Secret Home Operation: “Surrey’s Secret Sans Rival Guy”
Last visited: June 4, 2012
Location: Surrey, BC (Surrey)
Address: Delivery only
Price range: $30 half order for 12 ppl, $50 full order for 24 ppl
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: FMF Must Try!
- Home made Sans Rival
- Specializes in one dessert: Sans Rival
- Home business
- Good for parties
- Delivery only
- Shipping arrangements possible
- Cash only
- E-mail to order: email@example.com
- Call to order: 604-318-4569
**Recommendations: Sans Rival
Follow Me Foodie to “Surrey’s Secret Sans Rival Guy”
It was another one of those secret places like Baba’s Perogies. All these tiny home operations that you can only discover through word of mouth. You have to be in “the know” to know about them. It’s totally not an exclusive “hipster” thing either! These places want to be known and these home cooks and bakers just want to share their food and passion.
It all started at Indulge N’ Dance, a dessert party I attended a few months ago. I was talking with one of the featured home bakers who happened to be Filipino and we started gushing about Filipino desserts. I visited the Philippines a few years ago and realized that bake shops and bakeries were a huge part of their food culture. Filipinos know how to bake, just like they know how to sing and dance… stereotyping? Yes I am, but it comes from some “truth”.
Anyway I started talking about Sans Rival and how I enjoyed them and then she started talking about some “Sans Rival Guy” in Surrey. She said it’s where the Filipino community orders their Sans Rival from and that he was the guy who makes it the best. She said you had to call this guy to place an order and that it was a home business operation. She had my full attention and I was determined to find “Surrey’s Secret Sans Rival Guy”. Being Filipino and a baker herself, with family that can also bake, I trusted her recommendation. Apparently the cake has passed all the standards of her family and the Filipino community.
I ended up tweeting about the Sans Rival that night and then one of my Twitter “followers” tweeted back saying his dad made the best Sans Rival. Long story short he ended up e-mailing me and offering me a Sans Rival to try. He told me a bit about his dad’s passion which turned into a business and I couldn’t help but to ask if his dad was from Surrey. It turns out that he was and he was the Sans Rival guy from Surrey! Well what do you know?! Small world! You have no idea how excited I was and I think my reply back had a million exclamation points.
Since I have only tried maybe three Sans Rivals in my life, I was not about to call myself any sort of “expert”. All I know was that I liked the ones I tried, but in terms of what makes a Sans Rival “the best”, I was not in the position to answer. Therefore I called in a “Filipino dessert emergency” and had my two Filipino friends (@gourmeted @wisemonkeysblog) who love to cook and bake guide me with this sampling. You don’t have to be Filipino to know a Filipino dessert, but these two know their Sans Rival well.
If anything is going to be claimed “the best” I want an “expert opinion” from people and palates who I trust. They have likely tried hundreds and were born and raised with this dessert. They also know the history about it and more or less know how to make it. I know. You’re thinking I’m such a food nerd right? How do I make a 5 minute “mmm so good” cake session turn into a half hour discussion about meringue and stylistic approaches to Sans Rival? Leave it to me, I can do it!
Personally “the best” is always so argumentative and I’m not a fan of using the term unless I’ve tried every single one, but this is now my benchmark for Sans Rival until I come across something better. More importantly, is if it passed the standards of 8 annoying food nerds, 2 of which were considered “experienced Sans Rival” tasters with aunts, uncles, moms and grandmas who can make killer ones. And I’m pleased to say it sure did! The night ended with a big thumbs up and a “soooo are you going to share the contact for “Surrey’s Secret Sans Rival Guy”?” And my answer was… I sure am!
To order: E-mail Miles Millena firstname.lastname@example.org or contact him on his cell 604-318-4569.
On the table:
The box was airy light (like frisbee weight) and I was told a half order would feed 12 people. When I opened the box it looked like it would feed 9, but I was reminded by my friends that it was a rich dessert… story of my life. Bring. It. On.
- $30 half order for 12 ppl, $50 full order for 24-30 ppl
- On the scale of desserts, there are other desserts I enjoy more, but as a Sans Rival it doesn’t get much more perfect than this, hence 5/6.
- A Sans Rival is a traditional Filipino dessert or cake made with layers of French buttercream and cashew meringue.
- It actually takes a lot of skill to master the dessert, so it’s not like baking chocolate chip cookies.
- The top is traditionally covered with cashews and peanuts (cheaper brands use peanuts), and the modern gourmet versions might use pistachios and Macadamian nuts.
- For an easy comparison, the Sans Rival is almost like a Mille-feuille, Napoleon or Diplomat Cake except there is no puff pastry or sponge cake layers and it’s more about the butter cream.
- It has French origins, but instead of those flaky sheets of pastry those brown layers are cashew meringue, which is basically dacquoise (a cake made with almond and hazelnut meringue).
- This one was topped with toasted cashews and although I wouldn’t have minded even more with cashews crusted along the edges and on top, this was still good.
- Apparently many places use stale nuts, but these were fresh cashews and the layers were even.
- It’s an airy light and almost dry cake that cuts and bites with a nice crisp, but not hard crunch.
- It’s not that sweet, but very buttery without being greasy.
- The dark brown meringue layers are powdery crisp and nutty and if they were thinner it would also be chewier (from quicker absorption of moisture), but this is a stylistic thing. Thinner layers require a bit more technique of course.
- It does get chewier the longer it sits and especially the next few days though.
- The most important part is the butter cream and he used good butter and it didn’t leave a greasy or oily after taste or mouthfeel.
- The butter cream was whipped properly and when it comes down to room temperature it gets really creamy and soft and blends in with the meringue layers nicely.
- This was just the right amount of each layer for me and I liked the ratio.
- Again if you want it chewier, which is delicious, you can let the cake sit out for longer or eat it over the next few days.
- The dessert is very light and a small piece feels like eating nothing in terms of volume, but it’s the richness of the ingredients and butter that catch up with you quickly.
- If you’re a Sansrival fan, I highly recommend trying this one and if you’ve never tried one, let this be your first introduction!