Sunday, November 27, 2011

sans rival

It's been kinda quiet on this blog lately... the insanity that is my job in the fall and cake decorating classes doesn't leave much time to fool around in the kitchen. And now with the days getting shorter and shorter... I should really learn how to take food photographs using artificial lights!

In any case, I was glad to have found the time to make this month's Daring Bakers' challenge. Catherine of Munchie Musings was our November Daring Bakers’ host and she challenged us to make a traditional Filipino dessert – the delicious Sans Rival cake!

Now I don't know how Filipino the Sans Rival is - sounds like a French dessert to me - but it sure wasn't traditional when I was done with it.

The Sans Rival is made of layers of cashew daquoise, or nut meringue, and french buttercream. Our host had modified the recipe to include chocolate, and her cake looked too good not to make the chocolate version as well. I was planing on using hazelnuts and frangelico to flavor the cake, but when I looked in the pantry, there were no hazelnuts to be found. So I substituted Oreo crumbs for the nuts, baked 5 layers of the meringue in 6 inch pans, and the rest of the batter in .2.5 inch molds, to make mini cakes.

I have absolutely no luck with frosting, so I wasn't expecting much from this... only for it to turn out beautifully silky. A seriously beautiful frosting that's insanely rich! A keeper of a recipe!

Chocolate Sans Rival
recipe modified from November 2011 Daring Bakers' Challenge
Yields 1 6-inch, five-layer cake and 3 2.5 inch, two-layer cake

10 large egg whites, room temp
1 cup (8 oz) white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
 2 cups oreo cookie crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
2. Line cake pan bottoms with parchment paper and butter and flour the sides really well.
3. In a large clean, dry glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites on medium until foamy (2 mins.). Sprinkle with cream of tartar. Gradually add sugar, a couple of tablespoons at a time, continuing to beat now at high speed until stiff shiny peaks form. (about 7-10 mins.)

4. Fold in oreo cookie crumbs.

5. Spread meringue in pans, evenly to edges. If doing batches, use fresh parchment paper and cooled pans for each batch.

6. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the meringue from the baking pans while still hot; allow to cool slightly. Peel off the parchment paper while it is still warm, it is difficult to remove sometimes when they have completely cooled.

French Buttercream

 5 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 cup (8 oz) white granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1¼ cup (10 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted, 

1. Put the egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Beat at high speed until the yolks have doubled in volume and are a lemon yellow.
2. Put the sugar and water in a heavy pan and cook over medium heat, stirring the sides down only until all the sugar is dissolved and the syrup reaches 235°F/112°C (or thread stage).
3. With the mixer on high, very slowly pour the syrup down the sides of the bowl, until all has been added. Be careful as the very hot syrup could burn you if it splashes from the beaters. Continue beating on high until the mixture is ROOM TEMPERATURE (about 15 mins). Still on high, beat in the soft, room temperature butter a tablespoon at a time. Add chocolate after you beat in the butter. Refrigerate the buttercream for at least an hour, and whip it smooth just before you use it.
Set bottom meringue on cake board with a dab of butter cream to hold it in place. Spread a thin layer of buttercream and then place another meringue on top. Repeat with remaining layers, and finally buttercream the top and sides. Decorate with more oreo crumbs.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. It is easier to cut cold. May freeze.

My daughter's babysitter got the bigger cake for her birthday. She said it was to die for, and reminded her of a cake found in a French patisserie. I'll take that as a compliment! Too bad I couldn't get a picture of it cut, with its layers... 

I enjoyed this one! Can't wait to see that next month brings!


  1. I know what you mean about the frosting - a real buttercream doesn't always behave very well for me either. Looks beautiful though and the oreos sound like a good addition.

  2. Your "modified" Sans Rival looks gorgeous!

  3. Ugh, I feel you on the short days and artificial light photography - every photo I take looks so wretched that I don't want to post anything, even if it tastes amazing!!

    I admire your creativity in this challenge - I never would have thought to use Oreo crumbs, but it sounds fantastic. I also loved the frosting - I wanted to eat it straight out of the bowl ;) Maybe that's why I barely had enough to frost the cake with?!

  4. Wow, you get the prize for the tallest cake. Love it! And oreos? Yum!

  5. I love the visual texture of your icing - so rustic! And that cake/pie stand is adorable. Everything looks just wonderful.

  6. I love the way your Sans Rival cake looks!! :) The whole thing looks SO Chic!!! Where can I get me one of those cake stands? Great job on the Challenge!!

  7. Your Sans Rival looks delicious, from the Oreo meringue to the silky frosting! Would love to try this!

  8. I would have loved to try your Sans Rival! Oreos...yum! I saw the word and I wanted to see how you incorporated them.
    I'm glad I came to visit your blog!

  9. Your Sans Rival is so elegant! I like it.

  10. Absolutely stunning! I'm going to have to try the French buttercream - too many people have been raving about it! Your chocolate version looks to die for!

  11. Using Oreos? Frickin' brilliant! Bravo on a lovely cake. And I adore that cake stand too!

  12. I love the look of the two layers. I bet it tasted really great! Nice pictures too!

  13. Oreo Sans Rival? Inspired. That looks amazingly delicious, and I am just wishing I could taste it through my screen. YUM. AWESOME job.

  14. Glad you tried it. Good job. Love the idea of oreos

  15. hello! all your pastries and cakes look divine. I just started baking and i'm inspired by your works.

    I am a Filipino and I can tell you, the sans rival is not a traditional Filipino dessert. It is only popular here because a bakeshop named goldilocks and red ribbon makes it. :)

    anyway, the traditional filipino desserts are puto, kutsinta, bibingka, etc.. you can find them in this site :)

  16. I always have buttercream issues. I need to practice but I always stay on the safe side and go for roll out icing if it's going public!

    Yours looks totally beautiful though :)


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