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Brazo de Mercedes (Filipino Custard Meringue Roulade)

If you know Spanish you're probably sittin' there thinkin', "who's Mercedes and why would you wanna' eat her arm?" ::inserts girl emoji with arm in the air:: Let me tell ya', this is the yummiest, dreamiest arm you'll ever eat in your entire life! That sounded a bit morbid and graphic, but apparently it means “arm of Our Lady of Mercy,” and it dates back to the Spanish colonization in the Philippines.

Ok, let's move on to the important part: taste. I detest comparing other desserts with any Filipino dessert out there. It's not a Pavlova, nor a Swiss Roll. It’s-it’s own thing: Brazo de Mercedes. It’s fluffy, pillowy, melt-in-your-mouth, light on the outside and rich gooey, eggy, custardy, sweet, caramel-y on the inside. It disappears onto your palate and leaves a creamy, rich and silky filling on the roof of your tongue. It’s just pure bliss when you eat it.

I have to be transparent: the filling takes a while to make, but totally worth it. The skill-level isn’t Macaron status, where it takes a gazillion trial and errors to get a decent lookin’ cookie. Like with everything, practice makes perfect. The rolling/roulade part seems a bit daunting, but it’s a lot easier than you think, once you get the hang of it. I’ll be showing you a fun trick when making roulades/jelly rolls in this recipe. The tea towel rolling trick is definitely something to store in the baking vault of your brain. It avoids crackage, sticking and tearing when you roll it. If you’ve ever made a Pumpkin Roll in the Fall, you definitely know what I’m talking about.

Attending The Culinary Institute of America and having a French culinary and pastry arts background, I think about how amazing it is that a lot of the techniques and recipes are applied to Filipino desserts. I also like to come up with fun recipes, using classic techniques to kick it up a few notches (sounded so Emeril, but the only wording I could think of at the moment). I think about bumping up the flavor or making the texture more pleasurable to the palate. This recipe includes butter in the filling, which fluffs it up a lil’ bit and adds to the creaminess.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and make it a thing! I’m really trying my darndest to introduce a series of Filipino desserts to the world. I want everyone to know how delicious and amazing these desserts are! All of these sweets remind me of my childhood and it was a normal thing to have it on the table for birthdays and during the holidays. Go ahead and give this recipe a try and let me know what you think! #filipinofoodmovement

Cute Chubby Arms and Jelly Roll Love x 1,000...


Brazo de Mercedes

Yields 1- 14" roulade (12-14 servings)



  • 12 egg whites

  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • powdered sugar for dusting, while rolling.

Pâte à Bombe Filling

  • 12 egg yolks

  • 1 tsp. pink himalayan sea salt

  • 1/4 cup of condensed milk

  • 1 tbsp. vanilla bean extract (I like the kind with vanilla bean specks in it, but you can use any best quality real vanilla extract).

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter

Special things you definitely need:

  • half sheet pan (14” by 16”)

  • parchment paper

  • tea towel the size of the sheet pan


  1. In a bain-marie (double boiler), combine egg yolks, condensed milk, and vanilla extract. I like to use a metal bowl on top of a heavy duty saucepan. Be sure to avoid the water from coming to a rolling boil: you just want a nice simmer. Constantly whisk and stir with a wire whisk and avoid curdling. Once you start to see it become thick, switch to a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and start folding. The mixture should begin to pull away from the sides, due to its’ thickness. It starts off looking like Sabayon/Zabaglione, but should end up almost resembling a yellow colored version of Dulce de Leche in the end. Continue to cook until the mixture is spreadable, like jam. This takes about 35 minutes. The bowl could get hot, so be sure to have some silicone mats or an oven mitt close by. Spread on a sheet pan lined with plastic wrap then fold the sides of the plastic wrap to cover the custard, directly on top to avoid forming a skin. Set aside in fridge to cool.

  2. Once the yolk mixture is cooled, whip on a medium speed in a stand mixer. Gradually add room temperature butter and increase the speed. Mix until it is spreadable and fluffy.

  3. In a clean, stand-mixer bowl, combine egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat at a medium speed. When the egg whites begin to fluff up, gradually add the sugar in increments. Place the speed on the highest setting until the egg whites reach a stiff peak. Avoid over beating. The whites should be glossy, smooth and a little stiff. When you dip the whisk attachment in to the meringue and flip it over, it should have a stiff jiggle, with the slightest droop at the tip.

  4. Lightly grease the sides of a half sheet (14” x 16”) pan. Then, line the pan with parchment paper. Make sure the parchment paper has an extra ½” on both sides. The extra parchment paper should come up on both short ends of the sheetpan. I like to fold it/crease it to help nudge it up.

  5. Spread the meringue evenly onto the baking sheet with an offset spatula. Bake at 350 F oven for about 20 minutes or until the meringue turns an even, golden brown. The more brown, the more flavor. Set aside to cool.

  6. Dust the top of the meringue with a generous amount of granulated sugar powdered sugar. Granulated sugar gives it a nice texture, while powdered keeps it smooth. Avoid fretting with the generous amount of sugar used to dust it. The residual sugar will naturally come off as you roll it and it could be dusted off at the end.

  7. Use a clean tea towel the size of the sheet pan, and cover the sugar coated meringue with the towel. Place the backside of another sheetpan on top of the tea towel and flip the meringue onto the other sheetpan.

  8. Peel off the backing of parchment paper and generously dust the meringue again with sugar. Tightly and gently roll the tea towel with the meringue until it’s completely rolled, like a Roulade. You want it to be snug in the center when you first roll it, so that you achieve a beautiful spiral. The tea towel should be inside and rolled into the meringue. Gently unroll and dust off the excess sugar. This nudges and forms the roulade into the spiral shape and helps avoid cracks on the outside. The starting end of the roll, should appear it is slightly lifted up and ready to roll back.

  9. Place the custard on top of the meringue and spread evenly. Leave a ½” of the end of the roll without filling. Gently roll the the meringue into a log (without the tea towel). Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Slice, serve and enjoy!

Be sure to add me on Facebook and Instagram and show me what you've made! xX

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