Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sans Rival

Sans Rival

Much like Haalo, when it comes to birthday cakes I am the designated baker even when the birthday is my own. This year, one of my presents was a cream-colored KitchenAid (and believe me, you were *this* close to getting a postful of KitchenAid porn instead of this recipe - it is perhaps the prettiest thing in this apartment, save one of my three cats), so naturally I wanted to make something with lots and lots of whipped things. Such as egg whites and, oh yeah, buttercream. How convenient, then, that I'd already earmarked a recipe that consists almost (actually, there's no "almost" about it) exclusively of meringue and buttercream.

Sans Rival

This cake is also known as Ellen Svinhufvud Cake in Finland, after the wife of one of our presidents who liked to have this served at receptions and the like. In other countries I think it's known as Fragilité, but I'm not sure if the recipes are exactly the same. Either way, it's decadent without being cloying, which is always a plus.

Sans Rival

It consists of layers of crackling macaroon sheets and is filled and covered with mocha-flavored buttercream and sprinkled with toasted flaked almonds. It's not nearly as difficult to make as I'd thought, and like a lot of things it improves if you have the patience to let it sit in the fridge for a day or two.

Sans Rival

And yes, it's exactly as healthy as it sounds.

Sans Rival
the recipe for this was all over the newspapers this winter because of some sort of legal battle. I snagged the proportions from Hufvudstadsbladet and the method from, I think, Helsingin Sanomat

Macaroon layers
150 ml icing sugar
200 ml egg white (~6 eggs)
150 g (very finely) ground almonds

150 ml strong coffee
5 tbsp sugar
150 ml cream
300 g butter
100 g (very finely) ground almonds

25 g flaked almonds, lightly toasted
icing sugar

Cover two cookie sheets with cooking parchment.

Whip the egg whites and sugar for about 15 minutes, until it turns sticky. Carefully fold in the ground almonds.

Divide the meringue in four parts, two on each sheet, and spread into 25*16 cm rectangles. Bake both sheets simultaneously at 125°C for about an hour (switching the positions a few times during baking), until they are completely dry.

C-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y loosen the macaroon sheets from the parchment with the help of a spatula and equally carefully transfer them to wire racks to cool.

Blend the sugar into the still-hot coffee, stir to dissolve. Add the cream and let the mixture cool. Whip the butter until light and fluffy. Adding just a little at a time, drizzle in the coffee-cream mixture while beating continuously. Finish by beating in the ground almond.

Spread the mocha cream on the cooled macaroon layers and assemble the cake. Sprinkle with the toasted almond flakes and finish with a dusting of icing sugar. (As you may notice from the pictures, I kind of forgot the icing sugar part. Maybe I'm getting old.) Transfer to fridge until you're ready to serve (can be made 2 days ahead).

Notes: yes, you are meant to ruin the smooth buttercream with ground almonds. I did, although it PAINED ME to see my lovely shiny frosting turn all gritty. It tasted good though. (Maybe almond extract would do the same?) If you buy ready-ground almonds, be sure to grind them some more in a blender, both for the frosting and macaroons.


Monkey Wrangler said...

Holy f*@#in' wow! My kitchen aid is in need of maintenance and there is much sadness in our home, so this one will take a while to get too.

Did I say wow yet?

Haalo said...

That is beyond delicious!

Helene said...

This is one of my favorite cakes of all time! I can eat one all by myself!

ylimuuli said...

Minunkin suosikkikakkuni ja tekolistalla! Ihana nähdä asiantunteva esimerkkisuoritus. :-) Älykaunis lopputulos :-P

esther said...

Really great job on the photos. You perfectly captured the fluffy crunchy texture!! The almonds really seal the deal for me.

Nässelblom & choklad said...

Väldigt snygga bilder på en smarrig tårta!

joey said...

Where I'm from it's also known as sans rival and it's very popular :) It's also my dad's favorite! I'm thinking whether I should forward this post...seeing as to how he asked me to forward anything South-Beach-Diet related...hehehe ;)

deinin said...

Monkey Wrangler - oh no! I send your KitchenAid wishes for a speedy recovery!

Haalo, indeed it was. And now it's gone. *sigh*

Helene - wow! I find it extremely rich and am quite satisfied with a small slice (the ones in the pictures are on the big side). Of course, fifteen minutes later, I'm ready for another one...

Ylimuuli, juu, tuo meni heti tekolistalle kun reseptejä rupesi pukkaamaan joka suunnalta talvella. Marenkisiivuja käsitellessä saa olla tarkkana, mutta muuten se oli yllättävän vähätöinen. Varsinkin kun koristelun kanssa ei tarvinnut näpertää.

Esther - thank you! Almond flakes over here tend to be incredibly flimsy, but I found these slightly thicker ones this winter and knew I'd have to save them for this.

Nässelblom & choklad - tack! Det skrevs ganska mycket om den här i vintras - på ekonomisidorna! - eftersom det pågår nåt slags strid om vem som har rätt att använda Ellen Svinhufvuds namn då den säljs (som jag förstod det - recept kan man ju inte patentera och likadana kakor görs bl.a. på Filippinerna).

Joey - yes, when I was googling for more info I noticed a lot of the Sans Rival recipes were from the Philippines. Very interesting!

Astrid said...

Oh that looks heavenly! I might try it myself, the day I do get a Kitchenaid... please do share some Kitchenaid porn, I love to hear and see about these lovely gadgets. Is it really worth the investment? I know I'll get one one day, but I'm taking my time, it's such an investment...

Anonymous said...

This is very interesting! I'm originally from the Philippines and we have this same exact dessert, even with the same name! I always thought it came from the Spanish. I shall have to try your version!

ylimuuli said...

This information is all new for me too; I never knew that this was anything but a Finnish treat. Could've imagined Sweden but Philippines - WOW. Tho before this winter I never knew this name either. For me it's always been the Ellen Svinhufvud Cake. :-)

Linda said...

wow what a cake! this looks amazing. the photos really do it justice in every way, shape & form! simply stunning. i can't even begin to imagine how lovely it must TASTE!

Brilynn said...

I really enjoy your pictures and that cake looks amazing! I'll know who to call for my birthday...

Eva said...

Gosh, you don't know how I envy you! So far, the birthday gods have heard my silent wishes... Anyway, this cake truly looks decadent! Normally, I'm not a big friend of butter cream but this combination makes my mouth water...

deinin said...

Astrid - well, it was definitely worth a birthday wish... (I could also have used some camera gadgetry in the same price class, but there you are.) I've used it for whipping and grating so far, not kneading bread doughs. That's next on my list!

Anonymous & Ylimuuli - when the department store involved in the legal battle stopped using the bakery with the rights to the Svinhufvud name, I suspect someone poked about a bit and realized the same cake went under Sans Rival in the Philippines. (I think this was in the 90s/early 00s, so it's not inconceivable.) It would certainly explain things.

Linda, thank you! I was very happy with how things turned out (even though I forgot the dusting of icing sugar - actually I think it may have been too white that way).

Brilynn, I really liked how the pictures came out this time. Sometimes things don't look as good as they taste, but this one somehow looks just right.

Eva, I don't use buttercream very often, either, as I'm more a pie than a cake person (and I like cupcakes with cream cheese frosting or ganache), but here it is just the thing, even in such abundance.

katriina said...

Paitsi tämänkertainen myös muut kuvasi ovat suuri ilo silmälle! Käyn täällä syömässä silmilläni vähän väliä. Tätä kakkua on pakko vielä kokeillakin.

Mercedes said...

oh that's beatiful, it sounds like a dacquoise, which is my favorite kind of cake

deinin said...

Katriina - kiitos! Yllättävän helpostihan tuo sujui, ja kun en ole mikään kakunkoristelija niin tämä resepti meni kyllä aivan kestosuosikkeihin heti.

Mercedes, it does sound a lot like a dacquoise - I'm sure it's modelled on something like it.

Pille said...

Happy delayed birthday!
I've had Ellen Svinhufvud Cake recipe bookmarked for ages, and now you've made it sound so delicious that I should make it soon!! I'd love to make it for my birthday, but might be pushing it a little, considering that I only got back from London last night, and the big day is already nigh..
I was lucky enough to get a KitchenAid for jul (in Imperial Red:), so I've got no excuse not to cream and whip things anyway! PS We use it a lot to knead dough - brilliant for that purpose!

deinin said...

Pille - happy birthday to you, too! I got the chance to use the dough hook this weekend, and it was indeed lovely. I don't think I'll give up kneading completely though.

sigma said...

i'm thrilled! i'm a Filipina, now living in macau with my family. i've been baking for more than 10 years in the Philippines, and i do miss the delicious cakes and pastries we have back home. i've just started my homebased baking business here and Sans Rival is going to be a most special item in my list. our variation though is that we use cashew nuts instead, and the Classic French Buttercream for icing, laced with rum.
all together we say,"deeeelicious"!-sigma

ylimuuli said...

Tsuppa! Tätä pitäs vääntää lauantaiksi. Osaisitko sanoa, monelleko ohjeesta piisaa? 20 syöjää olisi tiedossa. En ole ennen tätä kokeillut, että täytynee tehdä puolikas koe-erä viikolla. Pidän mielessä vinkit pohjien hellästä käsittelystä... Muita neuvoja? :-O Osaanko? Pystynkö? Mitä kuuluu? :-D

deinin said...

Muuli, kahdellekymmennelle ei kyllä riitä, tekisin varmaan tuplan sellaiselle määrälle. Vähän työläshän toi on, mutta ei sinänsä vaikea - kyllä se sulta sujuu! Ainoa vaarakohta on se marenkilevyjen siirtely, eikä se kakkua pilaa vaikka oiskin vähän sirpaleina joku kerros siellä sisällä. (Tän huomioiden tekisin nimenomaan kaksi erillistä enkä yhtä tosi isoa - tai sitten pistät vaan marenkilevyä vierekkäin kokoamisvaiheessa.)

Niin, ja se vielä, että tee valmiiksi (mahd. ilman manteleita) 24h ennen tarjoilua. Mitäs vielä... saa huudella perään jos jokin mietityttää!

Syksy on alkanut meillä aika alakuloisesti, mutta eiköhän tää vielä tästä...

ylimuuli said...

Kiitos neuvoista. Mietin josko tekisin sitten tämän ja mansikkamisun sille kaveriksi, mutta paha sanoa, mitä vieraat preferoivat. Teen nyt kuitenkin koekakun heti kun ehdin ja ajoissa juhlakakutkin, jotta ehtivät vetäytyä.

Alakuloa :'( Voi kurjuus. Ja nyt sataa taivaskin... Hirveästi lämpimiä terveisiä ja nähdään ainakin ennen joulua? Voi hyvin toivoo Muuli

ylimuuli said...

Hmm, tein kakut tänään, molemmat, nyt tosin pelkään että ne pehmenee liikaa lauantaiksi... Vaan eipä se makua pahenna, rapsakkuus vaan kärsii :-) Onpahan tehty sitte. Aika urakka kyllä, toisen satsin kahden marenkilevyn kanssa meinas tulla ongelmia kun eivät jostain syystä kuivaneet ollenkaan uunissa. Niitä sai pitää varmaan 40 minuuttia "yliaikaa". Ei taida uuni kovin tasaisesti paistaa vaikka vaihtelin peltien paikkaa monta kertaa paiston aikana. Mut nyt voi huokasta. :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi, this is another big thank-you from someone from the Philippines!

My husband and I have lived outside the Philippines for several years, and we were able to make sans rival cake for the first time last night using your recipe. (We didn't add coffee though, as it's not a typical ingredient for sans rival back home.) It was great because it was like having a little taste of home again.

Thanks again for sharing the recipe and your scrumptious cake as well!

Jonna said...

Hej. Jag har en liten fråga. :)
Jag har lagt in min mammas recept på sans rival tårta på matklubben osm jag är med i. Får jag låna en av dina fina bilder till mitt recept? Jag länkar isåfall självklart till din sida och skriver att jag lånat bilden från dig.
Svara mig gärna på min mail.

Jag tänkte att frågan är fri och svaret kommer därefter. :)


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