Cashew meringue and buttercream biscuits

Cashew meringue and buttercream biscuits


7000 Islands
Jana Liebenstein

Macarons, eat your heart out. These cashew meringues coated in buttercream are a cinch to make and just as swish. Sylvanas are essentially the cookie version of another sweet classic, the Sans Rival cake, but are chewy in place of crisp. They also take a dip in extra crushed cashews for that je ne sais quoi.


Quantity Ingredient
80g unsalted cashews, roasted
50g plain flour
5 egg whites
A pinch cream of tartar
220g caster sugar
120g dry-roasted cashews
or 125g milk biscuits, for crumbs
A pinch fine salt

Buttercream icing

Quantity Ingredient
250g unsalted butter, cubed and softened
160g icing sugar
2 tablespoons full-cream milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line two baking trays with baking paper. To make the biscuits, use a food processor to process the cashews and flour until finely ground. Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar in a bowl until soft peaks form, then gradually add the sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form. Fold in the flour mixture using a spatula.
  2. Using a spoon, place 1 heaped tablespoon of the mixture onto a tray, then spread it out to make a circle with a 5 cm diameter. Repeat to make 24 rounds. Bake for 10–12 minutes, swapping the trays halfway through cooking, or until light golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the buttercream icing, use an electric mixer to beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the icing sugar and milk alternately, beating until smooth.
  4. Using a food processor, process the dry-roasted cashews or biscuits and a pinch of salt, until finely ground. Place in a shallow dish.
  5. Spread one side of half of the biscuits with 1⁄2 tablespoon of the buttercream icing each. Sandwich together with the remaining biscuits. Working with one sandwich at a time, spread a thin layer of icing all over, then turn to coat in the cashew crumbs.
  6. Sylvanas can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Where does it come from?

  • The Spanish conquistadors get most of the credit for Filipino desserts, but the French may lay claim, too. There are several hypotheses. According to one account, during the 18th century, the wealthy landlords of the Philippines’ vast sugar plantations sent for France’s culinary elite. They were charged with a task: make use of the sweet crystal and outdo all the rest. They did, with impressive meringues, rich buttercreams, soft brioche and decadent desserts. The Sugar Barons, as the landed elite were known, were fiercely competitive.
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