The Secret in the Sans Rival
By: Marylaine Viernes
Sans Rival in your summertime picnic? Why not!?! Prepare for the humans and ants alike to devour this sweet treat down to the last morsel because this is not your ordinary sans rival; it’s Ms. M’s signature sans rival
Sans Rival is a favorite in Asia, and it is more popularly known as a Filipino desert cake made with layers of buttercream, meringue and toasted, chopped cashews. Ever wondered where the name came from? Legend states that after a French man was able to taste it, he exclaimed that it was nothing like he had ever tried before; that it was “unrivaled.” Thus, sans rival the cake remains unrivaled! Especially the version by Ms. M!
This recipe is not only unrivaled… it is a tempting Rival-ation!
Total prep to bake time: 3 ½ to 4 hours
Yields 24 servings
• 12 egg whites
• 12 egg yolks – separated from the whites
• 2 ½ cups of brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
• 1 cup of toasted, chopped cashew nuts
• 1 pound of softened (not melted) butter
• 2 cups of white sugar
• 1 cup of water
• 2 tablespoons of dark rum
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and prepare 4 pans (8x 12 inch) by lining with parchment paper.
2. In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until they turn foamy and then sprinkle the cream of tartar.
3. Add the cups of brown sugar gradually, beating it until stiff peaks form.
4. Fold in 2 cups of the chopped nuts and divide the meringue mixture between the pans and spread evenly to the edges.
5. Put the pans in the over for over 30 minutes or until a light golden brown is achieved.
6. Remove the meringue from the baking pans while still hot.
7. Once it cools, trim the edges so that the meringue layers are formed uniformly. Set it aside in a safe, cool and dry area.
8. Prepare to make the buttercream filling by taking a large bowl and beating the softened butter until it becomes light and fluffy.
9. In another bowl, whip egg yolks until thick and lemon colored.
10. Taking a saucepan, combine 2 cups of white sugar with a cup of water. Wait for it to boil and then then take this hot syrup and pour it upon the beaten egg yolks, beating at high speed. Beat in the whipped butter until smooth, then gradually add in the rum. Continue beating until smooth.
11. Take the meringue pans and spread approximately ¼ of the buttercream evenly to the edges. Repeat layers until all the cream is consumed.
12. Smooth the sides with spatula well before sprinkling with the chopped cashews.
13. Freeze the iced meringue pans until solid.
14. Cut the frozen desert into 1-inch slices and serve!
Don’t forget to keep this desert in the cooler when you bring it during an outdoor picnic as this dish is best served stiff, sweet and chilled!