Which Filipino dessert does everyone in your family looked forward to when you were young?
Mine was the Brazo de Mercedes.
This scrumptious meringue roll with a thick and rich custard center is actually named after Mama Mary, the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes or the Virgin of Mercy.
It is said to date back to the Spanish colonial period when Filipinos sought to repurpose discarded egg yolks when builders at the time would use the egg whites for mortar and plaster for houses and structures.
Whenever my parents brought home a roll of Brazo de Mercedes, my brothers and I knew that something wonderful was waiting for us come dessert time.
Despite both my mom and I being both home bakers, it took us a while to attempt to make Brazo de Mercedes, primarily because the egg whites need a high-powered mixer to become a fluffy meringue.
Thankfully, Hubby gifted me with a KitchenAid 5QT Artisan Stand Mixer which made making this dessert a breeze.
Now that the meringue won’t be a problem, I know the custard won’t give me any worries either, thanks to Jolly Cow Condensada.
With its rich, creamy texture and right amount of sweetness, it helped make the custard filling of my Brazo de Mercedes absolutely Creamy Sarap and so irresistible.
- 1 390g can Jolly Cow Condensada
- 10 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 10 egg whites
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
Combine egg yolks, condensed milk, vanilla and lemon zest in a double boiler over low heat. Cook while stirring regularly for about 30 minutes until mixture thickens into a spreadable paste. Remove from heat and set aside to allow to cool.
Combine egg whites and cream of tartar in a bowl and mix at slow speed until they form a thick foam. Add sugar in small amounts while continually beating, gradually increasing speed until stuff peaks form and the mixture is smooth and glossy with no sugar grains.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper and lightly grease it. Spread the meringue evenly on the sheet to about 1/4 inch thick. Bake at 350 deg F (177 deg C) for 20 minutes until the meringue is set and the top has turned light brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Using a light mesh sieve, lightly dust the meringue with powdered sugar. Cover with another sheet of lightly greased wax paper the gently invert to transfer the meringue onto the new wax paper and peel off the wax paper on top.
Spread the custard mixture evenly on the 3/4 of surface of the meringue. Starting from the side with the custard, carefully roll the meringue into a log.
Cover both ends of the log with wax paper and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.
My son has declared this his “Number 1” favorite dessert (among the many sweets I’ve made for him so far), and I know I’ll have lots more for him to sample with my pantry fully stocked with Jolly Cow Condensada.
Try this recipe and let me know what you think!