But not good enough to write and post a recipe yet. :( Long-time readers of this blog know I attempted a sans rival in late 2005, to fairly horrific visual results though perhaps a 5 or 6 out of 10 on the taste rating scale, post here. Readers then chimed in with terrific tips for making a better sans rival, as well as lots of leads to really good commercially available sans rivals. At the time, frazzled by my attempt, I concluded that buying was better than sweating it out. :) A few years later, I attempted some silvanas, a similar type of dessert, and that effort likewise ended in frustration and meringue capitulation, posts here and here. Let’s just say I wouldn’t be offended if someone referred to me as being “meringue-challenged.”
But a slew of Visayan torta experiments meant we had dozens and dozens of egg whites in the house so I don’t know what came over me but I thought I would attempt a sans rival again. First of all, the “lots of egg whites” reason is kinda dumb, since lots of egg yolks are needed for the buttercream… but anyway… I made two large layers of meringue with lots of chopped almonds and baked them until light brown. They were too thick and undercooked, hence slightly chewy. But at least I managed to peel them off the parchment paper and cut them neatly in half, resulting in four perfectly shaped layers that would fit exactly into the covered plastic container which could fit in the freezer. Had I lowered the temperature in the oven to 250F and cooked the meringue layers longer, they would have been uniformly tanned in color and would have dried to a crisp wafer, the ideal result…
For the buttercream, I went all out and used some canned Queensland butter, hoping to get that more flavorful, almost cheesy aspect to infuse the icing. And while I thought I was generous with the icing recipe, I didn’t have as much as I thought for all the layers and the outside of the sans rival. I tried to make up for it with a generous amount of toasted and chopped almonds.
After several hours in the freezer, this cut beautifully, but was a little chewy to the bite. I’d say it was a 7.0-7.5 on the Sans Rival scale but I think I am getting the hang of this infuriatingly difficult dessert to make, or at least for me it is infuriatingly difficult. :) Will have to keep at this a couple of more times before I would publish a recipe. But having run out of almonds, I am going to use some freshly harvested cashews that I brought back from Palawan the other day. They are the best tasting cashews or kasoy I have sourced locally and roasted myself.