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Sans Rival

Sans Rival Recipe By Peachy Juban


Shortcrust Pastry Shop


Layers of crunchy nutty chewy meringue and rich vanilla buttercream compose

Sans Rival, an indulgent Filipino classic that has graced special occasions for

generations and remains a local favorite truly ‘without rival’.  The traditional

cashew is replaced here by Pili Nuts from my mother’s home province, Bicol,

where it is usually candied in various forms.  Being fond of Calamansi (Calamondin),

I share recipes for Calamansi Curd and Candied Calamansi as well as tips for

handling this tiny but power-packed Philippine citrus fruit.

_MG_1278, sans rival horizontal full cake stand


Candied Calamansi (100g)
Fresh Whole Calamansi 200 g
Water, for blanching 500 g
Iodized Salt 5 g
Water, for syrup 250 g
Refined Sugar 125 g


Egg Whites 200 g
Refined Sugar 200 g
Roasted Pili Nuts, unsalted Chopped finely 150 g
Cake Flour 10 g
Buttercream (580g):
Water 60 g
Refined Sugar 200 g
Egg Yolks 120 g
Unsalted Butter Kept cool 300 g
Calamansi Curd 170 g
Dark Rum 30 g
Candied Pili Nuts 150 g
Candied Calamansi 10


Mis en Place:– Preheat oven to 160C.

– Line baking sheets with parchment paper.



– Squeeze juice from calamansi, using the juice for the curd and reserving the peel for the candy.  200g calamansi fruit will usually produce 50g juice and 70g peel.

– Slice cleaned peel thinly.

– Bring 500g water and 5g salt to a boil.

– Drop in peel and blanch for 5 minutes to remove bitterness.  This step may be repeated.

– In a small saucepan, combine the additional 500g water with sugar and bring to a boil.

– Add peel, lower temperature to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until tender.

– Drain syrup and arrange peel over a fine rack or strainer, leaving the candies to dry at least 4 hours or overnight.

– May be tossed in very fine sugar just to coat lightly.

_MG_1181, syrup@115C

Calamansi Curd:

– Whisk eggs together in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan.

– Combine sugar and calamansi until creamy and add to the eggs.

– Over medium heat and while constantly whisking, cook until thick at 71C.

– Immediately strain into a bowl and stir in the butter.

– Cover with plastic directly over the surface and cool completely in the refrigerator.


– Beat the egg whites until soft peak stage.

_MG_1089, developing a light foam before adding sugar

– Add sugar gradually and continue beating until firm.

_MG_1116, birds beak

– Toss chopped nuts in flour and fold into the egg white foam.

_MG_1131, adding nuts to meringue


_MG_1131, adding nuts to meringue

– Pipe onto lined baking trays to make three (3) 8 inch layers.

_MG_1150, piping dacquoise guided by tart rings

– Bake for 1 hour or until crispy and golden.

_MG_1214, baked dacquoise

– Remove from trays at once and cool thoroughly.


– Beat egg yolks with the balloon whip until thick and light.

_MG_1207, folding curd into buttercream

– Meanwhile, boil water and sugar together in a saucepan over medium heat until the syrup reaches thread stage or 115C.

– Immediately pour the syrup into the beaten yolks while whipping constantly.  Continue to beat until the mixture is completely cool and the yolks are very thick and light.

– Chill the mixture for 30 minutes.

– Bring the bowl back to the mixer and whip in the butter a little at a time, adding just as fast as it can be absorbed.  Keep mixing until the buttercream is evenly blended and smooth.

– Add the curd and rum.


– Fill all layers with buttercream.

– Chopped nuts may be sprinkled in between layers and/or sprinkled over the top with candied calamansi.

– Serve chilled or frozen.



Tips:– Eggs will give better volume when at room temperature or slightly warmed.


– For even layers, use tart rings as templates for piping meringue onto baking sheets


– After squeezing the juice from the fruit, calamansi peel may be cleaned by turning the peel halves inside out and pulling the segment skins off easily.  The green colored outer cover is the part used in candy making.






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