Chile has a popular dessert called “Torta de Merengue” or “Chilean Meringue Cake.” This dessert is a classic and beloved part of special occasions and celebrations.
The Chilean Meringue Cake is a delightful combination of textures and flavors, with the sweet and airy meringue balancing the fruity or creamy filling and the moist cake layers. It’s a favorite dessert in Chile for birthdays, weddings, and other festive occasions.
Here’s what you can expect from a Chilean Meringue Cake:
Cake Base: A Chilean Meringue Cake is typically a layer of baked meringue, similar to pavlova, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Filling: Common fillings are fruit preserves like raspberry, strawberry jam, or Lucuma. Some versions may include a layer of dulce de leche or pastry cream for added richness and flavor. Fresh fruit filling with chantilly cream, too, is widespread.
Decoration: Chantilly cream mixed with fruit or not is the most common topping. It is often beautifully piped, giving the cake an elegant and visually appealing appearance. Bakers may use various techniques to create intricate designs.
The meringue cake is one of the classic cakes in Chile with a thousand leaves or Mil Hojas, thin layer cakes, Tres Leches, and the orange cake. With its different filling options: meringue-lucuma, meringue-raspberry, meringue-strawberry, meringue-chestnut, and the possibility of buying it or making it at home, it is popular on many birthdays.
Why is meringue cake sold frozen?
The meringue absorbs moisture and loses crispness very quickly. One way to preserve and avoid this is to keep the cake frozen. Keeping the cake frozen is especially important if you live in a humid climate: you must make the meringues on a dry day without rain, and as soon as they are cold, fill the cake, decorate it, and keep it frozen. Move it into the refrigerator 2 hours before serving.
What fillings are popular?
Raspberry is a classic. You can also add mango jam or lemon curd.
Lucuma is popular too, a traditional fruit.
Generally, any fresh fruit: mango, kiwi, strawberries, peaches, not overly ripe works well, and any fruit puree: lucuma or chestnut. Jams are also common.
How do I store the meringue cake?
I recommend keeping it frozen for up to 3 months.
How to achieve a firm whipped cream?
There are three fundamental factors: the cream, the bowl, and the blades must be cold. The cream’s fat percentage must be at least 36%, that is, 36 grams of fat per 100 grams of liquid cream. Lower fat creams are not as stable. Mix at high speed. Other factors, such as adding the sugar initially or later, are not critical.
How do you separate yolks and whites?
Eggs are easier to separate when cold, so you can put them in the fridge for a couple of hours and then separate them. I recommend cracking the egg on the flat counter, not the counter’s edge or bowl. The rest is practice.
What are the different types of meringue, and when to use them?
French: the most common and straightforward. Beat the egg whites until foamy, add the sugar gradually, and beat everything until the meringue is white and silky. It is less stable, but the one with more air—is ideal for souffles.
Italian: it is the most stable. It is made by adding hot sugar syrup to the egg whites while beating.
Swiss: It is made by heating the egg whites and sugar and whisking until cool. Here, you can see the method in detail—the best for decorating pies.
What is the standard egg size in pastry?
Recipes in the US are written for large eggs, which weigh about 65 grams in the shell.
Without shell: 50 grams: 35 grams the egg white, 15 grams the yolk.
With what knife do I cut the cake?
It is better to use a serrated knife. It crumbles less.Print
For the meringues,
- 6 egg whites, it is better if they are a little dehydrated, so use eggs 1 week old and separate the whites from the yolks the day before. Refrigerate.
- 1 cup granulated sugar, plus 5 tablespoons
- 1 pinch of salt
For the raspberry whipped cream,
- 1 liter of liquid cream (heavy cream)
- 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
To assemble the cake,
- 2 cups of raspberries, washed and dried with paper towels or other fruit
- 3 discs of meringue cold
- 1 cup raspberry preserves or another flavor you like
- sweetened whipped cream
For the meringues,
Prepare three circles of parchment paper or silicone, 20 cm in diameter, leaving a flap peel, or use Silpats. Preheat the oven to 200F or 100C.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites on medium speed until frothy and soft peaks appear, and if you flip, the bowl will not slip. With a mixer on low speed, add sugar as rain and salt. Continue beating at high speed for 7 minutes. It should look glossy and hold hard picks.
Divide the batter into three parts and spread onto the paper discs, or if you prefer, place the meringue into a pastry bag top with a large tip and make it piped from the outside to the center on top of the parchment circles.
Bake for 1 hour and a half. The meringue should feel solid to the touch and dry. Allow cooling in the oven.
For the sweetened whipped cream,
Chill the bowl and the beater blades for 10 min in the freezer. The cream should be icy too.
Beat at medium speed until it doubles in size and forms soft peaks. Add the sugar, taste, and add more sugar if you want. Continue beating at high speed until it is firm, about 2 minutes more.
To assemble the cake,
Place a dollop of whipped cream on the plate where you will assemble the cake. Place a meringue disk and cover it with half of the jam.
Add the whipped cream and then the raspberries or other fruit. Top with another meringue disc and repeat. Complete with 3rd meringue disc and cover the entire cake with whipped cream garnish. Freeze.
To serve, move to the refrigerator about 2 hours before serving time.
- Prep Time: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Cakes
- Method: Oven-baked
- Cuisine: Chilean
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 418
- Sugar: 36.4 g
- Sodium: 195.3 mg
- Fat: 26.3 g
- Saturated Fat: 16.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 42.5 g
- Fiber: 0.7 g
- Protein: 4.3 g
Keywords: Meringue cake, chilean cake