Sunday, November 27, 2011

Coconut Grapefruit Sans Rival


Do you sometimes have trouble paying attention when you are baking? I have trouble paying attention at the best of times, but making this dessert was more difficult than it needed to be because I was in space cadet mode. I blame it on all the kindergarten I taught this week--many little kids and their snowsuits and winter accessories turn my brain to mush. I only decided to make this dessert at the last minute, as I was worried it would be too rich and too sweet (it is basically buttered meringue, after all). To balance the sweetness a bit, I made a grapefruit curd to add to the buttercream. I reduced the grapefruit juice by half, which meant that the curd was a bit too bitter on its own, but it was perfect in the buttercream: difficult to identify, but encouraging another taste to figure out the mystery ingredient. Too bad I only had pink grapefruits--red ones would have made for a prettier frosting.

I made a small version of this, using 5 eggs in total: 2 for the curd, 3 whites for the dacquoise and 3 yolks for the buttercream. The original recipe calls for 10 egg whites and 5 yolks for 12 servings, but I got 8 servings from my mini version (13x13x6.5cm). Instead of baking it in pans, I traced a paper CD envelope onto the foil using a chopstick. I wanted to pipe the meringue mixture, but I got two, yes two, yolks in the meringue so it wasn't the most durable stuff. I started out well, separating the first egg neatly. Then, who knows what happened, but I cracked the next egg with such force and flung it in the bowl before noticing that I had mixed yolks and whites, and the yolk was broken. Oops. I scooped it out and did the very same thing with the next egg. This yolk was really broken up and I was unable to remove it all from the whites. I considered pitching the whole thing but I was out of eggs. So, with a few choice words, I started beating the whites anyway. It worked rather well, and I got fairly stiff peaks. So, I folded in a pile of unsweetened coconut and that's when I got a bit worried. Rather than manhandle (Maryhandle?) it any more by putting it in a piping bag, I quickly spread it with a palette knife, got it in the oven and hoped for the best. It was fine, so don't panic about a tiny bit of yolk in your egg whites!
I halved this piece to make 2 servings
The French buttercream was easy to make, and not as fussy as the meringue one I usually choose. I always find that moment when you are beating the butter in and it finally comes together a bit off-putting. It's when the bowl of beaten yolks (or whites) begins to look exactly like a bowl of beaten butter. That's when I start to calculate just how much butter will be in every piece and how many pieces I am likely to eat. 2 tablespoons, in case you were wondering, and totally worth a brisk walk or ten. I'll always choose real buttercream over that nasty, gritty powdered sugar stuff.

Putting it together was easy enough, except that the kitchen was quite warm by this time and frosting each layer pushed the ones below off kilter. I eventually got it somewhat straight, so I just left it alone, intending to fix it up the next day. That didn't happen. Instead, I added a few flakes of fresh coconut and dug in. I don't think my Sans Rival is going to rival any of the beauties you'll find on the Daring Kitchen, but it tasted great! Thanks to Catherine for a fun challenge. Now, what to do with the extra buttercream and grapefruit curd???

Full challenge PDF with photos and recipes.

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.

33 comments:

Miss T said...

oh! my! goodness!
was it divine????
T xx

Marcellina said...

What a good idea to fold in grapefruit curd! Your Sans Rival looks wonderful!

Renata said...

Oh, Mary, I always love all the creativity you put into these challenges. Fantastic! Those coconut strips are gorgeous!

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

Gorgeous presentation! I love the layers and the coconut on top!

Valerie said...

Despite all the bumps that you ran into, your cake looks gorgeous! (I completely forgot about this month's Daring Bakers challenge.)

Well done, Mary! Baking cakes is always an adventure. :D

Hannah Grunzke said...

Thanks for the nice comment on my post! I am flattered, as your Sans Rival is the coolest cake I've seen so far. I love the fact that you used grapefruit!

Jeanne said...

I found myself computing the butter content of each slice as well...though that was quickly forgotten after digging in! I figure an afternoon of yard work evens out a slice of this cake. The grapefruit buttercream sounds just divine! Great flavor choice.

shelley c. said...

I love the addition of the grapefruit curd - excellent idea! Your Sans Rival looks and sounds absolutely delicious. Great job!

Heidi Durham said...

Love this! Such a creative combination, sounds delicious! Thanks, too, for checking out my blog. ;)

Susie Bee on Maui said...

What a creative way to fulfill the challenge. Beautiful photos too.

JM said...

Wow, such a gorgeous result. I like that you used a CD cover to trace out a square! I can't even imagine how good it must have tasted - the tang and bitterness of the grapefruit must have contrasted nicely with the sweet creaminess of the buttercream.

Ruth Ellis said...

That looks absolutely fantastic! Coconut is one of my favourite flavours. Yum!

Cakelaw said...

I love your flavour combination, and your cake looks so pretty and summery.

Zodelicious said...

Wow Mary, I think its beautiful!
I love your idea to tone down the extreme sweetness and richness too, the grapefruit curd sounds delicious - I would eat it on toast.

Heather Peskin said...

What a beautiful dessert you have made! Using the grapefruit and making a somewhat smaller version than the one in the recipe is an excellent approach.

PrerrnaMirchi said...

I had never thought of pairing coconut with grapefruit but now I know that it works :) Thanks for sharing your ideas with us Mary!

Aparna said...

I'm having difficulty believing you had problems looking at your lovely cake.
Liked your idea of adding grapefruit to balance the sweet.

Korena said...

Wow, this is GORGEOUS - I love the flaked coconut on top, so pretty! I bet it tasted awesome too. Grapefruit curd sounds fantastic!!

Jane@TWO said...

Grapefruit sounds good. What to do with the extra buttercream? I would eat it with a spoon. Your cake is gorgeous!

thefooddoctor said...

I love the addition of curd to the buttercream
I too craked one of the yolks in the white lol
Your finished cake with the coconut looks gorgous

Gloria said...

I love this Cake Mary,. look amazing and love the coconut in the top:)

Toasted Pecan said...

Wow! Coconut! Brilliant idea! And the cake looks so beautiful and fluffy!! yum yum yum!

Jojo said...

Beautiful cake - I so wish I loved desserts more, but I love looking at your photos and reading about your exploits! Well done.

alwayshungry said...

If I could taste just one of the Sans Rivals out there, I would have loved to try yours!! You have inspired me to try and make one again. Thank you! I also made a mini one...because so much buttercream seemed way too decadent!

Suzler said...

Oooh, I'm loving those clean, precise slices & the grapefruit curd was a great idea. You always pick such fantastic flavours.

yummychunklet said...

Your cake looks simply fantastic! Excellent job!

Inma Miranda said...

Mary, as always, you did a luscious job, the combination of flavours sound fantastic, congratulations!!1

chef_d said...

Intriguing flavors you used for the buttercream, the cake looks pretty. Great job!

crumbsoflove said...

Looks Great Mary. Like the idea of grapefruit in the filling- sounds refreshing. I too, will always choose real buttercream- taste is more important than calories!!

Lisa said...

Absolutely stunning Sans Rival cake, Mary and the combo of grapefruit and coconut sounds perfect...since the dacquoise can be so sweet..the grapefruit off setting that sweetness. I can't believe you had any problems!! tt's perfect!

Oh..hope you get your ice cream maker, OR stand mixer ;)

oggi said...

I have to try this combination of flavors; sounds really good. And the cake looks perfect.:)

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

That is a totally killer cake...in looks, taste and calories. Would not guess you had a trying time ... because of the kindergarten kids. Cute in snowsuit but getting them in...tiring.

missx said...

You definetely need to post more often =)