FFE Magazine

Delectable Brazo de Mercedes with crushed Almonds

small1For me Brazo de Mercedes is one of the best desserts in Filipino cuisine. It is a cake made from a sheet of soft meringue rolled around a custard filling. It literally melts in your mouth!


Brazo de Mercedes, which means gypsy’s arm in Spanish, is a lot like the rolled sponge cake Brazo de Gitano of Spain.


It also has some similarities with the classic Filipino dessert Leche Flan; they both have Spanish origin, sweet and with melt-in-your-mouth goodness and have egg yolks as their main ingredient.



A slice of Brazo de Gitano


I read an interesting article explaining the reason why we Filipinos developed a special liking to egg yolk- based desserts. Did you know our love for Brazo de Mercedes and Leche Flan is related to the magnificent churches built by the Spaniards? Yes!


When the Spaniards came to the Philippines and started building churches, they used egg whites as mortar. During the building process, a huge amount of egg yolks were thrown into the river. Filipino women, who saw the egg yolks being wasted, created recipes out of them. Pretty ingenious of them don’t you think so?




In this recipe, I will teach you how to make Brazo de Mercedes with almonds.



1 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 egg yolks

1/2 cup crushed almonds (or any other kind of nut that you prefer)


For the meringue:

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract




Beat the egg yolks in a small mixing bowl. Place the mixing bowl over a double boiler over low heat.


Pour the milk mixture into the bowl with the yolks gradually, stirring to prevent curdling over low heat until the mixture has the consistency of a custard.


Add the almond extract and chopped almonds then stir. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.


Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites in a separate bowl.




Beat the egg whites using an electric mixer. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the meringue forms stiff peaks.Remember, it is important not to overmix the meringue. Then gently add in the vanilla extract.


Remove the meringue from the oven and invert it onto another sheet of greased parchment paper.




Peel away the parchment paper on the top and spread the custard evenly on top of the cooked meringue. Roll it carefully to form a log.


Brush the top of the log with softened butter and brown again in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes.


Remove the log from the oven and slice thinly before serving.




Enjoy your very own Brazo de Mercedes!




Tita Kathy tip:


You can make Brazo de Mercedes not only with crushed almonds. You can add any kind of nuts of your choice too! How did you find our recipe for today? Let us know what you think on the comment box below. Until next time!



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