Pandan Sansrival

Anyway, here is a guest post from my sister who is based in San Francisco.

Filipinas Magazine, (http://FilipinasMag.com), the magazine I represent, has featured —throughout the past 16 years — many aspiring and seasoned chefs. In 2002, before the book, Kape: A Philippine Coffee Cookbook by Vicky Veloso Barrera and Chit U. Juan (Anvil Publishing), was published, this recipe first came out in Filipinas Magazine. I have yet to try it out — but in the meantime, we need to hunt for this delightful cookbook.

Here is the article.

Ever since I first sampled the lovely pandan sans rival of Batavia, that wonderful Indonesian-style tea house in trendy Malate, I’ve been wanting to recreate it for myself. The pandan flavoring takes away that overly rich and cloying taste sans rival tends to have, and the lovely pale green color of the buttercream makes it an impressive dessert. This is not a recipe for beginning cooks, but it’s well worth every minute of preparation!

In Manila, pandan flavoring is inexpensive and readily available in supermarkets. If you can’t get hold of it where you live, ask someone visiting the Philippines to bring back some for you. In other dishes, cooks here boil aromatic pandan leaves to extract the flavoring. In this dessert, it’s simpler to just use the ready-made extract.

This recipe is part of a collection to be featured in my forthcoming cookbook Kape: A Philippine Coffee Cookbook, which Anvil Publishing Inc. will be bringing out early next year.


Ingredients

For the meringue layers:

5 egg whites

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups cashew nuts, toasted and chopped

1/2 tsp. vanilla

For the pandan buttercream:

1/2 cup water

2/3 cup sugar

5 egg yolks

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 tsp. pandan extract

green food coloring

2 tbsp. cashew nuts, toasted and chopped, for garnish

Cooking Procedure

Make the meringue layers:

To toast cashews, spread them out on a baking sheet and toast

in a slow oven (200 degrees) until they turn golden, about 20

minutes. Stir the cashews every so often to keep them from

burning.

Separate the eggs while they are still cold, then allow them to come to room temperature. Put the egg whites in a mixing bowl, beat until frothy. Add the 1 cup sugar, one tablespoon at a time and beat until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Fold in the toasted cashew nuts and vanilla.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour four 9″ square or round backing pans, or two large baking sheets. Divide the meringue into four portions and, using a spatula, carefully spread the meringue on the prepared pans. If you are using baking sheets, make two rectangles per pan. Try to make all the rectangles exactly the same size. Bake the meringue for about 25 minutes, or until set and golden brown. Remove the meringues from the oven and let cool. They will finish drying out as they cook and can easily be removed with a metal spatula. It’s all right if some of the pieces break, it won’t be apparent in the finished dessert.

Make the pandan buttercream:

Combine the water and 2/3 cup sugar in a heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat until the mixture spins a thread, 230-234 degrees F on a candy thermometer. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, start testing the syrup ten minutes after it starts boiling. Test the syrup by dropping a little bit into a cup of cold water. The best way to understand how syrup “spins a thread” is to see it happen-at the proper stage, the syrup, when dropped into the water will do just that! Remove the saucepan immediately from the heat.

Beat the egg yolks with a wire whisk. Then, using an electric mixer, gradually beat the syrup into the eggs. Continue beating until the mixture becomes thick and pale-colored. Cover the bowl and let it chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.

Place the butter in a bowl and beat it with an electric mixer till it becomes light, fluffy and fuller in volume. Beat the chilled egg mixture into the butter and continue until the buttercream is thick and easy to spread. Beat in the pandan flavoring and enough food coloring to tint the buttercream a pale green.

To assemble the sans rival, stack the meringue layers one on top of the other, sandwiching them with the buttercream. Frost the top lightly and sprinkle with 2 tbsp. cashew nuts. Chill until serving time. You can also freeze the sans rival.

Serves 24. Preparation time: 2 1/2 hours, plus chilling. Baking

time: 25 minutes.