Uruguay’s Version of a Peach Layer Cake (postre chajá)

Uruguays Version einer Pfirsichtorte (postre chajá)

It’s time for a peach layer cake, one from my country of origin Uruguay. This cake was actually invented in my home town Paysandú. Postre chajá is a peach layer cake that is named after a bird called chajá (in English it is called southern screamer, the Spanish tries to imitate the loud screams it produces). Below you see a picture of this bird. Why the cake got this name and why it is extremely delicious, I will explain in this blog entry.

The bird called chajá as is common in Uruguay

Apparently this peach layer cake was invented in the 20s by the Uruguayan pastry cook Orlando Castellano, who happened to live and work in Paysandú, the town I was born in. He was inspired by the bird chajá with its thick plumage as can be found in this hilly countryside with meandering rivers and great pastures. If you have a look at the cake, you will see some resemblance of the plumage, feathers are not only represented by the peache slices, but also the meringue and whipping cream.

Uruguays Version einer Pfirsichtorte (postre chajá) The components of the cake are a very fluffy and light sponge cake, whipping cream, peaches, dulce de leche (this is caramel made of sweetened evaporated milk) and meringue. The meringue is crushed and put around the edges, the peaches are draped in a fan-like arrangement to resemble the feathers of the bird. In case you have been following my blog for a while, you may remember a very similar cake from another country. Yes, you also have a sponge cake, fruits, whipping cream, and meringue. Maybe the Eton Mess Cake rings a bell. This is a cake from the UK, which I also introduced here. The only difference is that the Eton Mess is traditionally served with berries instead of peaches and that you will not find any dulce the leche. Well, what can I say, dulce de leche is THE Nutella of Latin America, so obviously it did have to be part of this cake.

Uruguays Version einer Pfirsichtorte (postre chajá)Dulce de leche can easily be prepared at home, I added the “recipe” below. You may want to start with the dulce de leche prior to making this cake. Yes, this cake is a lot of work, I won’t lie, but many components can be prepared in advance. I just like the fact that this cake tastes so much like summer. I actually prepared this cake with canned peaches, just to see if this was possible, and I am pleased to report that it tastes wonderful. Just to tell you a secret, my hubby indulged in half a cake in one day, so this tells you how good the cake actually is. I hope that you also think it is worth the effort and that you enjoy it just as much. To Paysandú and a little summer on your plate!

Uruguays Version einer Pfirsichtorte (postre chajá)

Peach Layer Cake from Uruguay (postre chajá)

Print Recipe
Serves: One 24 cm ∅ springform Cooking Time: 1 1/2hrs preparation + 75 min of baking

Ingredients

  • Tip: Start with the dulce de leche as described below as part of the filling

  • Sponge Cake
  • 5 eggs, size L at room temperature, important, eggs have to be at room temperature
  • 100 grams of white sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 75 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 30 grams of cornstarch
  • A pinch of baking powder

  • Meringue
  • 1 egg white at room temperature
  • 50 grams of white sugar

  • Filling
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk or grams of dulce de leche
  • 500 grams/milliliters of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, see here how to make your own
  • About 500-600 grams sliced peaches (you can use canned, be sure to keep the juice)

  • Glaze
  • 50 milliliters of peach juice or passion fruit juice
  • 1 teaspoon of cornstarch

Instructions

1

For the sponge cake preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius and prepare either one or two 24cm/9 inch cake pan(s). Line bottom with parchment paper and grease the sides.

2

Then divide the eggs into egg white and egg yolks. Use a bigger bowl for the egg yolks. If you have a glass or metal bowl, use that one for the egg whites. Be sure that bowl is free of fat/grease and that your mixer was properly cleaned. Now beat the egg yolks with the sugar. Beat until the color becomes much paler and you have a creamy consistency. This usually takes several minutes.

3

Clean your mixer thoroughly and beat the egg whites on medium speed with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

4

Gently pour the egg whites on top of the mixed egg yolks and sift the flour, cornstarch and baking powder on top. Don't skip this step. It is important that the flour mix was sifted. Gently mix all ingredients with a wooden spoon. Try to incorperate the flour mix and egg whites without losing volume. Don't overmix.

5

Using a spoon, put batter on the prepared cake pans and immediately bake. Don't let the batter sit for too long as it will quickly lose volume. Bake for 30 minutes if using one springform or 20 minutes if using two. Let cool a little before gently getting them out of the form. Tip: if making the day before, wrap in cling wrap, it is much easier to cut in half once cold.

6

For the meringue beat egg white until soft peaks form, add pinch of salt and continue beating on high while adding the sugar. Beat for at least three more minutes until glossy and shiny. Pipe small stars or other shapes with the meringue on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Dry for about 45min at 100 degrees Celsius in the oven. Keep in airtight container until further use.

7

For the filling first prepare the dulce de leche by covering the can fully with boiling water for two and a half hours. If the water evaporates, add more boiling water, the can should be covered in water the entire time. Only open can once fully cooled. Or just buy dulce de leche, if it is offered in your country.

8

Then beat heavy cream and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form, slice peaches. Slice cake in four parts, this is much easier done once the cake layers are cold. Pipe thin layer of whipped cream around the edges, place the peach slices in the middle on first layer on cake, on the second layer only spread the dulce de leche. Repeat layer with whipped cream and peaches for the third and final layer. Be sure to reserve enough peach slices for the top. Spread thin layer of whipped cream on the sides of the cake and pipe on some roses around the edges if desired. Heat the peach juice and mix the cornstarch with a bit of water until you see no lumps. Once juice is hot, add the cornstarch and stir until glaze thickenes. Pour over peaches of the top layer cake. Crush the meringue and pat around the sides. Serve immediately.

Notes

You can assemble the cake fully and leave it in the fridge overnight. However, only pat on the meringue shortly before servig as otherwise the meringue will soften quickly.

Uruguays Version einer Pfirsichtorte (postre chajá)

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    cookingCatrin
    Wednesday September 5th, 2018 at 10:39 PM

    Ein absolutes Traumtörtchen <3 Der Hit sind ja die Baiser außen!

    Jedenfalls muss ich hier jetzt öfter vorbeischauen!

    Lasse dir liebe Grüße aus dem Süden da,
    Catrin von https://www.cookingcatrin.at/

    • Reply
      Jenny
      Wednesday September 5th, 2018 at 11:13 PM

      Danke Catrin, schau gern öfter vorbei!

  • Reply
    Julie
    Thursday September 6th, 2018 at 10:48 AM

    Wow, die Torte sind toll aus! Richtig professionell!
    Ich bewundere das sehr! Ich hätte dafür keine Geduld. Bei mir muss immer alles schnell gehen. Und backen mag ich noch weniger als kochen. 😀
    Liebe Grüße
    Julie von julie-en-voyage.com

    • Reply
      Jenny
      Thursday September 6th, 2018 at 10:49 AM

      Liebe Julie, ich weiß, dauert alles seine Zeit, aber man kann auch viele Dinge im Voraus vorbereiten.

  • Reply
    Henrik
    Thursday September 6th, 2018 at 05:09 PM

    Die Torte sieht wahnsinnig lecker auch für mich als Backmuffel etwas aufwendig aus. Als Kind habe ich gerne Obstboden gebacken (den Teig natürlich auch selber) und mit Pfirsichspalten belegt. Hach, da kommen Kindheitserinnerungen hoch 😀
    Aber die Pfirsische zwischen den Teigschichten sind schon ein Clou 😉

    Besten Gruß
    Henrik von Fernweh-Koch
    Fernweh-Koch bei Pinterest

    • Reply
      Jenny
      Thursday September 6th, 2018 at 06:39 PM

      Ich verstehe schon, dass es wahrscheinlich zu viel Aufwand ist, aber vielleicht kannst du deine Obsttorte aus Kindertagen noch mit etwas dulce de leche verfeinern?

  • Reply
    Claudia
    Thursday September 6th, 2018 at 09:45 PM

    Die Torte sieht zum Reinbeissen aus 😍. Und danke für den Einblick in die uruguaische ( sagt man das so?) Tierwelt. Habe ich sehr gerne gelesen. Liebe Grüße Claudia

    • Reply
      Jenny
      Thursday September 6th, 2018 at 10:17 PM

      Fast richtig, uruguayisch 😉

  • Reply
    Natascha
    Thursday September 6th, 2018 at 10:11 PM

    Ein absolutes Träumchen, dieses Rezept. Ich weiß, dass es mein Mann lieben wird, weswegen ich es mir direkt abgespeichert habe.

    Gruss
    Natascha

    • Reply
      Jenny
      Thursday September 6th, 2018 at 10:17 PM

      Das klingt super, gib gerne Bescheid, wenn du sie bäckst, falls du Rat brauchst.

  • Reply
    Bea
    Friday September 7th, 2018 at 10:24 AM

    Hey Jenny,

    da hast du ja mal wieder was tolles gezaubert. Echt toll. Ich habe so angefangen deinen Beitrag zu lesen und bin etwas traurig geworden, denn ich bin dummerweise seit diesem Jahr allergisch gegen frische Pfirsiche, Nektarinen und Aprikosen. Aber dann habe ich gelesen, dass man verarbeitete nehmen kann und die Welt war wieder in Ordnung.
    Eigentlich bin ich auch ein Fan von einfachen Kuchen und Torten, aber manchmal darf es auch aufwendiger sein. Echt schönes Rezept und mit dem Wissen, dass es aus deiner Geburtsstadt kommt ist es noch toller. Danke!

    Liebe Grüße
    Bea

    • Reply
      Jenny
      Friday September 7th, 2018 at 10:55 AM

      Da bin ich ja froh, dass du Pfirsiche aus der Dose essen kannst! Ja, ist aufwändig, aber ich finde, sie ist den Aufwand wert.

  • Reply
    Henrik
    Friday September 7th, 2018 at 10:51 AM

    Das mit der Dulce de Lece ist eine gute Idee 🙂

  • Reply
    Natalie
    Saturday September 8th, 2018 at 12:06 PM

    This cake looks so delicious! I love peach desserts!

    • Reply
      Jenny
      Saturday September 8th, 2018 at 12:08 PM

      Happy to hear that! Let me know if you make it!

  • Reply
    Michelle | The Road Most Traveled
    Sunday September 9th, 2018 at 06:17 PM

    Hmm, da läuft einem das Wasser im Mund zusammen.
    Ich liebe Obst-Kuchen und dieser klingt einfach und mega lecker!
    Wird abgespeichert:)

    Ganz liebe Grüße,
    Michelle

    • Reply
      Jenny
      Sunday September 9th, 2018 at 08:03 PM

      Ganz lieben Dank, gib gerne Bescheid, wenn du sie bäckst!

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