Anyhooo, I think our host of this month’s Daring Bakers Challenge does a better job of explaining, so take it away Catherine!
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! And for those of us who wanted to try an additional Filipino dessert, Catherine also gave us a bonus recipe for Bibingka which comes from her friend Jun of Jun-blog.
She says, “ Sans rival means “without rival” and any Filipino will argue with you that this is true... A Sans Rival is made with layers of dacquoise, typically using crushed cashews, with very rich French buttercream frosting. The dacquoise is allowed to bake and dry to a crispy layer so that there is the crunch of pastry and nuts with the buttery, silky frosting.”
Oooh, dacquoise I could definitely get behind (daquoise is just a fancy way of saying nutty meringue layer.) French buttercream, I don’t know. It is a sad, deep, character flaw that I really dislike “proper” buttercream. Give me the simple version that uses just icing sugar and butter, and I’ll happily eat a mound of it. But the kind made with eggs always seems to leave too much of a cloying, oily aftertaste for me. Which is strange, because stuff like whipped cream, creme fraiche, mascarpone or any other decadent, creamy food I can eat with no problems.
But in the spirirt of being daring, I made the given recipe anyway. Since I didn’t want too much of a good thing, I halved the daquoise layer measurements, and used just 5 egg whites, and instead of crushed cashews, used grounds almonds which saved me a trip to the store. For the buttercream, I re-jigged the measurements to use 3 egg yolks.
We could flavour the buttercream any way we wanted, and after checking with a few websites to see if it was possible, I let the sugar syrup get to the golden amber/ caramel stage before pouring it into the beaten egg yolks, then added some salt to get a Salted Caramel Buttercream! Apart from a scary hissing sound as the caramel hit the eggs and some minute lumps of hardened caramel in the buttercream, it worked really well. And more importantly, it tasted really good. I can neither confirm nor deny that I licked the beaters.
Some caramel “brittle” to decorate the sides and Pa-dah! One complete Sans Rival cake.
When I greedily cut my first slice as soon as I’d finished layering and decorating the cake, I was a bit disappointed with the texture of the dacquoise layers. They were chewy instead of crisp. But after I refrigerated the rest of the Sans Rival (uncovered), the layers dried out and crisped up. Brilliant!
The mushy, chewy slice of greed.
So, have I gotten over my dislike of French buttercream? Well, yes and no. I wouldn’t rule it out completely as an acceptable decoration for cake, but I still find it way too rich and can only eat a teeny square of cake before the cloying sensation kicks in. Which is a shame because the flavour of this salted caramel buttercream is just sensational.
Patience will reward you in the end
Thanks for the great challenge Catherine, one day when I have more time, I’ll give the Bibingka a go. Wonder what the other Daring Bakers got up to?
And for my loyal friends who’ve probably been wondering where I’d disappeared over the last week, with nary an explanation, I apologise profusely! We made an impromptu trip out of the country to visit this country. Can you guess where? (If you’re related to me or actually know me personally, you cannot play) ;) I’ve missed reading all your blogs and will remedy the situation very soon!