Cashew Meringue Cake or Sans Rival
This is a super rich, special-occasion-only meringue cake — crispy/crunchy meringue layers filled and iced with rich buttercream/whipped cream. In any Philippine sweet table, this cake will be the first to disappear, guaranteed. After all, who doesn’t love a sinfully rich, yummy and delicious ‘thang for sweet endings to a great meal. You can replace cashew nuts in the following recipe from the book, New Asian Cooking Step-by-step, with almonds, pecans, hazelnuts or macadamia nuts. Delight your guests, family and friends with Sans Rival at your next celebration party.
But before you even start whipping the eggwhites, here are few reminders:
*On a rainy or really humid day, postpone your sans rival project to another day. Baking the beaten eggwhites for a crispy wafer spells i-m-p-o-ss-i-b-l-e.
*Better to separate eggs immediately after taking them out from the fridgeCold eggs separate more easily than those at room temperature because the whites hold together better.
The tiniest bit of fat or egg yolk will wreck a meringue, as fat interferes with the formation of good foam. When separating eggs, if a speck of egg yolk falls into the egg whites, lift it out with an empty eggshell half. Do not try to fish it out with your fingers; the oil on your skin will prevent the egg whites from expanding.
CASHEW MERINGUE CAKE
300 g cashews
8 egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons white vinegar
250 g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar
4 tablespoons Creme de Cacao
2 cups cream
1 tablespoon orange liquer
2 teaspoons vanilla
coarsely chopped cashews, shaved chocolate curls or cocoa, for decoration (optional)
To make Cashew Meringue:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spread the cashews on a baking tray and toast them in the oven for 5 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally to turn them over. Check frequently to make sure they don’t urn. Remove from the oven, allow to cool and then process in short bursts in a food processor, until finely ground.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300 F. Line 4 baking trays with parchment paper and draw an 8 1/2 inch circle onto each piece of paper. (You may use a plate as a guide).
Beat the egg whites in a large, clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar to the bowl, beating well after each addition, until the whites are thick and glossy. Fold in the vanilla, vinegar and ground cashews.
Divide the mixture evenly among the circles and carefully spread it to the edge of each circle. Bake the meringues for 45 minutes or until they are crisp. Turn the oven off and allow the meringues to cool in the oven, leaving the oven door ajar.
To make the buttercream/whipped cream:
In a medium bowl, beat the butter, icing sugar and creme de cacao until the mixture is light and creamy. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat the cream, orange liquier and vanilla essence, until soft peaks form.
Place 1 meringue circle on a serving platter and carefully spread with half of the buttercream. Top with another meringue circle and spread with half of the whipped cream. Repeat with the remaining meringue circles, buttercream and whipped cream.
The top of the meringue cake can be decorated with chocolate curls and dusted lightly with cocoa. Chill. Carefully cut into sections for serving.