Brazo de Mercedes
Brazo de Mercedes is a rich and delightful classic dessert made with a custard filling rolled in a baked meringue. It is very popular in most bakeries in the Philippines – particularly Goldilock’s Bakeshop. Actually, it’s my mom’s favorite cake. I remember, when I was a kid, she was used to buy brazo de mercedes once a month during my father’s pay day.
When making the meringue, we use cream of tartar. This helps to retain the shape so it won’t collapse. You can get cream of tartar in any baking section of your local supermarket. We have tried the dish without it, and it didn’t turn out well. So, if I were you, I would find some cream of tartar to ensure a good outcome. However, some of our viewers have substituted baking powder or salt in place of cream of tartar and it turned out just fine.
Beating the egg whites takes a lot of time. In light of this, we usually use an electric mixer, on high speed, for about 10 -15 minutes until they reach stiff peaks. This means, the egg whites are fluffy and hold their shape when the paddle is pulled out and turned upside down. Please refer to the video to see what this looks like.
Depending on the oven you are using, you may want to rotate the pan when baking the meringue to ensure it browns evenly. It should set after about 20 minutes of baking.
The sweetness of custard depends on the amount of condensed milk you use. In this case, we use 3/4′s of a cup only. If you want to reduce the sweetness, use a little less. Some people prefer the custard a little runny, like a sunny side up egg. We don’t really like that, as we prefer a thick consistency. So, keep an eye on it while whisking it in a saucepan. Take note if its too runny, it will become sloppy while slicing it.
One thing we want to remind you cake lovers of, is that the dish is very delicious, sweet, and rich. It is, however, high in calories and sugar. If you are on diet, this is an not an exemption. You may want to have this once a month or on a special occasion. Otherwise, expect to gain a couple of pounds. Enjoy your brazo de mercedes and happy baking!
- 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
- 8 egg whites
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 tsp of cream of tartar
- 8 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup of condensed milk
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp of confectioner’s sugar for dusting
- Servings: 4
- Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Level: Advanced
- Cuisine: Filipino
(4.5 / 5)
- Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks. Add the cream of tartar to the bowl of egg whites. Beat using an electric mixer on high until soft peaks form – approximately 6 minutes.
- Add in the vanilla extract. Gradually add the sugar while beating on high until stiff peaks form – approximately 5 minutes.
- Line a baking sheet in baking tray ( 35 cm by 27 cm). Spray the baking sheet with cooking spray. Spread the meringue on the top using a spatula until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. Using the back of fork make a ridge pattern going from top to bottom. You can use a clean plastic comb if you wish.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake the meringue for about 20 minutes or until it’s set and lightly brown.
- While the meringue is baking, make the custard filling by combining the egg yolks, condensed milk, and vanilla extract. Whisk until it’s smooth and well combined. Transfer it into the saucepan and whisk continuously over medium, low heat until sauce thickens. This will take approximately 6-7 minutes. If you prefer a runny custard, cut back on the suggested time – about 1-2 minutes. Set it aside.
- Remove the meringue from oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Dust it with confectioner’s sugar.
- Lay a baking sheet 0ver the top, followed by a wire rack or any tray of the same size. Quickly flip it over.
- Remove the tray and peel the baking sheet off. Spread the custard over using a spatula. Roll it gently like a log.
- Chill or serve right away. Slice it into serving pieces and enjoy!
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