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My first challenge as a Daring Baker and not only was I unfamiliar with the dessert,  but also with the techniques used. But then,  that is the whole point, to challenge ourselves to do something new.

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.

SANS RIVAL was the dessert and as the name suggests it means Sans- Without and Rival i.e. without rival.  It is a traditional dessert from Philippines, made as a cake but once you cut into it, it is definitely unlike any usual cake. It has crunchy and slightly chewy layers of dacquoise filled with cashew nuts and between the layers is a rich French buttercream.

I am almost ashamed to admit that this was my first time making a buttercream, so I decided to follow the recipe to the T. And it even gave me the opportunity to use my new candy thermometer. In a French buttercream   the egg yolks are whisked and then the hot bubbling sugar syrup at 112 C is added to it which cooks the eggs. I was worried that the egg yolks might get scrambled but they didn’t. And then a lot of butter is added to it.

Honestly,  the buttercream was too buttery for me and my family’s taste and plus it wasn’t stiff enough, so I plan to experiment with different buttercream recipes in the future.

But one tiny bite of the rich sans rival and man-oh-man!!! I will definitely make it again using different flavour combinations.

For now I am really thankful to the Daring Kitchen for introducing me to something new and I am so looking forward to the next challenge.

On the ending note my sans rival cake doesn’t look all that great as I ran out of buttercream to use for making borders and stuff. But trust me it tasted amazing.


I used only quarter of the recipe to make a tiny sans rival cake.

Instead of using cake pans, I drew circles on liberally oiled, parchment paper to make small layers.

Sans Rival Recipe


For the layers

  • 10 large egg whites, room temp
  • 1 cup (225 gm) white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (3 gm) cream of tartar
  • 2 cups (240 gm) chopped, toasted cashews


  1. Preheat oven to moderate 325°F/160°C
  2. Line cake pan bottoms/ baking tray with parchment paper and butter all the sides really well.
  3.  In a large clean, dry glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites on medium until foamy.
  4. 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.
  5.  Fold in nuts, reserving enough to use for decoration.
  6.  Divide meringue into four equal parts. Spread in pans, evenly to edges. If doing batches, use fresh parchment paper and cooled pans for each batch.
  7. 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.
  8. When cool, trim edges so that all 4 meringue layers are uniformly shaped. Set aside.
  9. I stored the layers, once they reached the room temperature in an airtight container till my butter cream was ready.

For the buttercream

5 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 cup (225 gm)  castor sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
1¼ cup (285 gm) unsalted butter, room temperature
Optional Flavorings:  1½ teaspoon (7 ½ ml) vanilla extract, or any flavor you like


  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.
  4. Continue beating on high until the mixture is ROOM TEMPERATURE (about 15 mins).
  5. Still on high, beat in the soft, room temperature butter a tablespoon at a time. Add flavoring after you beat in the butter.
  6. 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 a thin layer of buttercream, meringue, thin layer of buttercream, meringue, and finally buttercream the top and sides. Decorate with reserved nuts.