For the past few days, I've been craving this dessert but I've always been somewhat daunted at trying to make it myself. I've read many a story about how attempts to make this jelly roll like cake end up in failure with the cake ending up cracking, collapsed or even simply not coming out right. However, having had more practice making decoroll cakes, I decided to try my hand at making it.
I based my Brazo de Mercedes from the recipe in Just A Pinch.com but made some adjustments to it. Instead of 10 egg yolks, I used just five and since I didn't want a custard that was too rich. I also added some whole milk to the custard and just used about 300 ml of the condensed milk instead of the 14 oz the original recipe called for to reduce the sweetness. It still turned out quite sweet so i think next time I'll add less condensed milk and increase the whole milk. I also substituted packaged liquid egg whites for half of what the original recipe called for since I didn't want to waste any egg yolks. Also, instead of cream of tar tar, I substituted cornstarch which worked just as well in keeping the meringue firm. Here's my recipe:
Brazo de Mercedes
5 eggs (separate the yolks from the white)
10 Tbsp or 150 ml packaged liquid egg whites (this equals 5 eggwhites)
1 tsp cornstarch
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 can condensed milk (300 ml)
100 ml milk
1 tsp lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Place parchment or wax paper on a jelly roll pan and grease the surface well. Set aside.
- Combine egg whites and cornstarch in a bowl and beat with electric mixer until soft peaks form.
- Gradually add granulated sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
- Spread meringue (beaten egg whites) onto the prepared jelly roll pan, lightly run a fork on top to make tiny ridges/lines across the entire meringue and bake in the oven for 20 to 22 minutes until the top of the meringue is lightly brown.
- While the meringue is in the oven, make the custard filling by combining egg yolks, vanilla extract, condensed milk, regular milk and lemon juice in a saucepan and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture is thick (about the consistency of peanut butter). Set aside to cool.
- Remove the meringue from the oven and let it cool. The meringue will look inflated but it will shrink back to its original volume once it cools. I waited about 5 to 10 minutes for mine since I didn't want it to dry out too much or it would crack.
- Sprinkle confectioners sugar on top and place wax/parchment paper on top and another similar sized jelly roll pan/baking tray on top and flip the meringue over. The bottom of the meringue should now be on top.
- Remove parchement/wax paper from the meringue and spread the cooled down custard mixture over the meringue.
- Roll the meringue. Most people roll it on the longest side but I chose to do mine on the shorter side since I wanted a shorter but thicker Brazo.
- Transfer to a serving plate. Chill and cut into slices and serve.