Ube Brazo De Mercedes with Coconut Creme Anglaise

Ube Brazo De Mercedes with Coconut Creme Anglaise should be on your to-do dessert. This particular recipe is not your typical Brazo de Mercedes Cake.  What makes this recipe unique is because it’s ube almost all the way–a pillowy and mallow-y ube meringue roulade that hugs the ube amaretto custard yema style. Then just before serving, a slice is drizzled with the Coconut Creme Anglaise.

Ube Brazo De Mercedes with Cocony Creme Anglaise
 
Before I go to the best Brazo De Mercedes recipe ever (haha), I think you’ll enjoy a little bit of history and some fun facts related to this beautiful dessert from my home country, the Philippines.

A bit of Brazo De Mercedes History

My readings led me to cake rolls are referred to as Brazo (arm), as I search for countless videos and recipes. The Spanish guava roll  Brazo de Gitano (Gypsy’s Arm), the Chilean Brazo De Reina (Chilean Dulce De Leche. Could It be because of the shape of the arm when it’s folded with the fingers and palms ‘rolled in
 
And, of course, the Filipino Brazo De Mercedes in English is Mercedes’ arm.  The religious reference is Arm of Our Lady of Mercy (Nuestra Senoras de la  Mercedes). Yes, food and religion are very much intertwined.

Eggs are Natural Binders

Also important to note that eggs are truly natural binders. The eggwhites-lime mixture is vital in building the Philippines’ now-centuries old structures during the Spanish colonial period. There was an excess of egg yolks resulting in decadent Filipino desserts, like the Leche Flan or this Brazo de Mercedes. Naturally, present-day recipes use whole eggs because of recipe iterations through the years.
 
Now let’s get to the recipe, shall we?

Ube Brazo De Mercedes Ingredients

My main goal in creating this recipe is to make sure the ingredients are accessible, and the steps are easy to follow.  So let me break this down for you.

The typical Brazo de Mercedes recipe calls for a baked soft meringue roulade and a custard filling. I am adding the coconut cream sauce AKA Coconut Creme Anglaise because I am extra like that. If you didn’t know, ube and coconut are a match made in culinary heaven.

The three elements of this recipe are meringue, custard, and sauce. The main ingredients are eggs, sugar & milk, and the flavors: ube and coconut.

  1. Eggs. Size matters. I prefer using extra-large eggs. When you grab a smaller size, add one more egg to the recipe.  
  2. I find that using confectionery or powdered sugar is perfect for this recipe for two reasons: First, sugar is quicker to dissolve because it has more refined grains. And second is it already contains cornstarch which helps prevent weeping.
  3. The cream of Tartar is the key to stabilizing the form of the meringue. I’ve read that two teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar will do the work as well if you want the Brado de Mercedes without the cream of tartar or if it’s not available to you. 
  4. Ube Jam & ube halaya (halea) are one and the same. The ube root crop is seasonal and brings the custard to another level.  You can purchase Ube jam here. I opted to use the ube extract in this recipe to make the process easier.
  5. Zest of a lemon or any citrus will do. The citrus cuts the richness of the custard.
  6. Amaretto is the liqueur that brings another layer of flavor to the custard.
  7. I use canned coconut milk, and this brand is my absolute favorite. 

Tips & Tricks to Fail-proof Meringue

The tips below help achieve the stiff peaks and prevent the beading (or weeping).

Stiff Peaks

1. Room temperature eggs. Extra work is needed if you handle cold eggs, resulting in sometimes overbeating and consequently breaking down the meringue’s structure.  Don’t even try to separate the egg yolk and whites while cold and THEN letting it come to room temperature. Eggs straight from the fridges are harder to separate to bring to room temperature. The solution to speed up the process: submerge eggs in warm water for about 10-15 minutes. Then divide the egg yolks from the whites. 
2. No trace of egg yolks. No excuses. A slight hint makes a huge difference. Solution: Have a small bowl to break a single egg. Then separate and have two bowls ready for the yolk and the whites. This way, you don’t contaminate the rest of the whites if you accidentally break yolks in the process of separating. 
3. Clean bowl and beater. Spotless. Greaseless. No water.  No oil. Solution. Wash the bowls and beater, and other tools, like a spatula with warm water and soap. Dry thoroughly. It is best to do this a few hours earlier and let it air dry as an extra precaution. 
4. Patience. Do not add sugar too soon. Let the egg whites and cream of tartar come to a soft peak before adding sugar. 
5. Timing is critical. Below are bullet points of my summary process for the meringue with visual cues.
  • Beat egg whites until it is bubbly. 
  • When to add cream of tartar: when the egg white mixture is bubbly, sprinkle (not dump) the cream of tartar to prevent lumps and speed up the stabilization process. 
  • When to add the first tablespoon of sugar: when the eggs white and the cream of tartar is foamy in texture, let it come to a soft peak before adding the next tablespoon. Allot about 30 seconds to a minute interval in between the succeeding addition of sugar to allow it to dissolve. 
  • When to add food coloring: after adding all the sugar: Beat until the color is incorporated evenly and the meringue reaches stiff peaks. 
  • When to know if meringue is ready: it must look silky and smooth. If it’s still grainy, beat some more until it is soft. Pull the beater up, and it should have stiff peaks. When the tip drapes down, it still does not. 

Weeping of the Meringue

The weeping or beading of the meringue are unwanted beads and sometimes pools of liquid underneath your meringue after it has cooled off from baking. I’ve read several blogs suggesting not to make this on a humid day to prevent beading. But I do not want that to stop me from creating Ube Brazo De Mercedes. So I found the following information very helpful. 
  1. Cornstarch helps absorb the moisture. I highly recommend confectionery sugar because it already contains cornstarch.
  2. Do not refrigerate. Again the fridge is humid. Please keep it to room temperature. Room temperature is 20-26 F, so if you have a controlled space where you can keep it at this temperature, the Brazo de Mercedes is looking bright.
  3. Overcooking and undercooking. I find that with this recipe, the sweet spot is mid-rack for 40 minutes at 325F. Then I turn off the heat and left the meringue to cool inside the oven for fifteen more minutes.
Ube Yema Custard Filling
A double boiler or a bain-marie is a gentler way of cooking the custard. A saucepan with super low heat will work as well. A tinge of Ube extract is added to the custard to give it a deeper purple hue.
 
Coconut Creme Anglaise
Keep the cream from boiling to prevent curdles. And temper the egg yolks with warm coconut milk in a separate bowl to have a smooth texture. 

TOOLS & EQUIPMENT

A Stand mixer will make this job quicker, but a hand mixer will do the job.

Sheet pans and cake pans are handy. 

The cake comb is optional because you can use a fork or leave the cake as is

I used this flour cloth in rolling the meringue. 

This timeless, beautiful roll graced innumerable Filipino dessert shelves and confectionery stores. Now I hope that this even more attractive version will grace your table. Let me know in the comment section if you tried out this recipe. I will be happy to answer any cooking questions. 

I shared this recipe on Eggland’s Best Website.

By the way, if you are here because of the ube,  check out the  Tres Leches Ube Champorado recipe. Great as snack, breakfast, or brunch.

AND, before you go, let us connect.

You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and working my way on more YouTube videos.

HAPPY COOKING and MAY FAITH, FOOD, AND LOVE FILL YOUR LIFE.

MIA

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links, and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you).

Ube Brazo De Mercedes With Coconut Creme Anglaise

Mia Estolano-Levert
Riding on the Ube Craze, this is a fun take on the elegant Filipino dessert Brazo De Mercedes. The purple and pillowy meringue hugging the creamy ube custard filling is just dreamy, more so with the drizzle of coconut creme Anglaise. Make this come Easter, and your family and guests will be impressed. 
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 40 mins
Resting Time 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 10 slices
Calories 326 kcal

Equipment

  • baking pan 12 x 9 x 2 inch
  • parchment paper
  • Stand or hand mixer
  • double boiler
  • Saucepan
  • Offset spatula
  • Extra sheet pan or cooling rack (for flipping)
  • Cake comb or fork for ridge decor

Ingredients
  

Meringue

  • 8 extra-large whites, or 9 egg whites from large eggs about 300g, room temp
  • 200 g powdered sugar about 1 3/4 cup
  • 5 g cream of tartar or 1 tsp
  • 1/2 tsp ube extract or flavor

Yema Custard

  • 6 extra-large egg yolks room temp
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk or fresh milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • zest of half a lemon or grapefruit
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Coconut Creme Anglaise (Coconut Cream Sauce)

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 extra-large egg yolks
  • 2 tbsps coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp amaretto or vanilla extract

Others:

  • oil spray or butter for greasing
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions
 

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 325F (160C). Set rack to the middle part of the oven.
  • Grease pan. Line with parchment paper, then grease again. Set aside.

Meringue

  • Whip egg whites until bubbly but not yet holding any peak. Add cream of tartar. 
  • Continue beating until a soft peak is reached.
  • Once the soft peak is reached, start adding the powdered sugar gradually, one tablespoon at a time.
  • Add ube extract and whip until meringue reaches stiff peaks, silky, and no longer grainy. It will yield approximately 2 quarts of meringue in volume. 
  • With an offset spatula, spread meringue evenly on the lined baking pan. 
  • Run a fork or cake comb along the longer edge of the pan. This is optional. 
  • Put the tray in the middle rack for 325 for 40 minutes or until the top is no longer tacky or sticky and is pale brown.
  • Once the top is pale brown, turn off the heat and let it stay in the oven for about 10 minutes, then pull out from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes. 

Yema Custard

  • Mix egg yolks, condensed milk, evaporated milk, and ube flavoring in a  double boiler over low fire and stirring continuously. 
  • While stirring continuously, let it thicken and come to steam. Let it reach 175F (80C)
  • Remove from heat. Add butter cubes and lemon zest. This will help cool down the custard and have a glossy feel. Put the bowl over ice-cold water to cool down.
  • Stir and set aside.

Coconut Creme Anglaise (Coconut Cream Sauce)

  • Heat coconut cream in a saucepan over medium-low fire. Let it come to a gentle simmer; never let it boil.
  • Whisk the 2 egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Add a couple of tablespoons of the simmered cream to temper.
  • Add the egg mixture back to the saucepan. Then add sugar and amaretto. 
  • Lower heat, and continue mixing until the sauce thickens. We are trying to aim for a pour-able consistency, like condensed milk. 
  • Strain the mixture and transfer it to a pouring vessel (like a creamer). Cover with plastic wrap letting the plastic touch the milk to prevent the surface from forming skin.

Unmolding & Rolling the Meringue After the Bake

  • Dust the meringue with powdered sugar (about half) to prevent it from sticking.
  • Put a cloth or parchment paper on top of the meringue. Then put a sheet pan (for support) on top of the cloth. Flip.  
  • Peel the parchment paper carefully. 
  • Put custard thickly longways (along the longer edge of the pan). Keep about ¼ cup of custard to schmear on both ends of the roll. 
  • Roll gently from the bottom up with the assistance of cloth. Make sure the roll is snug. The bottom of the roll should meet just below the top of it. 
  • Lay on a serving platter. Smear the edges with excess custard
  • Sprinkle some more powdered sugar.
  • Slice and serve—drizzle slices with the coconut creme Anglaise. 

Notes

  1. Prepare the ingredients, cooking tools, and serving dishes before cooking.  Group ingredients accordingly: meringue, custard filling & creme Anglaise. 
  2. Use fresh and room-temperature eggs. Submerge eggs in warm water for about 15 minutes to let cold eggs come to room temp. 
  3. Use spotless and grease-free equipment (bowl and whisk) for the meringue. Any oil or water will prevent the meringue from forming stiff peaks.
  4. When to add cream of tartar: once the eggs have turned bubbly. 
  5. When to add sugar: once the meringue reached soft peaks, make sure you get a soft peak before adding sugar. Add sugar gradually. 
  6. You know the meringue is ready when it is no longer grainy (taste to feel texture), has stiff peaks, and looks glossy and silky. 
  7. Make the meringue roll first. While it is baking, make the custard or yema filling, and then the creme Anglaise. Let it cool. 
  8. You can make the coconut creme Anglaise and custard filling a day or two ahead. 
  9. Do not refrigerate the Brazo. Please keep it in a non-humid, cool, and dry place. 
Keyword brazo de mercedes, meringue, ube, ube brazo de mercedes


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