Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Brazo de Mercedez
It’s been a long time I haven’t made this, say 2 years or so… it is one of my favorites but I haven’t posted anything about it. I’ve seen other recipes on this but I will still stick to my style coz I’m adjusting the sugar content. Some are so sweet while I just like it sweet enough and it will just melt in my mouth without feeling guilty of sugar overload. It’s a little bit tricky to do this the first time, I would say, it takes some practice. Or if you have been making chiffon cakes or working with meringues before, then it should be easy as ABC. But no worries, I’ll try to explain how to make it the best I could.
Handy tips for working with meringue:
1. The eggs must washed, wiped dry and at room temperature. I separate the yolk through the shells by breaking them in two and pass from the half shell to the other. I’m comfortable this way while some are using their other hand to separate the yolk and let the egg white just fall to the bowl, but I find it a little messy. Whatever you are comfortable with, do it the way you like it.
2. The mixing bowl should be absolutely dry and dust free.
3. Adding sugar. Add the sugar at the right stage of the egg white. It should be added while it is at soft peak; to test this, stop the beater/whisk and lift it up. If the whites has soft peak and bends at the tip of the peak, then it’s the right stage. Add sugar gradually while beating continuously until egg white is at “stiff” stage. Test this by stopping the beater and lift it up, if the peak is stiff and doesn’t bend at the end of the peak, you have to stop beating.
4. Meringue should be cooked at low temperature. In my oven, 180 degrees C. 15-20 minutes, the meringue is nice and slightly brown.
6 pcs. Eggs
8 Tbsp. Condensed milk
1 Tbsp. Cornstarch (dissolved in 3 Tbsp. water)
½ Cup Sugar
½ tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. vanilla essence
1 Tbsp. butter
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
2. Prepare the baking try by lining it with a baking sheet. Brush baking sheet with butter and set aside.
3. Separate the eggs. Whites to the mixing bowl and Yolks in a small skillet.
4. Add cream of tartar to the egg white.
5. Beat the egg white until soft peak using an electric mixer/ beater.
6. Add sugar gradually spoon by spoon while beating continuously. Increase the speed of the beater and continue beating until egg white becomes stiff. Stop beating by this stage.
7. Spread the meringue evenly on the prepared baking tray by using a spatula.
8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the sides are slightly brown. The bottom usually turns brown first than to top, so you can tell when it is done if you lift the baking sheet a little bit and see if the bottom had browned.
9. While the meringue is in the oven, make the filling. Assemble a double boiler.
You will need a small and a bigger skillet. Boil water in the bigger skillet. Put egg yolks in the smaller skillet and add condensed milk, vanilla essence and cornstarch mixture (cornstarch dissolved in water), mix and place the smaller skillet on the boiling water. Reduce the heat to medium. Mix vigorously with a whisk until thick but not runny. Thick enough to hold its form. Do not stop mixing until the right consistency is achieved, otherwise; you will end up with scrambled egg. Remove from heat and let it cool down to room temperature.
10. If the meringue is done, trace the sides with a spatula and lift the baking sheet off the baking tray and carefully transfer it to a flat surface to work on. Spread the yolk filling evenly on the meringue leaving at least 2 inches at the end. Now with the shorter side towards you, start rolling the baking sheet while carefully peeling it off from the meringue. It should not stick if it is not overcooked because you have greased it with butter. Continue rolling (just like the way it is done with Swiss rolls) until the end. Now you have a log shape. Trim the edges. Serve in slices. It is best served when chilled. (Picture below)