When Elaine Townsend of Café Mochiko was growing up, her mom would buy this multilayered Filipino dessert from bakeries in Southern California’s San Gabriel Valley for special occasions like birthdays. It’s a bit of a project—homemade meringue stacked with silky French buttercream—but the crispy-chewy-luscious texture is worth it. While the meringue is traditionally made with cashews, Townsend swaps them out for pistachios. She also adds fresh mango purée to the buttercream, normally kept plain, so that it’s fruity and tart.
A few tips: The recipe calls for egg white or meringue powder, which helps to stabilize the whipped egg whites so that they don’t weep or deflate. If you can’t find it, skip it. You’ll also want to make sure your mangoes are ripe but not too ripe—if they’re too ripe, they’ll have lost their slight sourness and will be hard to shave into thin slivers for swirling on the top. Of course, you can always skip the elaborate decoration: Shingle slices of mango or simply pile up cubes instead.
Once the sans rival is completely frozen (at least 2 hours), you can transfer it to the fridge for up to 5 hours for a softer, chewier texture (any longer and it will start to lose its structure). But if you prefer a crispier meringue, serve it straight from the freezer, where it will last, well-wrapped, for up to 1 week.