Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sans Rival Macaron

Sans Rival Macarons I www.haideekitchen.blogspot.com

I was missing home...as in my home country, the Philippines. I have been living in the gulf for almost a decade. And although I love living in Bahrain, there are still some days when I get "homesicked"...I miss home.

It was one of those days. I was missing my family, their loud laughter and warm hugs, their spontaneous "I love yous" that sound way better in person than over the phone. Hanging out with my friends. Road trips. The beach. Oh! the beach. When the gulf summer seems it will never end, that's when I miss Boracay the most. And of course, the food, glorious "Pinoy" food!

Whenever I go home on holidays, I prepare myself to gain weight and just let myself go and indulge on all the food that I missed. I would have a mental list of what I would like to eat. But it seems our visits, no matter how long or short, were never ever enough to revisit all the yummies in my check list. One of those cravings that I missed on my last trip was Sans Rival Cake.

Sans Rival Cake may sound French, (well actually it is), but this confection is a well-loved Filipino dessert. It's a multi-layer of meringue, buttercream and chopped roasted cashew nuts, covered with butter cream and roasted cashew nuts. Yes, it sounds incredibly good that it's name claimed it is "without rival".

So I was craving for this cake and feeling bummed that no one is making it around here. The closest meringue-ish dessert is macaron, which on normal days I would love to have in any flavor. But even that will not satisfy because I was craving for buttercream sandwiched between the meringue. And then I had an epiphany...what if I make macaron with sans rival filling? I imagined it and in my mind and was convinced it would work. The only problem is...I've never made macarons before nor have I ever made Sans Rival cake.

So I began my search to find the perfect recipe to merge these 2 greats to create one genius dessert. Many webpages later, I resolved to try out these recipe combination: Macarons recipe from Martha Stewart and the buttercream recipe from BakeHappy. How did it go? Har har har (like the laugh of an evil genius!) Eureka! It was a success! It is everything I imagined it would be!

I think it would be selfish not to share this discovery to the web world. After all, I wouldn't have done it without the help from Ms. Martha and Ms. Aikko's recipe. So here it is, enjoy!

Sans Rival Macaron Recipe

For the Macarons: Adapted from Martha Stewart's recipe, the directions were slightly modified.

Difficulty: (not easy for me!)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Baking Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes


1 1/4 cups almond meal
1 3/4 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 large or 120g egg whites
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract

1. Preheat oven to 350*F.

2.Sift and whisk together almond meal and confectioner's sugar in a large mixing bowl.

3. In a stand mixer with whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on medium speed until frothy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add the granulated sugar and almond extract. Whisk on high speed until soft peak forms, about 3-5 minutes.

4. Fold egg whites into the almond and sugar mixture until well combined. Mix vigorously with spatula until the mixture sinks and smooth and thick and has the same consistency as honey. Transfer the mixture into a pastry bag with round tip. Pipe 1-inch round into a silicone macaron mould. Alternatively, pipe in 1-inch round, 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You should be able to make 2 baking sheets of 28 macaron shells each. Tap the baking sheet to make sure there are no air bubbles.

5. Let it dry for at least 30 minutes until the tops are shiny and dry. 

6. Place the baking sheets on the middle rack and on the lowest rack and keep the oven door slightly ajar for the 1st 7 minutes. After 7 minutes, rotate both baking sheets 180* and switch-- the one on the middle rack to the bottom and the one at the bottom on the middle rack. Close the oven door and do not open until after 7 minutes.

7. Let cool in the baking sheet for 20 minutes then remove and transfer to the cooling rack to cool completely.

For the Cashew Nut Buttercream Filling, adapted and slightly modified recipe from Bake Happy:
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup water
9 egg yolks
3 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
1/2 pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup lightly toasted, chopped cashew news.

Special tool needed: Candy Thermometer (This is a must!)

1. In a saucepan fitted with candy thermometer, boil sugar and water over high heat. Shake and swirl the pan occasionally to avoid sugar from browning on the side of the pan. While waiting, pour the egg yolks in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.

2. Once the sugar syrup registers 220*F on the candy thermometer, start beating the egg yolk on high speed. Turn down the speed to low or turn it off once the egg yolk is frothy.

3. As soon as the sugar syrup registers a temperature of 240*F, remove from hear and start beating the egg yolk at medium speed and pour the sugar syrup slowly and at steady stream. Increase the speed to high once the all the syrup have been incorporated and beat for 1 minute. Place in the fridge for 8-10 minutes to cool down.

4. Return the egg mixture to the stand mixer, beat on low speed then gradually add butter. Add vanilla extract and salt. Turn up the speed on high and whisk until fluffy.

5. Gently fold in cashew nuts with a spatula and place in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.

To assemble:
Take a heaping spoonful of the butter cream filling and sandwich it between macaron shells. If you wish, you can add more shards of chopped cashew nuts around the filling.

Sans Rival Macarons I www.haideekitchen.blogspot.com

I was still missing home but I was happy I got to taste a bit of it, with a twist, in my Bahrain kitchen.