Brazo de Mercedes

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  • For the Custard Filling
  • 10 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 (14 ounces) can condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 lemon

For the Meringue

  • 10 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar


  1. In a double broiler over low heat, combine egg yolks, milk, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Cook, stirring regularly, for about 30 to 40 minutes or until mixture thickens into a spreadable paste. Transfer custard into a bowl and cover with wax paper until ready to use.
  2. In a bowl, combine egg whites and cream of tartar. Using an electric mixer, beat at low speed. As the egg whites start to turn opaque and begin to fluff into a thick foam, gradually add the sugar in small amounts and continue to beat while gradually increasing speed of mixer until stiff peaks form. The whipped whites will be smooth and glossy, with no sugar grains.
  3. Line a 14 x 16 baking sheet with wax paper and lightly grease surface of paper. Transfer meringue onto prepared baking sheet and using a spatula, spread evenly across into about ¼-inch thick. Bake in a 350 F oven for about 20 minutes or until meringue is set and top has turned to light brown.
  4. Once cooked, just let the oven doors open while it cools down. Taking it out from the oven can deflate the meringue with sudden change of temperature. Let it cool down slowly inside the oven.
  5. Using a fine mesh sieve, lightly dust top with powdered sugar. Place another layer of greased wax paper and another baking sheet over meringue. Gently invert meringue onto the new baking sheet and peel the wax paper on top.
  6. Spoon custard on top and spread evenly on cooked meringue, leaving about ¼ without filling. Starting on the filled side, carefully roll meringue into a log. Cover both ends of the brazo de mercedes with wax paper and chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour. To serve, cut into desired thickness.


  • Use fresh eggs as they whip better. Let egg whites stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before beating.
  • Use a copper, stainless or glass bowl. Avoid aluminum bowls as they can turn egg whites to gray.
  • Use very clean and dry bowls and beaters. Fats or any residue can affect the eggs’ volume. Make sure no traces of yolk get into the whites as they will not expand properly.
  • Add sugar slowly to the egg whites so they don’t lose volume.
  • Do not overbeat! You know they have reached stiff peaks when the whipped whites no longer slide around when the bowl is tilted.
  • To prevent the egg yolks from curdling, make sure to cook the custard over low heat.

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