Monday, October 24, 2011

Brazo de Mercedes

Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
The Arm of Mercedes, or Brazo de Mercedes is a delicious dessert with a macabre name. How this dessert ended up with this name is beyond me and there seems to be no record of the history of this dessert. All I can say about it is that it will definitely cure your sweet cravings and more. A bit on the unhealthy side, one slice is all you need to satisfy your cravings although the lightness of the dessert will fool you into eating more than just one slice. Two or three is more the norm for me so I rarely make it.

My Mom's friend makes an awesome version of this cake but she sells them for profit so asking her for the recipe is pointless. I did find a couple of recipes that have worked for me and the two favorites of mine are very similar so there is no need to chose one over the other. My friend Mara was the one who requested me to provide her with a good recipe since she wanted to bake this for a party so despite my initial misgiving, there was really no need to twist my arm and I happily agreed to do this for her.

Brazo de Mercedes

Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
10 large eggs, separated
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 can condensed milk
confectioner's sugar

1. On a double broiler, 
    combine the con-
    densed milk and the 
    egg yolks and keep 
    stirring until the 
    mixture is very thick. 
    Take care that it does 
    not curdle so keep the water at a simmer. Add half the vanilla and let 
    cool. Cover with clingfilm to avoid forming a skin. 

2. Once the filling is at room temperature, preheat the oven to 350°F.

3. Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and beat at medium speed 
    until frothy. Once you reach the soft peaks stage, gradually add the sugar 
    and increase the speed to high and beat until stiff peaks are formed. Add 
    the remaining vanilla and mix well.

4. Spread the meringue on a greased and lined baking sheet (15x17) and 
    bake for 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

5. Turn off the oven and let the meringue cool with the oven door ajar for 
    about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for another 30 
    minutes. Dust with a good amount of confectioner's sugar and cover with 
    another sheet of parchment paper. Invert onto another baking sheet and 
    peel off the parchment paper the meringue was baked in.

6. Spread the filling evenly and start rolling from the short side using the 
    parchment paper as a guide. Brush off the excess sugar and transfer to a 
    serving plate and refrigerate until ready to serve.

The cooling time for the meringue may vary. I was baking this cake last night when the temperature outside the house was 30°F so it was still cold in the kitchen. You want to make sure that the meringue is cool enough that when you dust it with the sugar, it wont melt it because you will end up with a sticky mess. Still edible, but not as pretty. 

Also, the filling could have been a lot thicker. I was just finishing up the cake in record time so keep cooking the custard until it coats the back of the spoon and doesn't drip. It still has to be spreadable so you need to figure out how thick you want your filling to be. Either way, it will still taste delicious!

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