Filipino cuisine has an impressive lineup of cakes, and Brazo de Mercedes is no exception: a roll cake made from fluffy meringue, with a centre of rich egg yolk-based custard.
- 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
- 390 g condensed milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp cornflour mixed with 2 tsp water
- cooking spray
- 110 g (½ cup) caster sugar
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling time: 30 minutes
1. Place the egg yolks and condensed milk in a saucepan over low-medium heat. Stir continuously with a whisk for 8-9 minutes or until the mixture starts to thicken. Add the vanilla, icing sugar, lemon juice and cornflour slurry. Whisk until incorporated and cook for a few more minutes or until the custard has thickened. Pour into a bowl, cover closely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until cool.
2. Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and lightly grease with cooking spray.
3. In a clean and dry mixing bowl, beat the egg whites on low speed until soft peaks form. With the motor running, gradually add the caster sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Add the cream of tartar, increase the speed to medium and beat until stiff peaks form and the mixture is smooth and glossy. Using a palette knife, spread the mixture evenly to make a rectangle about 1 cm thick. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until light golden. Remove from the oven and while still warm, invert the meringue onto a similar sized tray lined with a sheet of baking paper, then peel off the cooked baking paper.
4. Spread the custard on the top leaving a 3 cm border on one of the long sides. Using the baking paper as a guide, carefully roll up starting from the long side without the border. Trim the edges, then place, seam-side down on a serving platter. Dust with extra icing sugar and serve.
Diana Chan and guests explore the flavours of Asia from her Melbourne home in the second series of Asia Unplated.