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Filipino Desserts - The Sans Rival & Bibingka

Daring Bakers
November 2011

My name is Catherine Enfield and I’ve been writing Munchie Musings for four years and a Daring Baker for about that long.

My background is that my mother was Filipina and my father is British. My mother came from the upper class in Manila and had servants. This meant that she really didn’t learn a lot of the Filipino recipes except for the basics: pancit, adobo, and lumpia. I’ve often wished she had shared more of her cultural cooking with me, but she simply wasn’t able to. Sadly this means that I often go into a Filipino restaurant, guess, and order the wrong thing. I am trying to learn more recipes and dishes on my own.

Download printable file HERE

For this challenge I am sharing two Filipino desserts, both of which are gluten-free. While the techniques in these recipes are not really challenging or new to many of us, I would like to think that I’m challenging everyone to try some new flavors from a food culture that is not as well-known as so many others. (For an interesting read about Filipino cuisine in America, read this LA Times article: Filipino Food: Off the menu.)

The first is a Sans Rival cake. “Sans rival” means “without rival” and any Filipino will argue with you that this is true. Although it’s one of the most popular desserts in the Philippines, its origins are certainly French. In the 1920’s to 30’s there were many Filipinos who went abroad to study. A good number went to France and learned many French cooking techniques which they then brought home. A Sans Rival is made with layers of dacquoise, typically using crushed cashews, with very rich French buttercream frosting. The dacquoise is allowed to bake and dry to a crispy layer so that there is the crunch of pastry and nuts with the buttery, silky frosting. In this regard, a Sans Rival is not very different from some of our past challenges (for us old timers).

The second recipe is even new for me and works well in November because we are into the holiday season. Bibingka is traditionally served during Christmas. It’s similar to other Asian desserts that use rice flour as the base, like mochii. The traditional method of preparation is to line a special clay pot with banana leaves, pour in the batter, top with banana leaf, and then sit it in coals to cook. It is served with a shredded, mild, white cheese and slices of salted egg on top for flavor contrasts. But you can also top it with butter and shredded coconut. You will find the ingredients you need at any Asian market.

I am including the recipe for making salted eggs. This is not required for the challenge, as it takes 2-3 weeks to do the eggs. But I highly recommend that you make them because they do add an important, interesting flavor contrast. If you want to skip it and have Asian markets nearby, you will surely be able to find them near the regular eggs. Filipino salted duck eggs are dyed red for easy recognition, but some markets will not have them colored.

Finally, I will be at the International Food Bloggers Conference in Santa Monica this month. If you are going, please look me up. It’s always fun making new food blogging friends.

Recipe Source: The Sans Rival recipe is based off of experience and trying different recipes/alterations over the years. I like a lot of the sponge and so use a lot of egg whites. The Bibingka comes from my friend Jun at Jun-blog, my favorite Filipino cooking blog.

Blog-checking lines: Catherine of Munchie Musings was our November Daring Bakers’ host and she challenged us to make a traditional Filipino dessert – the delicious Sans Rival cake! And for those of us who wanted to try an additional Filipino dessert, Catherine also gave us a bonus recipe for Bibingka which comes from her friend Jun of Jun-blog.

Posting Date: November 27, 2011

Notes:
Sans Rival:
• Brushing the parchment paper with some oil will help you to peel it off after the dacquoise is baked.
• Do not grind the nuts down to a fine flour/powder. This recipe is better with the nuts in a grainy/sandy grind.
• It is important to peel off the parchment within a couple of minutes of it coming out of the oven. Certainly while it is still warm.
• After I’ve removed the paper, I like to return it into the warm oven to dry out more as the oven is cooling down. You want crunchy layers.
Bibingka:
• Banana leaves can be found in the freezer section of Asian markets.

Mandatory Items: The Sans Rival is required for technique. The Bibingka is optional for culture.

Variations allowed: For the Sans Rival, you can choose what nuts you would like to use, although cashew is traditional. You can also choose to flavor it any way you wish.

Preparation time:
Sans Rival:
Batter prep: 20 minutes
Baking: 30-60 depending on layers
Frosting: 30 minutes
Assembly: 15 minutes

Bibingka:
Prep: 15 minutes
Baking: 25 minutes

Equipment required:
• Parchment paper
• 2-4 9 inch (23 cm) cake pans – you’ll be making 4 layers, so you might have to reuse pans
• Whisk
• Spatula
• Candy thermometer
• Mixer, hand or upright
• Mixing bowls
• Ramekins
• Mason Jar if choosing to make the salted eggs


Sans Rival:
Servings: 12

Photos shown are chocolate version, which is not traditional.

Ingredients
10 large egg whites, room temp
1 cup (240 ml) (225 gm) (8 oz) white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (3 gm) cream of tartar
¼ cup (60 ml) (20 gm) (2/3 oz) Dutch processed cocoa (optional and not traditional)
2 cups (480 ml) (240 gm) (8½ oz) chopped, toasted cashews

Directions:
Note: You will need four layers which will mean that you might have to bake in two batches. Be sure to use fresh parchment paper and cooled pans for each batch.

1. Preheat oven to moderate 325°F/160°C/gas mark 3.
2. Line cake pan bottoms with parchment paper and butter and flour the sides really well.
3. In a large clean, dry glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites on medium until foamy (2 mins.). Sprinkle with cream of tartar. Gradually add sugar, a couple of tablespoons at a time, continuing to beat now at high speed until stiff shiny peaks form. (about 7-10 mins.)

4. Fold in nuts, reserving enough to use for decoration.


(Note the more finely ground for folding into meringue. The coarsely ground for is decoration of finished cake.)

5. Divide meringue into four equal parts. Spread in pans, evenly to edges. If doing batches, use fresh parchment paper and cooled pans for each batch.

6. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the meringue from the baking pans while still hot; allow to cool slightly. Peel off the parchment paper while it is still warm, it is difficult to remove sometimes when they have completely cooled.

7. When cool, trim edges so that all 4 meringue layers are uniformly shaped. Set aside.

French Buttercream:

Ingredients
5 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 cup (240 ml) (225 gm) (8 oz) white granulated sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
1¼ cup (300 ml) (2½ sticks) (285 gm) (10 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
Optional Flavorings: 2 oz (55 gm) unsweetened chocolate, melted, or 1½ teaspoon (7 ½ ml) almond extract, or 1½ teaspoon (7 ½ ml) vanilla extract, or any flavor you like

Directions:

1. Put the egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Beat at high speed until the yolks have doubled in volume and are a lemon yellow.
2. Put the sugar and water in a heavy pan and cook over medium heat, stirring the sides down only until all the sugar is dissolved and the syrup reaches 235°F/112°C (or thread stage).
3. With the mixer on high, very slowly pour the syrup down the sides of the bowl, until all has been added. Be careful as the very hot syrup could burn you if it splashes from the beaters. Continue beating on high until the mixture is ROOM TEMPERATURE (about 15 mins). Still on high, beat in the soft, room temperature butter a tablespoon at a time. Add flavoring after you beat in the butter. Refrigerate the buttercream for at least an hour, and whip it smooth just before you use it.
Assembly:
Set bottom meringue on cake board with a dab of butter cream to hold it in place. Spread a thin layer of buttercream and then place another meringue on top. Repeat with a thin layer of buttercream, meringue, thin layer of buttercream, meringue, and finally buttercream the top and sides. Decorate with reserved nuts.

Assembly:

Set bottom meringue on cake board with a dab of butter cream to hold it in place. Spread a
thin layer of buttercream and then place another meringue on top. Repeat with a thin layer of
buttercream, meringue, thin layer of buttercream, meringue, and finally buttercream the top and
sides. Decorate with reserved nuts.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. It is easier to cut cold. May freeze.

Bibingka
Thank you to Jun, from Jun-blog, for his recipe.

Ingredients
2 cups (480 ml) (320 gm) (11.3 oz) rice flour
1/2 cup (120 ml) (80 gm) (2.8 oz) glutinous rice flour
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) baking powder
3/4 cup (180 ml) (170 gm) (6 oz) sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup (80 ml) (75 gm) (2⅔ oz) unsalted butter melted
1-1/2 cup (360 ml) coconut milk
6 pieces banana leaves cut into 8-inch (20 cm) circles
1 salted egg, sliced into 1/4-inch (6 mm) thick slices, recipe follows
Butter, salted or unsalted, for brushing the tops
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (10 gm) (⅓ oz) grated coconut (optional)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) grated Edam cheese (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4.
2. Line six tart pans or ramekins with banana leaves and brush the leaves with butter.

3. Combine rice flour, glutinous rice flour, baking powder, and sugar together in a bowl. Beat eggs in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle. Add butter and coconut milk and mix well. Add the flour mixture and blend well until smooth.
4. Pour the rice batter equally into the six pans or ramekins. Lay a slice of salted egg on top and bake until the cake is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Take the cakes out of the oven and brush the top with butter. Turn the broiler to low and broil the cakes to brown the top for about two minutes.

5. Serve the cakes warm. Brush the cakes with butter and sprinkle with sugar, grated coconut, and grated Edam cheese.

Cooking notes from Jun:

• For the rice and glutinous rice flour, I recommend using the Thai brand commonly found in most Asian grocery stores.
• Use either tart pans or ramekins lined with banana leaves cut into circles. The cakes baked in 6-inch (15 cm) pans more closely resemble the traditional ones. The cakes baked in 4-inch (10 cm) ramekins are thicker and take longer to bake.
• Instead of a sliced salted egg, the cakes can be topped with slices of Edam or Gouda cheese.
• When using frozen grated coconut let the grated coconut thaw then place the thawed coconut on paper towels to soak up the extra moisture. Place them on a baking tray and lightly toast them for about a few minutes with the broiler (griller) turned on low. Use grated coconut and NOT grated young coconut.

Salted Eggs

Ingredients
1 part salt
4 parts water
sichuan pepper corns
1 tablespoon brandy or whiskey
Eggs, duck or chicken (duck is traditional)

Directions:

1. Boil all ingredients except eggs on the stove until the salt is dissolved. Let the liquid cool.
2. Place eggs in a clean mason jar, pour in the salt water, seal.
3. Place in your pantry for 2-3 weeks. To check if they are done, remove an egg, cook it, and taste it. You may decide that the rest of the eggs need a few more days.

Notes:
• Start checking at the two week mark. I waited three weeks and they were super salty.
• I made mine without the alcohol because I didn’t have any. I also just used regular peppercorns.

Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips:
The Sans Rival definitely must be refrigerated until ready to serve. It will keep for about three days, but fresher is better. Bibingka should be served warm. It will keep for a day in the fridge.

Additional Information:
Sans Rival:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZojoaAPngg

Bibingka:
http://panlasangpinoy.com/2010/03/22/rice-cake-bibingka-recipe/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJwHZ3GrTC0 in Tagalog, but you can observe the method.
http://blog.junbelen.com/2010/12/20/feeling-sentimental-and-how-to-make-bibingka-christmas-rice-cakes

Disclaimer:
The Daring Kitchen and its members in no way suggest we are medical professionals and therefore are NOT responsible for any error in reporting of “alternate baking/cooking”. If you have issues with digesting gluten, then it is YOUR responsibility to research the ingredient before using it. If you have allergies, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. If you are lactose intolerant, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. If you are vegetarian or vegan, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. The responsibility is YOURS regardless of what health issue you’re dealing with. Please consult your physician with any questions before using an ingredient you are not familiar with. Thank you! Smile

Catherine E.
No Cookbook
Sans Rival - Catherine E. / Bibingka - Jun of Jun-Blog
passionbakes
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Joined: 11/15/2011

This looks awesome! Wish I'd become a member sooner so I would have had an excuse to make the cake especially! But I'm sure it might still be in the works sometime soon!