Super-light Berry Meringue Cakes {revisited}

Before I get into my regular ramblings about…things…and stuff (of which are important and specific, evidently),

I have just found out that I am a finalist in the Saveur 2013 Best Food Blog Awards for the Category of Baking and Desserts

(haha, well of course, if it was gunna happen, it would be the baking one…).

and by found out I mean I totally stalked the page for about 6 hours to see if I’d got through or not… (time differences are a little bit of a pain)

so now I am totally freaking out.

It would mean the WORLD to me if you would just click here to get to Saveur’s site and vote for Top With Cinnamon!!

(p.s. voting ends on the 19th of April – i.e. next Friday) 

I’ve never won an award before…(well apart from that one time I came second in a potato and spoon race – yep, not egg and spoon..potato and spoon – but that’s a story for another day) and I never thought I’d get through to the finalists .

so if you do decide that my 17-year-old baking antics and foodporn .gifs deserve your vote then

THANK YOU!!!! LOVE YOU MUCHO :)

update: el voting period is over now! Thanks so much if you voted :)

now back to our regularly scheduled post, yes?

(p.s. I totally fell in love with about 99% of the photos I took. I usually take about 200 photos {No i’m not even kidding}, and this time was no exception, so be prepared for a lot of cake photos okay? :) )

 

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Test: Can you remember me making this recipe?

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This really is a test of who is a long-time TWC reader,

Even I admit that I wasn’t sure whether or not I had actually posted the recipe (I had, it was back in the day when I didn’t own a DSLR – aka pre- Jan 2012… yeah I know, its only been a year since I got one, and I’m still learnin the ways of photography)

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But if you did remember that post, WELL DONE YOU (I can’t really give you anything..apart from a cyber high five..)

but guys look, more layering (we already know about me and my layer-y ways, okay)

cakelayeringgif1

 

purple nails!

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But you know why I love layering so much? It gives you OPTIONS!

  • This is a total make-it-your-own recipe: you just need to stick to the basic cake and meringue recipes but because there are 4 super simple components to the recipe, there is a HUGE amount you can change with this recipe
  • The cake: I like to keep it simple with vanilla. But you can replace 2 tbsp of the flour with cocoa powder for a chocolate cake, add extracts (almond is super good), fruit zest (HELLO LEMON), poppy seeds, some espresso powder dissolved in a little hot water, add spices (ginger, cinnamon, cardamom…). Whatever dude!
  • The meringue: I swirled food colouring into mine to keep it simple but pretty – you could also fold in powdered, freeze dried fruit, sprinkle on cacao nibs or chopped nuts, again add cocoa or spices. Or just leave it plain!
  • The toppings: I add a creamy component (sometimes whipped cream, or just greek yogurt when I’m feeling less indulgent, haha) you could also use creme fraiche, coconut cream or serve it with ice cream! 😉 You can also swirl whatever you want into that. Use fruity yogurt, or mix in compote, spices, cocoa, extracts, coffee…
  • Then I layer on fruits: I use berries during the summer, but I can totally imagine using passion fruit, pineapple and mango, or sliced apples or pears, maybe even blood organges (I’d skip the creamy component then..)
  • Other toppings: I also garnished mine with flaked coconut (that I finally found at Whole Foods, WOOH), but you could go for flaked almonds, chopped pistachios, chocolate chips, citrus zest, lavendar, candied ginger.

Or even

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Top With Cinnamon

hah

oh man

that just wont get old will it?

 :’)

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lastly (yeah you thought I was finished didn’t you, no siree, I told you there were reasons for the layering-love and options. They’re totally my thang):

Serving it: I usually just leave it as a huge sheet cake, layered up and just cut it into squares/diamonds/rectangles and serve it like that, as needed. But for the aesthetics this time (what else would I do it for tbh) I used a large pastry ring to cut out circles, then layered them individually. The individual circles are good for if you want to make it look fancier, but the square (or diamond or rectangle) way is so much easier and quicker.

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Plus bonus points: I know there’s a heck tonne of sugar in this recipe, but there ‘aint no butter or oil, so it’s ridiculously airy and fluffy, like eating a cloud cake (yet still satisfying from all ye sugar and fruit). So if you’re craving a nice, liiiight, cool and fresh cake to fulfill those sweet cravings that summer brings, this be the cake for ya!

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Phew

Okay so now I’ve got all of those details of the recipe out the way.

Lets talk about those important things, yes? Me and my weirdo fails.

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That’s fun isn’t it. If you’re a new reader, then you can get to know me, and if you’ve been a TWC-er for a while, this will just be regular reading material for you, ha.

  1. I can’t open letters. I try. I tear at the edge. I end up with an envelope that looks like it was just attacked by a..well a 5 year old
  2. I have to clear plates away individually. I can’t deal with stacking plates. It grosses me out. totally.
  3. No matter what I do, my hair, when freshly washed, expands to about double the regular volume. I’m all ‘YOU’RE NOT COMPRESSED AIR. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!’ and my hair’s all ‘whatever. Frizz.’
  4. Autocorrect. is. the. bane. of. my. life. No, autocorrect, just because I typed HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH, one time, doesn’t mean that every time I type haha, that I want to repeat the enthusiasm that I used that single time. okay?
  5. Ambiguously labelled push/pull doors scare me. So much potential embarrassment posed by such an everyday thing. Why is there no label on the door. Whyyyyyyyyy?
  6. When getting onto a crowded bus, I’d kiiiind of rather stay downstairs and be crushed, rather than do the oh-so-awkward ‘walk up the stairs, and have everyone stare at you whilst you see that no, there are no seats left and have to do the slothy retreat and walk back down the stairs…’
  7. I still sometimes have to make an L shape with my hand to remember left and right.
  8. I do the thing where, when I only know partial lyrics, I will sing those parts…and then kinda mumble / bob my head around for the rest of the song because it’s too awkward to just abandon ship once you start singing when your friend’s there.
  9. When I’m put in pressured situations, I go bright red. I’m not even talking like ‘ha, aww her cheeks are flushing’. I mean red. AND it’s worse because I can actually FEEL it happening. I can feel my face getting hotter than freakin Vesuvius, and there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it.
  10. Tweeting isn’t a spontaneous thing for me. I’m not one of those witty one liner people who just effortlessly find words to speak. It can take me like 10 minutes to compose my tweet. *sigh* I don’t even know what my life is.

 

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Notes:

– Don’t be intimidated by the recipe, it’s super easy. Most of the ingredients are repeated, and the methods are pretty basic (not acidic at all..hahah science jokes. sorry.)

– The meringue-topped cake, once baked, can be wrapped up in plastic wrap and kept at room temp. for about 3 days before you need to serve it up (just don’t layer on the toppings until you’re ready to serve the cake or else it goes soggy)

– You have free reign with variations! Check the list abooooove to see the my tips/ideas (I’ve included some of them in the recipe below)

– You totally don’t have to put the colour swirl into the meringue. I only just added it this time cos it be prettay!

Super-light Berry Meringue Cakes {revisited}
For the cake layer:
4 eggs, separated
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1 cup (120g) cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
For the meringue layer;
3 egg whites
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
red/pink food colouring (optional)
For the toppings:
Fruits: I used raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. You can use any fruits you want!
Other: I sprinkled on some flaked coconut, but you could also use flaked almonds, chopped pecans or pistachios
Creamy things (you can sweeten them with sugar or liquid stevia, to taste)
1/2 cup plain yogurt + 1 cup of greek yogurt + 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste/extract
or 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped + 3/4 cup greek yogurt + 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste/extract
or 1 cup heavy cream, whipped + 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
For the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C), grease a large rimmed cookie sheet, line with baking paper, then grease the paper.

Whisk the egg whites, gradually adding in half the sugar until you get stiff peaks.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and rest of the sugar until thick and pale.

Add the egg whites and rest of the cake ingredients to the bowl with the egg yolks and fold together gently until fully combined.

Pour into the lined baking sheet, spread out evenly and bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the meringue:

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites, gradually adding the sugar until you get stiff peaks. Whisk in the vanilla extract.

Spread onto the cooked cake evenly. To add a swirl of colour, dip the end of a chopstick into the food colouring and swirl into the meringue. Repeat the dipping and swirling until you're happy with the pattern.

Turn the oven allll the way down to 230 F (110 C) and bake for an hour until the meringue is dry and crisp on the outside.

Let it cool.

Once ready to serve either layer on the toppings, then cut into squares/diamonds/rectangles and serve or use a pastry ring or cookie cutter to cut out circles and then layer them up individually.

http://www.topwithcinnamon.com/2013/04/saveur-best-food-blog-awards-and-super-light-berry-meringue-cakes-revisited.html

Comments

  1. says

    Congratulations – I’m heading off to vote for you right now. You have no idea how talented you are for only 17, you really deserve it!

  2. Karen says

    Congratulations!!! I’m so happy for you to get to this point at only 17. You’re amazing! I’m off to vote for you now.

  3. says

    Hahaha you are amazing. This is indeed a GORGEOUS post (I felt the exact same way about taking 200 photos and falling in love with twenty too many of them)–I think I these on IG and just wanted to nom them! Also: this was so.entertaining. I have the same problem with that stupid HAHAHAHAHA autocorrect problem–like really? Stop. It’s so embarrassing when I don’t catch it in time before pressing send and then I have to be like ‘wait you’re not actually that funny/I’m not actually manic.’

    Anyhoo. CONGRATS ON THE AWARD OMG!!! SO EXCITING. GOING TO VOTE FOR YOU. You’re up against some amazing bloggers; so exciting to know that you’re one of them!

    • says

      hahaha thanks Erika! it’s so annoying isn’t it!?

      THANK YOU!!!! 😀 oh god i know, I seriously can’t compete with them, but I’m trying.. :/

  4. Kim C. says

    Congratulations!!! I voted for you!!! 😀 So many lovely photos of the Berry Merinque Cakes, they look delicious!! And can I tell you that I know how you feel and I am completely 100% the same way in the fact that my whole face turns bright red (and I have red hair, which doesn’t help with the look) and have no choice but to do an impression of a tomato until I’m able to relax. It’s horrible and there should definitely be some kind of medicine to fix it. Congratulations again, I HOPE you WIN because you do deserve it!! And I Love your nail polish, my favorite color! 😀

  5. says

    hahahahahahahhahhahahahhah basic NOT acidic, A level chem, Oh Izy you crack me up every time!!
    Lovely recipe btw and phenomenal achievement, i take my hat off to you hun x x x

    • says

      WOOH thanks Karen!! :))
      haha I know! I’ve had the same nail polish on for about a week now, I need to paint them again today 😀 x

  6. says

    Omg! You have made me laugh sooo hard! I turn beet red too when placed in high pressure situations, it sucks because you can feel it happening and then I always try to calm myself down, and it just makes it worse because now I’ve stopped paying attention to what’s going on :/ check out my blog! I really love yours!

  7. says

    Yaaaayyy!! SO psyched to see you in the Baking & Desserts finalists!! I think this goes without saying, but VOTE IMMEDIATELY CAST. Weeeeee!!!! 😀

    These cakes sounds so delicious and look so adorable. Angel food cake is my most favorite kind of cake, so I am totally on board with any cake that’s light and airy and made mostly of sugar. Especially when it’s topped with berries and cream. THE BEST.

    And omg, DOORS. I have such problems. I always manage to choose the wrong end to push from when it’s one of those doors that just has a big long bar running across it instead of an actual knob. One of my worst door mishaps occurred last year, when I stopped by a local pizza place around 10am to ask them if I could just buy one of their boxes (to use for a pizza I was making/transporting later). Their door is kind of old and weird, with one of those latches that you press with your thumb, and I just could NOT get it open. I fiddled with it, pushed, fiddled some more. Nothing. Then I had one of those moments where I just awkwardly stood there for like 15 seconds, trying to decide what I should do. Then the guy who had been behind the counter witnessing this came over and opened the door for me so I could sheepishly stroll in. He gave me the box for free, probably because my face was an extraordinary shade of red. (:

    • says

      YAY thanks SO MUCH CAREY! :)))) and thanks for sharing it on your facebook page!

      hah exactemundo! They’re awesome.

      You always have the best stories ahahahah, wisdom teeth, pretzels and now this :’)
      Trying to open doors and failing is SO AWKWARD especially when you’re in a high speed/ dense crowd with a line of people that just builds up behind you whilst you try to open the door…(it happens to me at school ALL the time).

  8. says

    Congratulations!!! Great job Izy! I’ll have to sign up and cast my vote, but it’s just so awesome that you’re up there among the rest! And I am in love with these latest photos. I was wondering what they were when you were posting them on Instagram, question answered. Love the berries – they put me in a spring-y mood.

    And I do the same thing with song lyrics. I’m the total laughingstock of all my friends, hahaha.

    • says

      Yay thanks Linda!!
      haha, I always seem to do this instagram teasing thing (not really intentionally) because I usually make things at least a week in advance :) Thank you!! I know, I was feeling summery (despite the snow and grey skies here :/ )

      same here, its super awkward, but I continue to do it all the time :)

  9. perber18 says

    congrats!!! just voted for you..you totally deserve it :) these pics are breathtaking!!! seriously gorgeous! good luck!!

  10. says

    I’ve been looking forward to this post ever since you instagrammed these! So gorgeous, I can’t blame you at all for going nuts with the photos. Congrats again on the nomination, you so deserve it!

  11. says

    You are amazing Izy, I hope you winn, you deserve it!
    After reading this post, I am happy to find out the I am not the only person whose face looks like a tomato in stressful situations :)

    • says

      thanks Kankana! :) haha that’s why I stick to desserts, its easier to make things look pretty when there’s berries and cake involved 😉

  12. says

    congrats! i just voted for u too! your blog surely deserves it! i love layering too because every dessert should have its only look and personality!

  13. says

    Heyy girl–you’d better win that stuff. Snap! I’m breaking out my sassiness for you. HAHAHAHAHA. Sorry. Autocorrect fail. :)

  14. says

    YAYYYYY!!!! Congratulations my friend!!! I am sooo very happy and excited for you!! I voted for you immediately upon seeing you listed (of course) and am completely blown away by the beauty of these cakes and photos. I love tiny individual-sized desserts, they just seem even more special and dainty than regular-sized ones :) The berries look just stunning, too. A beautiful post.

  15. says

    Izy, came across your blog from Ibbs of ‘the lobster and me’ your writing is incredible and I’m still trying to get over the fact that you’re seventeen. You made me laugh about five times in that post and I LOVE the cake recipe. Will be perfect for my boyfriends birthday this weekend.
    Katie <3

  16. says

    Sometimes I seriously feel like I know you, like when you talk about how you can’t open envelopes to save your life. That is LITERALLY me; I seriously make them look like a dog chewed them up and I think I’ve even ripped the contents inside before. And also, I’m pretty sure I’ve just resigned myself to the fact that Twitter and I will never be best friends. :(
    Your cakes look lovely as always!

  17. says

    I just came across your website from the Saveur Awards thing and I just wanted to say that 1. that cake looks delicious and I want to make it – soon!- and 2. I feel like I can relate to every single one of those fails. Glad to know I’m not alone out there, haha. 😉

  18. says

    Your blog is freaking amazing!! You are seriously so incredibly talented. Please teach me your skills! Congrats on the nomination by the way, that’s huge. I have a question if you don’t mind me asking, how do you get the vintage look in your photos, like that light and airy look? Do you use photoshop or lightroom? I use photoshop and I can’t figure out how to get this amazing look… I mean I know none of my photos could ever look as awesome as yours but I’d love to figure out how to do that. Thanks! Keep up the awesome blog and gorgeous photography!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Posted on May 24, 2013 by wazwu I know… that photo is kind of lame. This lovely meringue cake got gobbled up quickly and was especially yummy with homemade vegan blueberry ice cream and whipped cream. It’s described as a super-light cake, but has a ton of sugar. Instead of food coloring, I used raspberry puree for the meringue swirls. I didn’t have a high rimmed cookie sheet handy, but two 8-inch round cake pans worked just fine. This was a trial run for our next wine and cheese party. I’m thinking petite fours topped with fresh berries! Click here for the recipe from Top with Cinnamon […]

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