Invented in 1927, Postre Chajá consists of layers of sponge, meringue, whipped cream, apricots and – occasionally - dulce de leche. The meringues and sponge can be prepared ahead, and the assembly is quite straightforward. Instead of the impressive 5cm molds I used you could make it in a 20cm springform tin. —Ginger
Preheat the oven to 140C. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment on which you have drawn the outline of the tin you are going to use.
Beat the 2 egg whites in a clean bowl until they form soft peaks; add 100g sugar, one or two spoonfuls at a time, whisking briskly.
Use a small freezer bag with a corner cut off – or a proper piping bag – and pipe a circle the size you would like the finished product to be, and then fill the inside up until they reach the required height. Make two or 3 extra ones as you will need meringue crumbs to decorate the top.
Put the tray in the middle of the oven and bake for 1 hour. Switch off the oven and let them dry until they are fully dry, or overnight.
Grease the bottom of the cake tins and line the sides with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 180C.
Using an electric mixer, beat 3 egg whites until they begin to thicken, then add 40g of the sugar and keep beating until they are beginning to form soft peaks.
In a separate bowl, beat the 3 yolks with 50g sugar and 3 tsp vanilla sugar until pale. Add the egg whites and sift over the flour and cornflour, using a spatula or a wooden spoon to fold in.
Spread the mixture evenly in your cake tins and bake for 20 minutes. Use a toothpick to check if they are ready: it should come out clean or with little crumbs. Leave to cool before turning on to a wire rack.
Cut the apricots into thin wedges. Put them into a sieve on top of a bowl, sugar them a little and collect the juices.
Whip the cream until it begins to thicken, then add 2 tsp vanilla sugar and beat until it forms soft peaks.
Make a syrup by bringing 200ml water with 150g sugar to boil, stirring it until the sugar is fully dissolved. Leave to cool and add the apricot juices.
Assemble the cakes as follows:
1 Soak one layer of sponge in half the syrup.
2 Spread the dulce de leche on the sponge, before you
3 top it with the layer of meringue.
4 Spread the sliced apricots and half the whipped cream on it, then
5 add the second layer of sponge, soaked in the rest of the syrup.
6 Cover the cake with the rest of the whipped cream, followed by
7 meringue crumbs, sprinkled over the cream.
8 Decorate with the remaining apricot slices