"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Almond Sans Rival Part III - Assembly

Here is the final post in my almond sans rival series (I might have, in the future, chocolate, mocha, pistachio, cashew, or even pandan, who knows?). Thank you for your patience.

Please take note in Part II of what I WOULD HAVE CHANGED in making these sans rival. I would not really change the recipes, but I believe at least getting the proportions right will give very good results. Photo above shows the chilled (hence flattened frosting and sprinkles -- not too appealing to the eyes, but tastes actually better than when freshly made) sans rival with thinner frosting than that shown in my first post. It was good, but I still wish I had thicker meringue layers. My husband found the buttercream too buttery in that first one I assembled (what else can you expect of buttercream anyway?) but he loved the meringue cookies alone! (However, I knew when I was making whoopie pies when I asked him about using butter in the frosting instead of shortening, he said it just does not taste quite the same. So maybe he really is not a fan of buttercream). My kids love both assembled and meringue cookies (dacquoise) alone; in fact, they are requesting I make some more dacquoise, but at present, I have no egg whites available. I do have some egg yolks (4 of them) from when my stepdaughter made chocolate molten lava cakes. Now I am thinking of finally making purely egg yolk-y leche flan...but I find that too rich, I can't eat more than two tbsp.

Anyway, I digress...

UPDATE: I made a second batch and brought/shared with co-workers (in two hospitals) and they raved about this, even asked for the recipe. Then I made a third batch, this time making it into a rectangular cake to bring to my mother-in-law on Mother's Day. Both she and her husband loved it as well!

Prepared meringue cookies (dacquoise)
Prepared buttercream
Toasted almonds (about 200 grams sliced)


Toast the almonds at 350 deg F for 8-10 minutes (I followed the instruction at the packaging for toasting the sliced almonds. I used two types of pan: 1 thin dark cookie sheet and another thick jelly roll pan, which gave me almost burnt almonds on the first, and perfectly toasted on the second. So, I suggest you watch after 5 minutes whether they are toasted good already). Cool then crumble using your hands.

Use a ziploc bag with a cut at the corner for the buttercream. Keep the rest cooled with bags of ice around (or in the fridge). Use gloves to insulate the buttercream from your warm hands. I would suggest putting a very thin layer of buttercream in between the dacquoise/meringue layers. Press together some more so the excess buttercream will be squeezed out. Use this to frost the sides.

[Note: In the slideshow you will see some sprinkled sugar+ground almonds which i sandwiched between two layers of meringue already frosted, so in effect I had very thick frosting of buttercream sandwiching the sugar+ground almonds. Since this resulted to overwhelming buttercream-y taste, I omitted the double frosting and sugar+ground almonds. Instead, I just applied one layer of frosting. It was much better, but I wish I had thicker dacquoise, or thinner buttercream.]

Prepare cling wrap for individual serving to hold the initial assembly, frost one broad side (e.g., bottom) and sprinkle with crumbled toasted almonds. Now you can touch this side with plastic so you can work on frosting the other broad side (e.g., top), then sprinkle some more with almonds.

There! I hope I have effectively taught those who needed teaching. Some of my readers might actually know about this; please do not hesitate to offer corrections, suggestions, etc. Even recipes are welcome! (That is, if you are willing to share.)

Gosh, I think I gained 5 pounds in the last three days because of this...I need to use the DDR!!! Arrrrgh!


  1. This looks wonderful! Thank you again for posting such detailed instructions - it's almost as good as learning right in your kitchen!

  2. Hi Manang, I love Sansrival and I've eaten a lot of it in my lifetime! I know you use Italian Meringue Buttercream but I have to tell you that most of the Sansrivals I've eaten, they use French Buttercream as the icing on the Sansrival even on Sylvanas I have yet to try a sansrival with Italian Meringue because I think they're equally good!

    With regards to leftover eggyolks maybe you can make lemon curd out of it.

    Here's a recipe from Joy of Cooking:
    Lemon Curd Joy of Cooking
    Adapted from The Joy of Cooking
    From the Joy of Cooking: This makes a sensation filling for sponge rolls or an Angel Food Cake. You can also marble it into a cheesecake.

    8 egg yolks
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
    3 lemons, zest grated and juiced

    Place the ingredients in the double boiler over boiling water. Don’t let top pan touch the water. Cook and stir until mixture begins to gel or thicken ever-so-slightly. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Cover and refrigerate it to thicken.

    This keeps, refrigerated, for about 1 week

  3. HI Anonymous,
    So is this what Italian buttercream is? Thanks for that info! Haha. Now I gotta take a look at French buttercream and how the two are different. I have tried the 1-2-3 Swiss buttercream and it was easier but good, too.
    Thanks for that lemon curd recipe. There was indeed that picture in my mind about using something like this in pianono but I could not quite point a finger to it exactly...some custard but not the custard I know...so this must be it. Gotta try it sometime.

  4. Hi Manang,
    I was the one who gave you the recipe for Lemon Meringue above. Just to add to my comment above, if you use French Meringue Buttercream, you'll be able to use up the egg yolks because French Meringue Buttercream uses egg yolks. Maybe that's why most of the Sansrival I've tried use this kind of buttercream.

  5. Thank you so much Manang!

    I <3 Sans Rival & I wanted to make one for my b-day! So I was endlessly searching for the best recipe until I found your food blog & tried it. I absolutely <3 it!

    Though, I do have some questions:

    1. When finished w/ the assembly, are you suppose to place the Sans Rival to chill in the fridge or place it in the freezer? And for how long?

    2. Which type of buttercream do you prefer - Italian or French? Besides the egg yolks in the French buttercream, is there a difference in taste or texture between French & Italian?

  6. Hi Anonymous,
    Yes, place the sans rival in the fridge to keep the buttercream from melting. You can place in the freezer if not consuming right away. I do not have the authority to tell you how long you can chill or freeze since I am not an expert, but I would suggest you avoid letting them go beyond one week in the fridge, and three months in the freezer (I arbitrarily assigned such periods; no real reason. )

    I have not tried the French buttercream since even the sans rival I remember from the Philippines had the Italian type of buttercream. Hence, I cannot say which I prefer nor what the difference is between the two, and I have not made French buttercream yet.


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