What do you get when you mix meringue, buttercream and almonds? Sans Rival, what else? The photo and title says it all, what more can I add to it? Delicious, rich, mouth-watering, diet buster, calorie laden dessert. Ah, one shouldn't think of diets when enjoying this dessert. This is one of those rare times that eating it is worth sacrificing 1 day off your healthy lifestyle. That's why you don't eat Sans Rival every week, you're only allowed to have this dessert uhm once every year? Ok, maybe once every six months.
The name Sans Rival is French, meaning 'without rival'. Nobody knows where this dessert originated but it sure has some European characteristics. It's like Napoleons. It's an Almond torte and consists of layered crispy meringue with almonds and buttercream. There is also another dessert that is similar to this called Sylvannas, the only difference being the Sylvannas is shaped like a huge egg but it tastes the same.
I grew up eating Sans Rival from Goldilocks. This is one of my favorite desserts from that popular Filipino bakery along with Mocha and Ube rolls. When I moved to Northern California 20 years ago, I was ecstatic when I learned that Goldilocks is just a drive away. I got a sticker shock though, a small square of Sansrival costs $25 (back then). No wonder it's expensive, it's a little complicated to make this. There aren't a lot of ingredients but it takes a lot of work to assemble the whole thing. After many years of wanting to try to make this dessert, I finally did it two weeks ago. I was thinking of what dish to bring to a party when I decided to make dessert. It turned out quite good, very good, in fact. Would I make it again? Hmm, yes I will (if somebody pays me to do it LOL). I used almonds instead of cashew nuts just because. If you are a novice baker, then I would suggest you buy it instead of trying to make it. :o) For an expert baker, this is quite easy to make. All you need is a lot of patience and Reynolds Release non-stick aluminum foil. If you don't have this special aluminum foil, use baking paper or parchment paper.
for the wafers:
10 egg whites at room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
2 cups finely chopped almonds
for the filling and frosting:
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tbsp water
1/4 cup sugar
2 sticks butter at room temperature (1/2 lb)
for the topping:
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
- Beat egg yolks until it turns light yellow.
- Heat corn syrup, sugar and water over low heat. Cook for 2 minutes after it boils.
- Pour the syrup into the egg yolk slowly while beating on medium speed. Set aside to cool down.Cream softened butter and gradually beat in cooled yolk mixture.Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 325F. Line three cookie sheets or jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Generously grease and flour the parchment paper (very important so the meringue will not stick; if you use the Reynolds Release foil, then you don't have to grease and flour)
- Beat egg whites and of tartar until soft peaks form. Add sugar a tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until stiff.
- Fold in ground almonds.
- Spread evenly on the cookie sheets about 1/4 inch thick. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cut the wafer into desired size while still warm. Peel off the paper or foil. If the parchment paper is sticking, cover with damp towel for a minute or so.
- Spread the frosting thinly on top of each meringue and stack another meringue, repeat with the layering . Don't put too much frosting in each layer or you wouldn't have enough to frost the outside of the Sans Rival.
- Sprinkle chopped almonds on the top and sides. Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.
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