The more common version of this Filipino cake dessert is made with cashews instead of pistachios. It's basically made with crisp layers of nut-filled meringue and buttercream. The cake is very rich and high in calories but it has a remarkable flavor enough to make me crave it every now and then.
The procedure is not that complicated. It just takes time to prepare all the ingredients. Baking the meringue is also time consuming as they need to baked until crispy and almost dry. Shown above (1) measuring the finely chopped toasted pistachios (2) making the meringue and folding in the chopped pistachios (3) baking the meringue layers until crispy (4) golden brown and crispy the meringue layers just out of the oven.
The buttercream requires room temperature butter and all the reserved eggyolks. A candy thermometer is helpful to determine the correct syrup consistency without the guesswork. The amount of butter makes this cake extra rich and delicious!
As soon as the buttercream is done and ready, spread it on the layers then sandwich the layers together. The meringue layers are very fragile and may break easily, but they may still be used by patching them up together.
The edges of the meringue rounds may be trimmed to make them more even, but they can also be left irregularly shaped for a more rustic appearance, as shown above.
After assembling the layers, spread the remaining buttercream evenly on top and all around the cake. Sprinkle the top and side of the cake with more finely chopped pistachios. The cake may be made ahead and stored in the freezer until serving time. Enjoy as a dessert or a special treat with your favorite cup of hot tea.
Based on Heny Sison's Pistachio Sansrival recipe, cashew nuts may also be substituted for the pistachios.