There's no doubt that sans rival, which translates to "no rival" is one of Manila's richest desserts. In fact it's way beyond rich so it's best served in thin slices rather than in wedges like a cake. This elegant dessert is made with layers of crisp meringue, buttercream and finely chopped nuts. No food coloring went in it but the light yellow tint, as seen in the photos, was the result of incorporating the eggyolk mixture in the buttercream. It's also considered a special occasion dessert which brings me to the reason why I attempted to make this at home...it's my husband's birthday today :-) I thought about making this for his birthday cake when I remembered the hazelnut flour I have. In Manila, however, sans rival is commonly made with cashew nuts. I think hazelnut flour may be too fine for sans rival as I noticed that the meringues came out much thinner. But since this was an experiment, I was willing to give it a try. I was able to make four meringue rounds with the eight eggwhites I used. For the topping, I used chopped walnuts. I have to make a few adjustments to the recipe if ever I make this again.
(1) a combination of toasted and regular hazelnut flours (2) folding the nuts into the meringue (3) spreading the meringue on prepared baking pans (4) the meringue as it just came out of the oven was still pliable with a soft center and crisp edge
mixing the eggyolk mixture with the creamed butter
then spreading the filling on the meringue layers
was much taller and lighter in color than my creation