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Sans Rival Recipe

Ingredients
  

  • 10 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 cups 1 cup chopped and 1 cup more finely ground toasted cashews
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder optional for chocolate version
  • French Buttercream:
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cup 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Optional flavoring:
  • 2 oz. unsweetened melted bakers chocolate
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract or any other flavoring you prefer.

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare four 9-inch pans by greasing them and adding parchment paper to them. Set aside.
  • In a bowl, whip the egg whites until they become frothy. Add in the cream of tartar and continue to beat. Gradually (1 to 2 tablespoons at a time) add in the sugar and continue to beat until all of the sugar is incorporated and the egg whites are shiny and form stiff peaks.
  • Fold in the 1 cup of finely ground cashews and divide the meringue into the 4 pans equally. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown (mine were done after about 23 minutes).
  • While the meringues are still warm, remove them from the pans and parchment paper because the paper can be more difficult to remove once cooled.
  • When the meringues are fully cooled, line them up on top of one another to trim the edges evenly. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the French buttercream. Beat the egg yolks until they thicken and double in volume.
  • Heat the sugar and water until the mixture reaches 235 degrees F (or thread stage). Keeping the mixer on high, slowly pour in the sugar mixture to the egg yolks.
  • Be sure to continuously beat so that the egg yolks do not cook and be careful not to burn yourself as well. I had to make Dave come and help me during this stage (he held the mixer while I poured the sugar in).
  • Once the sugar mixture is completely incorporated, continue beating on high speed for about 15 minutes, or until the mixture has reached room temperature.
  • Then, keeping the mixer on high, beat in the butter one tablespoon at a time until all of the butter in mixed in. Add in the flavoring of your choice and let set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  • To assemble, place a meringue layer down on a plate or cake board and spread a thin layer of buttercream on top. Add a second meringue layer on top of that and repeat until all of the layers are stacked and lightly frosted.
  • Finish by frosting the sides and top of the cake and by adding the rest of the chopped cashews around the sides for decoration.
  • Slice, serve, and enjoy!