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Sans Rival Layered Meringue Cake

The finished cake tastes of honey and toasted nuts with a little kick of cheese and wine. The meringue is wonderfully crispy and the buttercream is as rich as can be.

Sans Rival Layered Meringue Cake
The finished cake tastes of honey and toasted nuts with a little kick of cheese and wine. The meringue is wonderfully crispy and the buttercream is as rich as can be.
Ingredients
For baked meringue
  • 10 large egg whites, at room temp
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ cup white granulated sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped very finely
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped roughly
For French buttercream
  • 5 large egg yolks, at room temp
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup Reisling
  • 1¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 teaspoons Reisling
Instructions
For baked meringue
  1. Preheat oven to moderate 160°C.
  2. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and butter and flour the sides really well.
  3. In a large (and very clean) mixing bowl, beat egg whites on medium until foamy. Sprinkle with cream of tartar. Beat until soft peaks form.
  4. Heat sugar and honey with ⅓ cup water over medium-high heat, stirring, until the mixture reaches 115°C.
  5. With the mixer on, slowly (and carefully, avoiding it splashing up at you) add the hot syrup to the bowl and mix on high until stiff peaks form.
  6. Fold in finely ground nuts.
  7. Spread in the pan, evenly to the edges.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 35-45 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Allow to cool slightly on the pan. Peel off the parchment paper while it is still warm, it is difficult to remove sometimes when they have completely cooled.
  9. Cut baked meringue into equal sized rectangles. Place the pieces back on the parchment on the baking and return them to the oven and leave them in there until the oven is cool. If the meringue is not crispy (still feeling spongy when pressed lightly), turn the oven to 120°C and bake for another 20 minutes or until the wafers firm up. They should end up very crispy and quite dark but not burned.
  10. When cool, trim edges so that all 4 meringue layers are uniformly shaped. Set aside.
For French buttercream
  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, honey and wine in a pan and cook over medium heat, stirring until all the sugar is dissolved and the syrup reaches 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. Continue beating on high until the mixture is ROOM TEMPERATURE (about 15 minutes).
  4. Still on high, beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time. Add vanilla and 3 teaspoons wine after you beat in the butter.
  5. Refrigerate the buttercream for at least an hour, and whip it smooth just before you use it.
Assembly
  1. Grate ⅔ cup parmigiano-regianno.
  2. Set bottom meringue on cake board with a dab of butter cream to hold it in place. Spread a thin layer of buttercream, a sprinkle of cheese and then place another meringue on top. Repeat with a thin layer of buttercream, cheese, meringue, buttercream, cheese, meringue, and finally buttercream the top and sides. Decorate with reserved nuts and remaining cheese.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to serve. It is easiest to cut when it's very cold.
Notes
Sans Rival is a Filipino dessert cake made of layers of buttercream, meringue and chopped cashews. Its name comes from the French phrase with the literal meaning without rival. The cake may be decorated, left plain or garnished with pistachios.

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