Before 2012 ended last year (but after the doomsday date) I asked you my dear Bake Happy friends what you want to see more in my blog this year. Recipe requests, gumpaste / fondant tutorials, fondant figurines, features and such. I'd like to thank you all for your wonderful suggestions! Please note that I have them listed so stay tuned okay? It maybe your request that I'll post in the coming months :)Just like this recipe for Sans Rival (really, it has no rival!). Several of you requested this so I thought I'd get to work on it. Actually this is the third try. And thankfully after the third try, I finally got it right!
If you follow Bake Happy on Facebook then you've probably seen my first two tries... ugh... let's just forget about those and concentrate on this heavenly cake. Want to see inside? My Sans Rival has five layers on it. I was actually hoping to get it as tall as six layers but fate (I mean my tummy) had other plans. The sixth layer got eaten before it got cold.
What's your criteria for a good Sans Rival? I tasted the one that I liked best at Chocolate Kiss, a restaurant in UP Diliman. What I liked about it was that the meringue was crispy. At every bite, you can actually differentiate the meringue from the icing. That's my first criteria. Second, the icing shouldn't be too sweet. This isn't really a sweet cake but some versions I have tried have really sweet icing it overpowers the meringue. And lastly, the nuts. There should be lots. And by "lots", I mean a lot. As in if I am a small version of myself and trapped inside this cake, at every turn, there are nuts. Here in Manila, Sans Rival is traditionally (or is that usually?) made with cashew nuts. Am I what I eat? Well... let's not go there. Without further ado, Sans Rival Recipe, here it is.
Sans Rival Recipe
Meringue or Dacquoise
adapted from Zoe Bakes
225F / makes 6 six inch layers
What we need:
2/3 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup egg whites
1 tsp egg white powder (I used Ovasil)
2/3 cup+ 2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup chopped cashew nuts
1/4 cup flour
(1) Mix ground almonds and 1/4 cups sugar until well blended. Set aside. Please don't be like me and use a small bowl. Use bigger one so you can combine them easily.
(2) Combine 1/4 cup flour and chopped cashew nuts. Also set aside.
(3) In a mixing bowl, add egg whites and egg white powder. Mix until foamy. Once foamy, add in 2 tablespoons of sugar.
(4) Once soft peaks form, add in the 2/3 cup sugar gradually. Mix until stiff peaks form. How do you know if your eggs are in the stiff peaks stage? Turn it upside down. If nothing falls off, you're good to go to the next step.
(6) Then fold in the flour-cashew nut mixture.
(7) I don't want to invest in 6 6-inch pans just for this project (not practical for me) so like Zoe, I placed the meringue in a piping bag with a round piping tip and piped six 6-inch layers.(8) I baked the meringue for an hour and a half at 225F or until the meringue dries out. Once baked, let it cool and set aside.
Sans Rival Icing
adapted from Heny Sison
What we need:
¾ C. Sugar
½ C. Water
9 Egg Yolks
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
½ t. Vanilla extract
(1) Boil sugar and water in a small saucepan. Make sure to have a candy thermometer on hand as we need this to make the icing. Once the thermometer reaches 220F, start mixing the egg yolks in a high speed.
(2) This is very critical, once the sugar mixture reached 240 F, pour it over the egg yolks (with the mixer still on, okay?) in a stream (like water in a faucet). Mix well.(3) Once mixed well, turn off the mixer and let the icing cool.
(4) Once it cooled down, add it the butter in small batches.
(5) Beat the icing until smooth, creamy and fluffy. And by the way, I give you permission to lick the sides of the bowl. Enjoy.
What we need:
Meringue layers (I was only able to use 5. The sixth layer was already in the deepest recesses of my stomach)
Sans Rival Icing
1 1/2 cup chopped cashew nuts
(1) Place a meringue on a cake plate or cake board. Add in a pretty layer of icing.
(2) Add in nuts.
(3) Lather, rinse, repeat. I mean add a meringue layer, then icing icing and nuts. The last layer, place it upside down so you have a smooth top.
(4) Cover everything in buttercream. Yeah I know, my buttercream skills need practice but it doesn't need to be perfect here. Wanna know why?
(5) We'll cover everything in nuts! Oh my!
Want to have a slice. You are welcome to one :). Hope you like this one! Have a great week ahead my dear Bake Happy Friends! :)