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Brazo de Mercedes

Brazo de Mercedes is another delicious Filipino dessert that is made of soft, pillowy meringue with rich custard filling rolled into a log, jelly roll fashion. Learn the secret to get that perfect meringue with a super fine foamy texture that easily melts in your mouth like magic! It is also so easy it can be done in about 30 minutes!

brazo de mercedesThe name Brazo de Mercedes is Spanish that translates to Mercedes’ arm or to be more specific, arm of our Lady of Mercy and its origin dates way back when the Philippines was still a Spanish colony but the dessert itself is uniquely Filipino and although it is likened to the Spanish Brazo de Gitano (gypsy’s arm) but unlike it, Brazo de Mercedes does not use flour nor adds egg yolks in making the cake. The yolks are used to make the custard filling. 

Get ready to be surprised when you take your first bite of soft and foamy meringue that dissolves the instant it enters your mouth, it is like eating a piece of heaven literally…or at least a like piece of cloud. brazo de merceds recipeThis is not the first time I made this delectable dessert, the one you see here is my third attempt. My first was 2 years ago for a friend’s birthday party and I could say it was a success based from how fast it was gone. So yesterday I decided it is time to share this beautiful and yummy dessert in my blog. I still have the paper where I wrote down the ingredients from my successful first try but apparently, I was too lazy to write the instructions down. I thought to myself, no big deal I would just wing it from memory and what could be so difficult in making a meringue, right??? I was so wrong and that is why this here is my third attempt, the second was a total fail that I had to throw it away. The meringue was fine before I put it in the oven then suddenly halfway the baking time it was deflated from 1 inch thick to about half a centimeter when it was done! What did I do wrong? 

 

brazo de mercedesSo feeling shocked and disappointed with my meringue, I made a quick research and found out that it is very likely that it was due to the high-speed whipping of the egg whites that I did on that batch that caused the problem. Beating the whites too fast will cause big and small bubbles to form and the big bubbles will burst while baking causing the meringue to deflate. I made meringue several times before to use in other recipes like Frech Macarons and Sylvanas so I know the drill like using the clean, dry and grease-free bowl and utensils for example but I guess it is sometimes easy to forget the small details that make the difference between a success and a failure.  

Here are the other things I did to achieve this fluffy and super fine texture for my Brazo de Mercedes:

  • I used eggs that are at room temperature.  
  • I only use metal or glass bowls for mixing. Plastic bowls could absorb fat and grease that can prevent or reduce the volume when beating the whites. 
  • Make sure your bowl and beaters are dry and clean.
  • Beat the egg whites for a minute or two at low-speed before adding the sugar and make sure it is added gradually, like a spoonful at a time and scattered not dumped.
  • Do not beat the whites at high-speed. Use medium high-speed until stiff peak forms or when it has the consistency of a shaving cream. 
  • I also placed another (empty) baking sheet on the top rack of my oven while the meringue is baking on the middle rack for the first 10 minutes then removed it and let it bake for another 5 minutes until the top is slightly and evenly brown.

 You may also run a pastry comb or serrated knife on the surface of the meringue before baking for a little design. Only make sure to do it crosswise and not lengthwise (like I did) so it will not break when you roll it (like mine did).brazo-de-mercedes-e

 

5.0 from 4 reviews
Brazo de Mercedes
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 slices
 
Learn the secret to get that perfect meringue with a super fine foamy texture that easily melts in your mouth like magic! It is also so easy it can be done in about 30 minutes!
Ingredients
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • ⅓ cup + 1 Tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp cream of Tartar
  • 7 oz (half of a can) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar for dusitng, sifted
  • vegetable oil for greasing
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the egg whites and cream of Tartar and beat for 2 minutes at low speed.
  2. Continue beating at low speed while adding the sugar a tablespoon at a time.
  3. When all sugar has been added, turn speed to medium and beat for another two minutes then increase speed to medium-high and go on beating until stiff peaks form.
  4. Preheat oven at 180°C.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper then spray or brush it with enough oil. This will make it easier to remove the meringue from the parchment paper once it is baked.
  6. Transfer the meringue to the lined baking sheet and use a spatula to spread evenly forming a rectangle that is about an inch thick. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile prepare the custard by mixing the egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk in a small pan or pot. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat while continuously stirring until the texture thickens to spreadable paste. Add the vanilla extract before removing from heat then let it cool down completely before spreading.
  8. Remove the meringue from the oven and let it cool down for a few minutes. Generously dust the top of the meringue with powdered sugar using a fine mesh sieve. Take another parchment paper and place it on top of the meringue and then another baking sheet on top of that parchment paper.
  9. Flip the the trays so that the meringue is now on the other baking sheet with the bottom facing up. Peel the other (old) parchment paper. You should now see the white side of the meringue. Spread the custard evenly on top of it leaving about a centimeter at one of the long side uncovered.
  10. Roll it jelly roll fashion starting from the long side that is covered with filling. Brush off excess powdered.
  11. Cut into desired serving size.
Notes
This recipe should be enough for 4-5 persons but can easily be doubled or divided as needed.

 brazo de mercedes My first attempt at Brazo de Merzedes

Bebs

Bebs here! I love to cook and try new things and DIY projects! And although I think of myself as a homebody, I like seeing other places from time to time.
If you are looking for a recipe and it ain't here, make a request and I will try my best to make it for you!

This Post Has 28 Comments
  1. This looks amazing, thank you for posting! Can’t wait to try it. I have one question though – do you know if I could transport this to a friend’s house? It would take ~30 mins to drive. Or is this a dessert that must be served immediately? I would ideally like to transport it fully assembled.

    Anyway can’t wait to make it!

    1. Tricky, I usually make it on the same day it will be served to avoid this problem actually. If it has not been assembled yet, then just place the meringue in a cool dry place covered with a parchment paper. The custard can be then put in the fridge. Just assemble it before serving. If it is already assembled, take it out of the fridge and try to tap the top dry with a paper towel if too moist then just sprinkle with powdered sugar.

    1. Hi Theresa, I spread it thick, like about an inch, and it retains its height even after baking. Note that this recipe is for a half roll, double it for a whole long one. But I suggest starting small until you master the process of making the meringue.

    1. I haven’t tried it personally (although, I’ve thought about it before) but I see some recipes doing it. So why not give it a go…you could give us an update how it goes. Or…you wait for me to try it (but I cannot say when…got a lot lined up ;-))

      1. Hello Bebs and Olivia,

        Firstly, Thanks Bebs for posting this wonderful recipe. I have read numerous recipes of Brazo de Mercedes and I think this one is the easiest to follow.

        Olivia, to answer your question about substituting the sugar with Stevia, there won’t be any difference as to the texture and structure of the meringue. The rule is to use 2 tbsp of sugar for every egg white called for in the recipe. So, for this recipe, I used about 10 tbsp of Stevia powder. Then you’ll just do same, adding the sugar (or stevia) gradually to the egg white while whipping. Hope this helps.

        1. Thank you so much Pat! For the nice comment and for sharing your personal experience with using Stevia. You’re an angel! ????

  2. Hi !I followed your instructions. .and the meringue is quite fluffy in the oven..but once I remove from the oven it deflated. ..do you know why? Did I remove too Soon.? Should I leave it in the oven longer before opening the door?

    1. Hi Gigi, I wrote exactly about that on the post because it happened to me as well. Just read it again. I also change the instructions on beating the egg whites a bit, electric mixers have different speed so I would say medium speed at max. I read that even the smallest speck of fat can also be the culprit so make sure your tools and utensils are clean, don’t use plastic bowls. Read this article for additional tips from Martha Stewart about making meringue. Although she refers to the hard meringue but some ofher tips are also applicable.

  3. Hi I tried baking this today and failed because I over baked the meringue. First 20 minutes of baking the meringue was still white so I was like ah why not bake it for another 20. Not sure how long it took before the top turned brown. Some parts of it was crisp and some had the soft consistency. So we just ended up dipping the merigue into the custard. Also not sure if it has something to do with the oven I used. I’m using an electric (convection) oven, and I noticed it bakes my stuff real slow. I’m a newbie in this field so any tips? ?

    1. Yeah, it could be tricky with ovens, believe me I also have problems when following other recipes and my oven won’t seem to cooperate. It could be a trial and error sometimes. You could try to turn up the heat a bit and see if that works. I would say, get to know your oven by trying different things and make a note for a specific recipe so you know next time what works. Goodluck and I hope this tip helps 🙂

  4. Hi! By far, your Brazo is the best I’ve seen on the net.. Looks really delish too!
    Just wanted to ask, what is the size of the baking pan/sheet that you used?
    Thanks so much, more power to you and Happy New Year!

  5. hi!. I tried your recipe the appearance was great. The filling taste great. But the meringue taste like raw eggs, and I can’t eat it. What do you think can do? Please help me.. Thank you!

    1. Hi Shirley, it could be that the meringue is not cooked enough. Try cooking it longer at lower temperature. All ovens are different so it is sometimes trial and error. If it gets too brown on top, try covering it by adding another baking tray on top rack above your meringue. You could also add more vanilla extract or lemon zest extract if you like. Tell me if this helps.

    1. Hi Carolyn, I usually just use the baking tray that comes with the oven. I like my meringue a bit thicker, so I do not spread it too much. I usually spread it into about 22x26cm square.

  6. Hi I attempted making this but my it always flop or flattened as soon it’s out in the oven. And it takes tough and eggy.

    1. Hi Emely, this also happened to me when I beat the whites at high speed. Start slow and gradually increase speed a bit but never use high speed. It might take longer but it usually works.

    1. Hi Theresa, depends how long you want to have it. This recipe makes only 6 slices but you can double it. But for trial purposes I would suggest to start small 😉

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