Thursday, October 28, 2004

Nice Try

My ma baked everything at home: upside-down, chiffon,sponge, pound cakes; she even tried sans rival. But this one she always bought from "Merced" on Quezon Avenue(hmm?) as a merienda (mid afternoon snack) treat for us.
This is my umpteenth attempt, and I will keep trying till I achieve my childhood memory of a high and mighty fluffy Brazo de Mercedes.

Separate 10 eggs. Make sure no part of yolk gets into whites, or the meringue will not fluff. If you have any qualms over your egg separating prowess, separate eggs over a bowl before pouring eggwhites into mixing bowl, egg yolks into a heavy saucepan.

Make filling: beat egg yolks and pour in 1 can of condensed milk and 1 cup heavy cream or half and half. Whisk thoroughly and add 1/4 tsp of orange zest, 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until thick and of spreading consistency. Remove from heat, set aside to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 350F.
Beat egg whites until bubbly, then add 1 tsp of cream of tartar. Gradually add 1 cup of sugar and beat until stiff but not dry.
Spread meringue into lightly greased, wax paper-lined jelly roll pan.
Bake for about an hour (it will puff up considerably but "calm down" as it cools).
Invert into a sheet of foil or wax paper sprinkled with sugar, then peel off the wax paper on top.
Let cool about 10 minutes then spread cooled custard mixture over the baked meringue.
Roll from the lengthwise side, jelly-roll fashion then set seamside down on a platter and let chill in the refrigerator.

Well...there was a full lunar eclipse last night and my younger uns were tugging at my apron strings to come take a look (cloud cover was too thick, we only saw the last phase!sayang! it won't happen again for another 50 or so years...)
The Red Sox were playing the Cardinals for the World Series title so everyone was jumpy.
Excuses, excuses. My favorite dining customers ate it anyway. "Persevere to endure!"

brazo de mercedes...serve with Earl Grey tea and a splash of milk, cafe au lait or my favorite...Sarsi. based on a recipe from Nora Daza's Galing Galing.