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Prep 24 hrs
Cook 15 mins
Entered for safe-keeping for ZWT; this is an adaptation of several recipes. "Bien Me Sabe" translates as "Tastes Good To Me", and there are regional variations across Spanish-speaking countries. This is a traditional (very sweet) dessert in Venezuela. I would describe this as similar to Tiramisu, but the Venezuelan Bien Me Sabe typically has a distinctive meringue topping. As a make-ahead alternative, bake individual meringues (using pastry bag with tip) on parchment paper and place on refrigerated cake mixture just before serving.
COCONUT CREAM FILLING
- 8 ounces evaporated milk
- 6 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 (8 1/2 ounce) cans Coco Lopez (cream of coconut)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 24 ladyfingers or 1⁄4 lb sponge cakes or 1 lb poundcake
- 4 tablespoons brandy or 4 tablespoons rum
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 cup frozen coconut, thawed
- ground cinnamon (for garnish)
- 6 egg whites
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- MAKE COCONUT CREAM FILLING:.
- Mix milk, yolks, and sugar in a saucepan and heat until mixture starts to thicken.
- Add Coco López and corn starch and continue to cook until the cream is thick and smooth.
- Cool to room temperature.
- CUT CAKE PIECES:.
- If using ladyfingers, go to next step.
- If using sponge cake or pound cake, cut the cake into slices 1/2-inch thick.
- PREPARE BRANDY AND COCONUT:.
- Mix brandy with sugar and water.
- LAYER CAKE (at least 2 layers):.
- Cover bottom of 13 X 9 glass baking dish with some of the coconut cream filling, and layer ladyfingers or cake slices to cover.
- Pour some brandy/sugar/water over cake layer. Sprinkle a little ground cinnamon on top, then some coconut.
- Repeat in layers.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- PREPARE MERINGUE WHEN READY TO SERVE:.
- Preheat broiler.
- In a large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy.
- Beat in 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablesoon at a time.
- Beat in vanilla extract with the last tablespoon of sugar.
- Continue beating until egg whites hold a soft peak.
- Top the Bien Me Sabe with the meringue, sprinkle on a little cinnamon and coconut, and broil it a few seconds or 1 minute until the meringue is golden brown. (A culinary torch could be used instead of the broiler.).