Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sans Rival

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Sans Rival is a decadent cake that I seldom make. I've only made this cake a total of three times in my lifetime since it is not something you should eat a lot. It is definitely something you should try at least once though. As the name suggests, it really has no rival in terms of richness and indulgence. Made with layers of cashew dacquoise sandwiched with rum-laced buttercream frosting, this cake is best served in small portions. There are several variations in terms of the choice of nuts and flavors that range from chocolate, mango and even durian. I'm sticking to the classic version with cashew nuts since this is what I know how to make with amazing results. 

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
There are arguments on the right method to bake the dacquoise. The general consensus seems to follow the common method of baking the meringue until golden brown at normal baking temperatures of 375 to 400°F. The problem with this method is that the meringue does brown quickly but tends to fall flat and soggy once cooled. My secret weapon to combat this issue: Julia Child. She made a dacquoise with Martha Stewart for the wedding cake recipe in one of her books and the trick was to bake them at low temperature for 7 hours. Having made this wedding cake for a friend before, I know that at the 5th to 6th hour, the dacquoise is actually crunchy enough so you can stop at this point. You will still end up with a crisp dacquoise that will stay crisp even for days. I do want to make sure that I get this cake right so I'm going the full 7 hours. It might seem excessive and you do need to plan ahead but it is totally worth it.

Sans Rival

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Cashew Dacquoise:
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 cup cashew
2 tbsp corn starch
8 extra large egg whites
   (reserve the yolks)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat the oven to
    200°F. Trace a circle
    with a 9-inch diamater
    using a pencil onto a
    sheet of parchment
    paper. Invert into the
    baking pan with the pencil mark on the bottom side. You will need
    four discs for the cake.

2. In a food processor, pulse the cashew with 1 cup of sugar until
    finely ground. Sift the cornstarch over the mixture and set aside.

3. Put the eggs whites in the bowl of your mixer and add the cream of
    tartar. Beat at high speed until soft peaks are formed. With the mixer
    still at high speed, gradually add the remaining sugar until stiff peaks
    are formed.

4. Add the cashew mix in three additions by folding them slowly into the
    egg whites with a big spatula. Spoon or pipe into the prepared
    parchments using the traced circles as guides. Level with a spatula and
    bake in the oven for 5-7 hours.

5. Remove from the oven and cool. Invert and remove the parchment paper
    and transfer the discs into cooling racks until needed.

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Rum-Laced Buttercream:
1 lb unsalted butter,
   room temperature
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
8 extra large egg yolks
1 tbsp rum
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup cashew, finely

1. Stir the sugar and water
    into a heavy sauce pan
    over high heat. Stir just
    until the sugar is dissolved and then allow the mixture to bubble away. The
    sugar needs to reach the soft-ball stage at around 235°F. 

2. Strain the egg yolks through a fine sieve into the mixer bowl. With the
    whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks at high speed. Slowly add the sugar
    syrup in a steady stream making sure that you keep the stream in between
    the bowl and the whisk.

3. Once all the syrup has been added, continue to beat at high speed until
    the mixture is creamy, pale and voluminous. At this point, the mixture
    should have cooled. You can speed up this process by setting the bowl on
    an ice bath.

4. When the yolks are cooled and have tripled in volume, reduce the speed
    to medium and add the butter 1/4 cup at a time. Keep mixing until the
    buttercream is smooth. Add the rum and vanilla and mix well.

5. In a food processor, pulse the cashews until coarsely chopped. Transfer to
    a sieve and tap to remove the fine, powdery components.   

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
To assemble the cake, secure one disc on a cake plate with a little bit of the frosting and spread about a third of a cup of the buttercream on top of the disc. Spread evenly and sprinkle with 2 tbsp of chopped cashew. Top with another disc and repeat the process until you reach the fourth disc. At this point, do not frost the top of the cake yet. Trim any imperfections with a serrated knife and brush off any crumbs off the cake plate. Frost the cake with the remaining buttercream evenly on both the sides and the top. Garnish by sprinkling with the remaining chopped cashew. Let the cake set for several hours in the fridge before cutting into it with a hot knife. Serve in small slices.

No comments:

Post a Comment