatten the meringue mixture. You may choose to put this in a icing pipe bag and pipe the mixture thinly onto five 9 inch rounds . Bake it at 350 deg F until it is golden brown. Turn off the oven but leave the baked meringues in the oven for another 2 hours until they are dry and no longer sticky.
Butter cream Filling
¼ c water
2/3 c sugar
6 egg yolks
1 c butter, room temp
½ c cashew nuts chopped or slivered almonds
• Bring water and sugar to boil until it spins a thread. Pour the sugar mixture gradually over well beaten egg yolks and continue to beat until it forms a thick consistency. Transfer to a bowl and let it chill for about an hour. Cream the butter and add in the chilled egg mixture. Take out your meringue rounds from the oven and start assembling layers.
• Start with the first layer of meringue and fill it with butter cream, repeat with the next meringue layers. Finish the cake by frosting it from top and sides with butter cream and sprinkle it with chopped nuts all over. Chill the cake for another 2 – 3 hours before slicing and serving.
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