Cakes

Postre Chaja (Chaja Cake)

Today’s destination: Uruguay! And we better go straight to their most popular dessert – Postre Chaja or Chaja Cake. 🙂

You probably have already seen this most famous cake from Uruguay. Maybe you just didn’t know what it was. The truth is, the cake itself is not so unusual. It comes with delicious layers of sponge cake, meringue, whipped cream as well as peaches.

This gorgeous cake was invented by Orlando Castellano, the owner of a pastry shop known as Las Familias. Now, if you are wondering where the name came from, it actually came from a bird. The chaja can be regarded as the emblem of the Southern Cone – the southernmost zone of the South American continent.

So what does it have anything to do with the cake? Well, just like the bird, the cake is massive in appearance, but it is light to the taste. You can eat a huge slice without feeling heavy. It is super light and smooth, thanks to the whipped cream and thin layers of the sponge cake, not to mention the meringues.

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Postre Chaja (Chaja Cake)


  • Author: Myles
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours + chill time
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings 1x

Description

This luscious cake is an icon of Uruguay cuisine. It is super delicious, light, and smooth. It consists of meringue, sponge cake, whipped cream, and peach syrup.


Scale

Ingredients

Meringue:

4 egg whites

1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

1 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Pinch of salt

Cake:

1 box angel food cake mix

Peaches and peach syrup:

7 peaches

1 c. sugar

1 c. water

1 tsp. vanilla

2 tbsp. rum or peach-flavored vodka (optional)

Pinch of salt

Whipped cream frosting:

2 c. heavy whipping cream

2 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Pinch of salt


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Meringue:

  1. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form.
  2. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until the peaks are very stiff. Once sugar is dissolved, add vanilla and a pinch of salt.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a small pastry bag, pipe small dollops of meringue onto the parchment paper.
  4. Bake meringue pieces for about 1 1/2 hour or until they are dry and crispy. Set aside in an airtight container or the oven until ready to use.
  5. Prepare angel food cake in two 9-inch cake pans and bake. Cool completely in pans before removing.
  6. Peel and slice peaches and place in a strainer. Toss with 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar. Let rest for about 20 minutes. Reserve the juice that drains into the bowl.
  7. Add 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, and reserved peach juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool before stirring in vanilla, pinch of salt, and rum or vodka (if adding).
  8. Stir 2 tbsp. of sugar into the whipping cream and whip until medium-stiff peaks form.
  9. Add vanilla into the whipped cream and put in the fridge until ready to use.
  10. Assemble the cake by flipping sponge cakes upside down. Brush each cake with a generous amount of peach syrup.
  11. Place one cake layer (right side up) on a serving platter. Spread some whipped cream over it. Crumble some of the meringue pieces and sprinkle about 1/2 cup over the whipped cream.
  12. Add a layer of peach slices then top with the second cake layer.
  13. Spread whipped cream on top as well as on the sides of the cake. Press meringue crumbs into the side of the cake.
  14. Decorate the top with peach slices, whipped cream, pieces of meringue.

Notes

  • Chill the cake before slicing and serving.

There you go with a delicious treat from Uruguay. Share it with your friends and family and enjoy every bit of it!