When I was a very young child, and asked my grandmothers’ cook what was for dessert and she said “Brazo de Mercedes”, my minds’ eye saw this enormous lady’s arm on a dish being served. This woman’s arm sure tasted so good because brazo meant arm in Spanish-Filipino. Now I know that it is a rolled meringue with egg yolk (yema) filling.
- 12 egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) sugar
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar
- 1/4 cup (35 grams) all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (112 grams) butter
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon zest of lime – optional
- Preheat oven to 350ÂºF (180ÂºC)
- Line a 12-inch by 14-inch by 1-inch baking pan with baking paper or foil
- Beat egg whites with cream of tartar and salt until foamy, then add sugar gradually in four additions, beating until stiff but not dry.
- Spread evenly in pan.
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or till the top is a light golden brown
- Turn out on a cheesecloth dusted with a mixture of powdered and granulated sugar; half and half (about 2 tablespoons each); on top of cooling rack.
- Let cool for 2 hours.
- While waiting for the meringue to cool, make the filling.
- Spread evenly with filling, leaving 1-inch space on all sides.
- Leave until the filling is very cool but not refrigerated.
- Roll lengthwise into a 14-inch cylinder.
- Cut two pieces of waxed paper and place on each end of roll to prevent filling from leaking out.
- Combine sugar, flour, and butter in a double boiler over low fire and stir until sugar is totally dissolved.
- Add egg yolks, zest and cook, stirring constantly until mixture coats a wooden spoon.
- An old fashioned way to test if it’s ready is to place water in a small dish and drop a bit of the filling into the water and it’s ready when you can almost make a little ball with it.
- Be careful not to overcook or it will be difficult to spread out.