Brazo de Mercedes is a classic Filipino dessert and a favourite at Filipino parties. Brazo de Mercedes literally translates to “Mercedes Arms”, perhaps due to its elongated and arm like appearance. This dessert is also known as a Creme-filled Log Cake and mostly made of eggs and sugar, sugar and more sugar!
Now I must admit it’s not the easiest dessert to make and will take practice. It took me about 2 attempts to get the right mixture for the meringue and another couple of attempts at baking the meringue without burning it (and the baking paper!).
Most people will likely eat the filling but some will eat the meringue as the filling can get quite sweet. As for me, well, I’ll have both meringue and custard and will go back for 2nd’s, 3rd’s and 4th’s.
I really love how the meringue has that “melt in your mouth” quality and it has a pretty well-balanced sweetness to it. Of course, if you’re going to make this at home, you can always adjust the sweetness.
I found this recipe from Panlasang Pinoy. Check out the video tutorial too (if you can’t understand, you can just follow the written procedure)
What you’ll need:
10 eggs (whites and yolks separated)
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup caster sugar
200g condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
What you need to do:
1. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine egg whites and cream of tartar then whisk until soft peaks form. Once formed, add caster sugar in small quantities and whisk until stiff peaks forms.
2. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees celsius then line and grease a large cookie tray (or large, shallow roasting pan) with baking paper. Pour meringue on the tray and spread evenly using a spatula. You can create lines on the meringue by running a fork or serrated knife on top. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the top of the meringue is lightly browned.
3. While meringue is baking, make the custard. In a saucepan or pan, combine the egg yolks (whisk first) and condensed milk then gently mix them together. Apply to a low to medium heat and keep stirring.
4. Add vanilla essence and stir until it forms a paste like texture. Take out from heat and set aside to cool.
5. Take meringue out from oven once baked and set aside to cool.
6. Dust the top of the meringue with icing sugar and cover it with baking paper. Place a clean cookie tray on top of the baking paper and flip the meringue.
7. Gently peel off the baking paper. Spread the custard filling evenly on the meringue and then begin to gently roll the meringue from end to end. Hopefully, you should end up with something that looks like this:
- The original recipe calls for 395g of condensed milk. I have used 200g instead to lessen the sweetness.
- Grease your baking paper well before you pour the meringue mix. I did not get to do it properly. Some bits of paper were still stuck to the meringue.
- This dessert doesn’t keep for very long and will begin to shrink and might even collapse so consume (of course share!) on the same day or refrigerate and finish the next day.
- If you don’t have another tray to assist with flipping the meringue, you can also use a clean kitchen towel. Place a large clean kitchen towel or two on a clean, large flat surface. Cover the kitchen towel with baking paper then gently flip the meringue on top of the baking paper.
Ahh… yummy, egg-y, custard-y, meringue-y goodness