|From Frozen Almond Brazo De Mercedes|
Nephew: Oh wow! This is the best tasting dessert I have ever had in a long while!
SIL: That was good! As a matter of fact, it is a tad better then the Paris Brest! (Paris Brest is what I always hope my SIL would bring during these gatherings. I love it.)
Sons: Yummy! This is so good, ma!
Husband: Thanks, honey. That was awesome!
Me: So, is this something I should make again?
Husband: Definitely! You can make it everyday!
Me: Mom, would you like me to leave some of this brazo?
MIL: Oh yes, PLEASE! That was so good!
VERDICT: It was a HIT!!!
Gotta make one again for Filipino Christmas Party.
Cooling the meringue now...
Meringue baking and the rest of the brazo in the freezer right now...
For some reason I was craving for this. And in my head I was toying with the idea of adding almonds to it...then when I went grocery shopping last Monday I impulsively grabbed a box of almond paste aside from sliced almond nuts.
I got the recipe and how-to's for the brazo itself from stef's post on the traditional brazo de mercedes log roll type. But reading the comments, I learned that the latest craze was frozen brazo de mercedes. I thought that would be an easy solution to the usual dilemma of baked meringue/egg-y/custardy goodies (which we are always afraid to be contaminated with Salmonella when out in room temp for a long while), and will allow me as well to prepare it much ahead of time (like when I prepare leche flan -- always best when chilled for at least overnight). That way, I can still make egg pie tomorrow and bring only that as freshly baked and still warm. (My MIL is addicted to my leche flan, my SIL to egg pie. My bilas loves both. I hope this new custard type of dessert will also wow them.) If it turns out superb, I might prepare this for a Filipino Christmas Party I am contemplating on having.
While photos and flavors of such frozen BDM that I saw while researching more about it were of mango flavor, which is definitely not an option for me, I had this persistent idea in my head brewing, which consisted of adding almond paste and sliced almond nuts to the filling, then chopped caramelized sugar sprinkled on top of the meringue...Sounds sinfully good to me...I hope it does turn out good. I used the vanilla because it has been a tested favorite among my family members.
Please take note of wiping the stainless steel mixing bowl with vinegar and salt then rinsing, then wiping dry, prior to placing egg whites in it. And before I started the whole process, I made caramelized sugar first.
Ingredients and How To's:
8 oz crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup melted butter (or 1/2 cup if you want this layer more intact,less crumbly)
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 gallon vanilla ice cream (approximately; I just got thin layers using a pie server to lay on top of the graham base; you may opt to put the whole gallon for a thicker layer)
Mix thoroughly the first 3 ingredients then pack at the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish. Top with thin layer of ice cream. Cover with cling wrap then freeze.
1 box (7-oz) almond paste, grated, sprinkled on top of the ice cream
10 egg yolks (the egg whites should be placed in the mixing bowl and let stand in room temp for about 30 minutes before making the meringue)
1 (14-oz) condensed milk
several drops of lemon extract (to eliminate the fishy smell)
2 capfuls of almond extract
2-oz sliced almonds, sprinkled over the custard filling.
On medium low heat (#3 or 4 on my stove), blend well and continuously stir egg yolks and condensed milk until it sticks to the back of the wooden spoon. It may look still very liquidy at this stage but after removing from the heat, it will continue to cook so keep stirring, add the lemon extract, stir well, then the almond extract.
Spread this on top of the almond paste. Place back in the freezer (The short intervals of having this out of the freezer is to prevent the ice cream from melting too much while you work on it). Proceed with meringue procedure and while baking the meringue, sprinkle the sliced almonds on top of the custard. Place back in the freezer.
10 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
5 tbsp Caramelized sugar, cooled and chopped finely (The melted caramel should be poured onto a buttered baking sheet. Let harden, take off from pan, then chop in a chopper.)
As suggested by stef, since I have stainless steel mixing bowl, I wiped it first with vinegar and salt then rinsed and wiped dry with paper towel before I placed the egg whites in it.
Line the bottom and sides of a jelly roll pan (10 x 15) and spray with oil on all
sides (meringue, I realized, is so sticky!). Preheat oven to 350 deg F.
Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and start beating, low speed first then gradually increasing to highest speed. When soft peaks start to form, pour the sugar gradually and beat until it forms stiff peaks, still glossy. (You have overbeaten if it loses sheen and appears granular. This does not take too long as soon as you start slowly pouring the sugar.) Spread this onto the wax paper and level with spatula. Bake for 20-25 minutes (it inflates so much!!! I felt I had to rotate because one side was way much higher than the other).
Place on a wire rack to cool completely (deflates). Sprinkle some chopped caramelized sugar on top of the meringue then place a sheet of wax paper. Cover with bigger baking sheet and flip over. Peel off the wax paper from the underside of meringue. (I goofed here; did not spray with oil the sides of the wax paper, so it was so hard to peel it off the meringue edges.)
Lift the meringue using the wax paper, folding at the middle a bit so it is easier to place on top of the base/filling. Tuck the edges under. Sprinkle the rest of the chopped caramelized sugar. Place back in the freezer.
To serve: upon getting from the freezer, while still hard, slice with butter knife. Rinse with hot water and wipe knife with every line of slice (or when some custard starts to stick to it). Optional: drizzle with maple syrup.
Will post photo of sliced brazo, then update on how it was accepted by my in-laws and family tomorrow after celebration of Thanksgiving...