POSTRE CHAJA RECIPE: PEACH MERINGUE LAYER CAKE FROM URUGUAY
A friend recently asked me to bake a cake for some friends from Uruguay, suggesting Postre Chaja.
From what I gather, it’s quite a popular dessert in Uruguay. My version of Postre Chajá is made of layers with chiffon, peaches, whipped cream frosting and finished with meringue. It’s very light and the cake layers are just so soft. This would make a perfect summer cake. Well, except the frosting is whipped cream. It would be best to stabilize the cream on warmer days.
For inspiration, I used this recipe from Marian Blazes, which you can find here. But I always tend to use my go-to layer cake recipes which I will share with you. Most of my baking measurements are by weight. I know it’s handier to have a measuring cup, but if you’re seriously considering baking, I suggest that you consider investing on a digital weighing scale for accuracy.
This recipe is broken down into three sections: how to make the chiffon cake, how to make the whipped cream frosting and how to prepare the peach filling and garnish, followed by step by step instructions on how to assemble the cake. When making chiffon cake, it is with the use of oil, as much as I’d rather use melted butter but I’m afraid it won’t be the same – I should try it out and keep you posted.
You’ll need chiffon cake layers or sponge cake layers, 35% whipping/heavy cream, peaches (I used canned peaches), meringue cookies. This makes one 8″x4″ round cake.
All ingredients at room temperature.
Prepare 3 8″ round cake pans, line only the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
You will need your stand mixer and a hand held mixer to foam the eggs. if you have 2 stand mixers (good on you) use those.
- 250g Cake flour
- 200g Sugar
- 6g Salt
- 12g Baking Powder
- 125g Canola Oil (I use canola)
- 125g Egg yolks
- 188g Water
- 6g Vanilla Extract
- 250g Egg whites
- 125g Sugar
- 1g Cream of tartar
- Sift dry ingredients. Place in the bowl of your stand up mixer.
- Using the paddle attachment, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients gradually in a steady stream. Scraping the bottom and the sides to ensure even mixing. Start with the oil, followed by the egg yolks, then water and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth without overmixing. Set aside.
- Make the egg foam: place the egg whites in a clean, grease free bowl. Start to whip the egg whites and add the cream of tartar. Gradually add the sugar until it forms firm but soft peaks, at this stage it should not look dry.
- Working quickly but carefully, deposit the egg white foam into the flour batter and fold egg whites until fully incorporated. Be careful not to deflate the egg whites though.
- Divide the batter into the 3 cake pans. Fill it halfway and bake at 375F / 190C for 20 -25 minutes
- Once baked, let it cool with the pan inverted (upside down). Once cool, run a sharp knife around the edges of the pan to release the cake.
WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING
Chill the bowl of your stand mixer and the whip attachment. Remember that whipped cream does not do well in warm temperatures.
- 2 packages of 473ml 35% whipping/heavy cream, chilled
- 1/4 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
- You can opt to use WhipIt whip cream stabilizer, follow the instructions on the packet, it usually comes in 10g packets. If you’re confident that your whip cream will not run, you don’t have to use it.
- Using the chilled whipped attachment and bowl, pour the heavy cream and confectioners sugar. Mix at slow speed to dissolve the sugar and stabilizer under 30 seconds just so it doesn’t end up blowing all over the place. Then proceed to mix at high speed.
- Continue beating the cream until it reaches stiff peaks.
PEACH FILLING & GARNISH
You will need 1 can of peaches in heavy syrup
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups of pureed canned peaches, use a blender to puree
- 4 – 5 halved peaches, to garnish slice thinly
- Don’t discard the syrup, use it to keep the cake moist later on
For the Meringue Cookies, I used this recipe to make a small batch from Joy of Baking .
PUTTING EVERYTHING TOGETHER
You will need: 10″ cake pad, serrated knife, pastry brush, offset spatula, piping bag with plain round tip.
- Level /Trim your cake using a serrated knife.
- Place the first layer on your 10″ cake pad.
- Add syrup to moisten the cake, use a pastry brush. Dip the pastry brush in the syrup and just dab all over the cake layer – it shouldn’t be drenched with syrup.
- Fill your piping bag (fitted with a round plain tip) with the whipped cream.
- Pipe whip cream to “outline” the cake creating a well so that the peach filling won’t run on the sides of the cake.
- Fill the layer with pureed peach, just enough to create a thin layer. Then pipe whipped cream to cover the layer.
- Place the next cake layer on top, gently press to secure it. Repeat steps 3, 4, 5 and 6.
- Place the last cake layer and again gently press to secure.
- Mask and cover the cake with whipped cream using an offset spatula or just pipe with whichever decorating tip you prefer.
- Garnish with sliced peaches and meringue cookies on the sides of the cake.
- For this cake, I crushed the meringue cookies to give it a more balanced look. But you can decorate to your heart’s content.
Happy baking! 🙂
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