WATCH: How to Make Sans Rival

Sans rival is a decadent and delicious cake made with layers of meringue, French buttercream, and chopped cashews. This classic Pinoy dessert favorite is a great example of how simple ingredients combined with some time and effort can become something spectacular.

Takes 1 hour 20 minutes plus cooling and chilling
Makes 1 8-inch cake; 8 servings

For the meringue:
6 large egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup cashews, finely chopped

For the French buttercream:
6 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup butter, cubed, softened
1/2 cup cashews, roughly chopped


Preheat oven to 325F. Grease and line with parchment paper 2 8-inch cake pans. Set aside.


Make the meringue: In the stainless steel bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on Medium-High speed until soft peaks form. Decrease speed to Medium-Low and by the tablespoon, add the caster sugar. Once all added, increase speed and whisk until stiff peaks. Decrease speed again, and add cashew meal by the tablespoonful. Scrape sides with a spatula as needed while mixing. Once mixed, remove bowl from stand mixer.



Scoop about 1 cup of the meringue batter into the prepared cake pans, and use an offset spatula to spread the batter into an even layer. Bake meringue 15-20 minutes or until tops are lightly browned and centers are set for a chewy layer. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes for more crisp layers. Remove from oven, and place on a cooling rack. Once cool enough to handle, remove meringue from cake pans and discard parchment paper. Set aside.


Wash, and grease and line cake pans again. Fill with meringue batter, and bake to desired doneness. Repeat with remaining meringue batter. Set meringue layers aside.

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Meanwhile, make the French Buttercream: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the beater attachment, beat egg yolks on Medium-High until color is lightened and doubled in volume.


While yolks are being beaten, place sugar, and water in a saucepan. Place over Medium-High heat and cook until sugar has melted, water has evaporated, and mixture is bubbling, about 15 minutes. Let sugar cook and bubble until a candy thermometer reaches 230?F, or around the soft ball stage. Remove from heat and slowly pour sugar syrup into the egg yolks mixture in a thin drizzle. Avoid the sugar syrup from touching the bowl's sides or the beater as much as possible.



Beat the egg mixture on Medium-High until the bowl is cool to the touch, about 20 minutes. Once cool to the touch, add the cubed butter and beat until butter and egg mixture is well mixed and buttercream has thickened.


To assemble, place a meringue layer on a cake stand. Spread enough buttercream to cover. Sprinkle lightly with chopped cashews. Cover with another meringue layer. Repeat process until all layers are covered with buttercream. Generously sprinkle top with cashews. Chill cake at least 2 hours before slicing. Serve cold.

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