Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Brazo de Mercedes

Moving is hard. I've never actually picked up my life and moved, at least not in this way. I've lived in a dorm and a different country, but I've never had to pay bills, set up internet, or set up a piece of IKEA furniture (it SUCKS). This is more...permanent. Real. It can be scary, and a little bit lonely (I'm so glad I have my roommate), but I have people who really care about me in my life. Transitions will never stop being difficult. So I just have to wait and let time settle things down. 

That up there is my kitchen. It's not the biggest or flashiest, but it belongs to me. I can put whatever I want in the cabinets, I can make sure it stays clean. So I think it's wonderful. I didn't get a chance to bake in it until last night, since I've been running around crazy like a headless chicken, trying to get my life in order. I went straight home and packed immediately after graduation, and made the drive up here after a week. 2 SUVs full of stuff, 5 hours on the road, and 3 trips to IKEA later, things are finally resembling normal. 

Before I left, I wanted to give myself a baking challenge. I'd never made a rolled dessert before, and had a bunch of eggs that needed to be used, so I found this recipe for Brazo de Mercedes on Jun-blog (check him out, he takes great photos!). Brazo de Mercedes is a Filipino dessert comprised of a layer of sticky sweet meringue rolled around vanilla custard. I was so pleased that nothing went horribly wrong--rolling cakes isn't so bad! I especially enjoyed my slice cold, straight from the freezer.

Keep your eyes peeled for posts from my new kitchen! 

Brazo de Mercedes 
from Jun-blog

For the custard
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup water
8 egg yolks

For the meringue
10 egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the condensed milk, butter, vanilla extract and water in a saucepan and simmer over low heat until well combined, about 5 minutes. Beat the egg yolks in a small mixing bowl. Place the mixing bowl over a double boiler over low heat. Gradually pour the milk mixture into the bowl with the yolks, stirring to prevent curdling over low heat until the mixture has the consistency of a custard. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Line a 14 x 16 in cookie sheet with greased parchment paper and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. make the meringue by beating the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the meringue forms stiff peaks. It is important not to overmix the meringue. Then gently fold in the vanilla extract.
Spread the meringue evenly on the lined cookie sheet to form a 1/4-in thick layer. Tread a cake decorating comb lightly on the surface of the meringue to create a ridge pattern. Bake in the preheated oven until browned, about 20 minutes or until the meringue has set.
Remove the meringue from the oven and invert it onto another sheet of greased parchment paper. Peel away the parchment paper on the top and spread the custard evenly on top of the cooked meringue. Roll it carefully to form a log. Brush the top of the log with softened butter and brown again in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the log from the oven and slice thinly.


  1. Congrats on your big move!!! Adulthood is great and it will feel 'normal' before you know it!

    LOVE this dessert. What a great idea to roll a meringue.

  2. Nooo, you can do it! I'd never rolled a cake before and this was fine. You just have to do it quickly and ideally have someone to help you.


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