Recently, our family tried a Russian honey cake that we enjoyed so much. The layered cake filled with cream cheese frosting reminded me of sans rival, a cake I used to have when I was in the Philippines. At first, the idea of making the meringue seemed to be hard, but after going through the recipe many times, I decided to give it a try. The recipe I used and adapted was from the Goldilocks Bakebook I bought from one of my visits to the Philippines.
Sans rival is a popular Filipino cake made up of crispy and thin layers of cashew meringue shells separated by a thick buttercream and chopped cashews. The top and sides of the cake are decorated with more of the buttercream and sprinkled with the chopped cashews. The result is a beautiful and eye-catching cake. The cake is chilled overnight or longer so that the meringue shells have time to absorb the buttercream. I am very happy how the cake turned out and how my family enjoyed it. It is decadent, satisfying and absolutely delicious.
A slice of this heavenly cake will satisfy any sweet tooth cravings you may have. I will definitely make this again and for sure it will be in our family’s list of favorite desserts.
To make the meringue shells:
- Roasted cashews : ground and chopped – add flavor and crunchy texture to the meringue
- All-purpose flour – holds the ingredients together.
- Egg whites – add volume and structure
- Cream of tartar – stabilizes the egg whites
- Sugar – adds sweetness to the meringue
To make the buttercream frosting:
- Sugar syrup: sugar and water – add sweetness to the buttercream frosting
- Egg yolks – add color and richness to the buttercream frosting
- Vanilla extract – add flavor to the buttercream frosting
- Unsalted butter – adds flavor and texture to the buttercream frosting
Decoration: chopped roasted cashews
HOW TO MAKE SANS RIVAL:
To make this sans rival recipe, first make the cashew meringue shells by combining the ground and chopped roasted cashews, and the flour. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg whites and cream of tartar. Gradually, add the sugar and beat until the mixture reaches medium peaks. Next, fold in the flour mixture. Pour the batter into four 8-inch baking pans that have been greased, floured and lined with parchment papers. Bake the meringue shells in a 300 degree F preheated oven for 35 minutes. After removing the pans from the oven, immediately release the meringue shells from the pan and let them cool completely on a rack.
The next step is to make the buttercream frosting. Start by beating the egg yolks for 5 minutes. Next heat the sugar and water, and boil until the mixture reaches 240 degree F. Slowly whisk the hot sugar syrup into the egg yolk mixture and after that continue whisking for another 10 minutes. Next add the butter one cube at a time, whisking well after each addition. Finally add the vanilla extract and continue whisking for another 5 minutes.
The final step is to assemble the cake. Start by placing one cashew meringue shell on a cake turntable (or serving platter). Spread buttercream on top of the shell and then cover with the chopped cashews. Repeat with the other two shells, finishing off with the fourth shell on top. Cover the entire surface of the cake with buttercream and finish off with a sprinkle of the chopped cashews. Let the cake set in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- To make 3/4 cup of ground cashews, place 1 cup of roasted cashews in a blender. Pulse in short bursts until the cashews are fine and evenly ground. Measure ¾ cups and set aside.
- If you don’t have four 8-inch round pans, you can use two 8-inch pans and bake them in two batches. Alternately, you can trace an 8-inch pan on a parchment paper 4 times and cut around them. Place the round papers on a baking pan and fill in the paper with the buttercream.
- In adding the hot syrup to the beaten egg yolks, make sure to pour the sugar syrup in between the whisk and the side of the pan.
- Make sure to chill the finished cake in the fridge at least 2 hours or preferably overnight to set.
Sans Rival (Cashew Meringue Cake)
For the meringue shells:
- ¾ cups ground roasted cashews
- ½ cup chopped roasted cashews
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 6 egg whites room temperature
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 cup sugar
For the buttercream frosting:
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter at room temperature and cut into large cubes
- 1 cup roasted cashew chopped
- Preheat the oven to 300 degree F. Grease and flour four 8-inch round baking pan. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
To make the meringue shells
- Mix together the ground cashew, chopped cashew and flour in a bowl. Set aside.
- In a bowl of stand mixer, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat the mixture at medium speed while adding the sugar one tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed to medium high and continue beating until medium peaks are formed, about 4 minutes. Fold-in the flour mixture 1/3 at a time into the egg white mixture until well blended.
- Equally distribute the batter among the prepared pans. Using a spatula, spread the batter until smooth. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven. Immediately run a butter knife around the edges of the pan and invert pan into a cooling rack to release the meringue shell. Peel off the parchment paper from the meringue shell and set aside to cool.
To make the buttercream frosting
- Place the egg yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk at medium speed until pale in color, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Let the sugar mixture boil over medium high heat. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature of the syrup. Without stirring, cook the sugar syrup until it reaches 240 degrees F. Remove from the heat and transfer the syrup into a glass measuring cup.
- With the mixer running on medium speed in the yolk mixture, pour the sugar syrup in a slow steady stream. Once all the syrup has been added, turn the mixer to medium high and whisk for 8 to 10 minutes or until the yolk mixture has cooled down. Add the butter one cube at a time, whisking the mixture for about 20 seconds after each addition. Add the vanilla and continue whisking for another 5 minutes or until the mixture is silky and smooth.
To assemble the cake
- Place one meringue shell on a cake turntable. Spread a layer of buttercream on top of the shell. Sprinkle top with the chopped roasted cashew. Repeat the process with the other two meringue shells, finishing off with the last meringue shell on top. Cover the top and sides of the cake with the buttercream frosting. Sprinkle top with the chopped cashews. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight to set.