Three Years! and a Chocolate & Cherry Meringue Stack Cake {gluten-free}

July 20, 2014 · 69 comments in Cake

Chocolate & Cherry Meringue Cake // Top with Cinnamon

Three years (..and two days) since starting my blog. Man, I’m not really sure what to say!

It’s weird enough to think that I’ve been on here for 1/6 of my life when it barely feels like a few months have passed. Now I kind of wish that I’d written one of those ‘futureme.org‘ emails when I’d started TWC because I can’t really remember what July 2011 was like and I’d feel WAY too awkward going back and reading my posts. Plus I always love the idea of time capsules/surprises (I went through a phase of leaving £1 in all of my coin purses that I’d forget about, so that when I eventually decided to use it again I’d discover the money and be all ‘awww yeah let’s go buy some bubble gum’).

Dunno if I’ve said this already but I told literally no-one, except my best friend, about the blog when I started it. I think it took about two or three weeks of me ‘sneaking’ around, taking photos of cakes with the crappiest camera ever before my mum eventually asked me what I was doing. I like to think that I was being subtle but evidently I really really wasn’t.

It’s all right now, the fam is in the loop. Wouldn’t that be strange though if this whole time my family didn’t know I had a blog? Wow. They might just think that I enjoyed collecting single plates and planks of wood for fun (?) and was very particular about the amount of time that they had to wait before eating anything I’d made.

Chocolate & Cherry Meringue Cake // Top with Cinnamon

Food blogging is kind of peculiar…and addictive and fun! I get to bake cake and pretend there’s more of a motive than me just really wanting some whipped cream.

I made this cake for a roundup that Saveur asked me to contribute to for their 20th birthday! I figured that I might as well use it to celebrate my 3rd bloggaversary too as it’s suitably celebration-y and this way I can also give you the recipe! It’s not too difficult to make because it’s just meringue disks stacked up with ganache, whipped cream and cherries but you do have to have the oven on for over an hour (at a low temp) to dry out the disks sufficiently. So if you’re boycotting the oven for the time being (thanks July heatwave :| ), you’ll probs want to avoid making this cake right now and just look at the pictures instead.

Chocolate & Cherry Meringue Cake // Top with Cinnamon

  Notes: -

To make the top meringue layer I filled a wide, plain tipped piping bag with the meringue mixture and piped little blobs in concentric circles.

- There are two possible ways of serving this cake: You can either attack it with a sharp knife and a spoon, serving it in a messy pavlova style OR freeze the cake for an hour and then slice neatly with a sharp knife which is what I did for the pics of the slices (note that freezing changes the texture of the cherries though)

Chocolate & Cherry Meringue Stack Cake {gluten-free}
5 egg whites
10 oz superfine sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
16 oz cherries, halved and pitted
7 oz bittersweet chocolate, plus extra for grating

Whisk the egg whites in a stand mixer until you get soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar whilst you continue to beat the egg whites until the mixture is glossy and you get stiff peaks. If the mixture is rubbed between your fingers there should be no sugar crystals - if the mixture still feels gritty keep beating it until smooth, then finally beat in the vanilla extract.

Spread the mixture out on two lined cookie sheets to form four, 6-inch diameter disks (see notes). Bake for one and a half hours in an oven preheated to 250 F (120 C) then switch the oven off and leave the meringue in the oven for a further hour.

Melt the chocolate and stir in 1/4 cup of the cream.

Whisk the rest of the cream until just thickened.

To assemble: take one meringue disk and spread a quarter of the chocolate mixture over it. Spread a quarter of the cream over this and then scatter over the cherries. Top with the next meringue stack and repeat the chocolate, cream and cherry layering until you've stacked up all the meringues. Grate a little extra chocolate over the cake for a finishing touch.

Serve immediately or freeze for an hour before slicing for a cleaner cut (see notes).

http://www.topwithcinnamon.com/2014/07/three-years.html

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{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

Maryna July 20, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Izy!!! Congrats on you bloggaversary ! What you do is amazing)
I am a beginner in blogging, my blog is only 1 month old. But I hope one day to become as successful as you..!

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Nazia @ This Baker Girl Blogs July 20, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Happy Bloggaversary!!! And what a gorgeous cake!

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Magda July 20, 2014 at 4:16 pm

Happy birthday to your sweet blog Izy! Thanks for all the wonderful recipes and for all your hard work. This meringue cake looks amazing!!
PS I feel you on the single plates thing, my boyfriend is on the verge of breaking each one so we have more space to actually live in our apartment :)
xoxo

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Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) July 20, 2014 at 4:36 pm

This cake is incredible Izy!!! I am so in love with this–the pictures are absolutely stunning. The chocolate ganache looks like it is JUST about to drip off the sides too! Wow.

Congratulations on year #3! You’ve achieved so much and you are a constant source of inspiration! xo

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stephanie July 20, 2014 at 5:39 pm

happy blog birthday izy!! i’ve been SO in love with this cake ever since i saw it on Saveur!! and now i can make it! yay!!

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molly yeh July 20, 2014 at 6:14 pm

happy birthday, top with cinnamon!!!!!!!! yayayayyy!!!! i love this cake so much, izy!!!

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Jennifer July 20, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Happy anniversary! I had to laugh when you said you waited a few weeks before telling any of your family about your blog. I actually have been blogging for over a year and just told my mom about it. I haven’t told any friends or coworkers yet. I’m just not ready to open my website up to scrutiny from people I know. But, the time is coming soon. I can feel it. And I’m scared!

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Glitter Coated Lenses July 20, 2014 at 6:33 pm

This is beyond amazing! Congrats on three years! It’s been so fun being along for the ride :)

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Sanda July 20, 2014 at 6:40 pm

Congratulations!!! Cake looks amazingly good!!!

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Anne July 20, 2014 at 6:54 pm

Congrats Izy!!! Now I want to write an email to myself… That is a really cool idea!! You should do it and send it 3 years later!
Love the cake!!! The cross section of the cake looks delightful!

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Boozy Epicure July 20, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Beautiful!

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Rossi @ A Baking Girl July 20, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Yum yum yum… and congrats!!

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Elizabeth July 20, 2014 at 8:37 pm

As always, your desserts are stunning. And of course delicious. I’m a big fan of meringue!

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j July 20, 2014 at 8:46 pm

I’m a new fan but since the first post which I’ve read, I’m constantly impressed. Especially with gifs!

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Thalia @ butter and brioche July 20, 2014 at 9:16 pm

happy 3 years anniversary.. and what a cake to celebrate with. this has to be the BEST meringue cake i have ever seen, i am so craving a slice. love it!

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Sabrina July 20, 2014 at 10:06 pm

Happy, happy Birthday dear Top with Cinnamon and huuuge congrats to you Izy!! Yours was one of the first blogs that got me hooked into this food blog thing ’bout two years back. The cake seems like the perfect way to celebrate and btw it may sound unbelievable but I went carefull with my blog as well and only a few people knew it at first and most still don’t. I’m unargueably a quite crazy person, but this whole wood and plate collecting thing might just be to much to otake so I’ll better keep it to myself you know ;-) anyways, congrats again and keep doing your thing girl ’cause it’s awesome and you’ve got it down – no need to hide! ….Party time!! :)

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Kaylin @ Enticing Healthy Eating July 20, 2014 at 11:15 pm

Happy Blogiversary, Top with Cinnamon! You’re writing and recipes are an inspiration to us other fellow food bloggers out there. Thank you for being awesome! And making that awesome cake.

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Jessica @ Sweet Menu July 20, 2014 at 11:23 pm

The most beautiful cake! I will have to try – love that its gluten free too. And cherries! You can never go wrong with cherries. Congrats on your anniversary!

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Kristy @ She Eats July 20, 2014 at 11:53 pm

Holy balls that cake looks good girl!!! I love it!The photography is stellar and the cherries are lookin mighty fine! In fact….. there. I just went and got a mini bowl of bourbon soaked ones to munch on as I type this. Delish.

PS. Congrats on 3 years!!!!! It’s a huge amount of work to maintain a food blog and you do it with style ! I know what you mean about starting out – I was so awkward to begin with! When I look back at my pictures and recipes from the first year, I shudder. I always wonder if I should remove them (4 years later) but I can never decide. Regardless, I’m stoked for you. Happy bloggy birthday!

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Bec {Daisy and the Fox} July 21, 2014 at 1:00 am

wooo happy bloggaversary!! congrats on an awesome 3 years of posting delicious recipes!
this cake sounds and looks fantastic :)
keep up the amahhhhhzzzing work!

Bec {Daisy and the Fox}
http://www.daisyandthefox.wordpress.com

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar July 21, 2014 at 1:53 am

So freaking happy for you! This cake looks like the perfect way to celebrate.

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Medha @ Whisk & Shout July 21, 2014 at 2:06 am

Happy Birthday! Your blog is a toddler (the cutest stage, in my opinion!). This cake is stunning, and I love what you did with the top layer aesthetically.

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Lillian@SugarandCinnamon July 21, 2014 at 2:10 am

Happy birthday to your blog! I’ve only been reading for the past year but it just gets better and better with each post :) Can’t wait to see what another year brings xx

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Belinda@themoonblushbaker July 21, 2014 at 2:25 am

I can not wait to see what the future has installed for you and your food blog. Simply stunning and Happy B’day! Keep rocking it Izy!

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DessertForTwo July 21, 2014 at 3:07 am

Happy blogiversary! I’m so happy you blog! Your photos make me so happy :)

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Tieghan July 21, 2014 at 4:30 am

Happy 3-years!! You are killing it and this cake is crazy beautiful. Love the fresh cherries!

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Sarah | The Sugar Hit July 21, 2014 at 4:52 am

Happy mofoing birthday, Top with Cinnamon! Here’s to a million more years of crushing it, Miss Izy.

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Ana July 21, 2014 at 7:51 am

Hmm… Keeping blog secret? That would of been a good idea! My blog was slow to start off- my Mom was not to enthralled with the idea! Your cake looks so pretty.

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Irene @ {a swoonful of sugar} July 21, 2014 at 8:59 am

Happy birthday TWC!!! You just keep on doing what you’re doing, because we love it :) Congrats Izy!

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Ala July 21, 2014 at 9:25 am

HAPPY THIRD, YOU! I just posted my (2nd) blogiversary post a few days ago because I uh, might’ve missed mine on July 7th. Whoops. But I’m glad you remembered because this cake looks so fab :D I just need you to come over and we can stick our forks into it together. I can’t believe what a journey it’s been for you and am eternally glad we found each other. Wishing you many more awesome moments and times and years on the stellar blog to come, Izy!

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Thea @ Baking Magique July 21, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Congratulations! Your blog is so beautiful and you really deserved the Saveur food blog awards. I just wander what kind of recipe plug in you use..?
xoxo Thea

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Barbara July 21, 2014 at 12:23 pm

This cake looks so delicious! My son is gluten intolerant and I find it quite difficult to find a good recipe for cakes. He loves chocolate and meringue, so I will definitely give it a try. Congratulations to the three years! Keep going:)

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Rachel July 21, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Happy Blog Birthday!!! (And we need to go for another epic brunch/ mojito session again soon, whenever I’m next at a loose end between meetings in the big smoke!)

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thelittleloaf July 21, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Happy birthday Izy!! What an incredible journey it’s been the last 3 years. I see the cover for your book is up on Amazon now…exciting! Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy x

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J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats July 21, 2014 at 4:26 pm

Best cross section shot of meringue ever. Now I really want to try the freezing thing to get a neat slice.

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Leah July 21, 2014 at 4:44 pm

What a gorgeous cake and such a cool idea!! Happy anniversary!! I was really shy to start to tell people about having a blog – but then I was like, if my friends and family don’t read it, then who will? I have to start somewhere. .congrats!!!

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lynn @ the actor's diet July 21, 2014 at 5:02 pm

3 years – what an achievement. congrats!

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Lauren at Keep It Sweet July 21, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Congrats on 3 years! What a beautiful dessert for celebrating!!

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Lois B (@PolishHousewife) July 21, 2014 at 8:49 pm

Yep, the single plate, single napkin, single place mat — all signs of a food blogger! :-) Congrats on your blog anniversary and on the Saveur Editor’s Choice award. Well deserved!!!

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PassTheKnife July 21, 2014 at 9:04 pm

This cake is fantastic, I’ve been searching for something to make with my favorite seasonal fruit! Congrats on 3 years of successful blogging!

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Todd July 21, 2014 at 10:37 pm

The internet is truly a better place with TWC, Izy. Thank you for all that you do..you’re such a source of inspiration. Cheers from California!!

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Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts July 21, 2014 at 11:29 pm

congratulations on three years! this cake looks like the perfect delicious way to celebrate!

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Ashley July 22, 2014 at 2:27 am

Congrats on 3 years, girl. What a way to celebrate! So glad our paths have crossed! xoxo

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Vickie July 22, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Happy Blog Anniversary!

that cake looks awesome :)

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Erica July 22, 2014 at 10:23 pm

Congrats Izy! I’ve felt honored to have followed your blogging journey almost from the beginning! I totally feel you on feeling awkward looking at old posts (I occasionally have the temptation to pop back there and clean them up…but never have the nerve to). #bloggerproblems The cake looks delicious!
Lots of love,
Erica

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Sini | my blue&white kitchen July 23, 2014 at 4:42 pm

CONGRATS on 3 years of awesome blogging, Izy! Your space is such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your love for food with us. [Side note: It took me almost half a year (!!) before I told my family I had a blog...and a few week later I was nominated for the Saveur BFBA. Oh man, it would have been so much more awkward to tell her after that. Like 'Mom, I got invited to Vegas cause I've been doing this food blogging thing for a while' ;) ]

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Kevin | keviniscooking July 24, 2014 at 5:52 am

Congratulations on the 3 year mark Izy and I must say this Meringue Stack Cake looks amazing. Looking forward to your cookbook!

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Millie l Add A Little July 24, 2014 at 8:01 am

Congratulations on 3 years Izy!!! I remember your 1 year anniversary like it as last month haha!
Have a fab day!
Also, I laughed out loud at the collecting wood part ha!
http://youtube.com/addalittlefood

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LB July 24, 2014 at 10:13 pm

Congratulations, Izzy! Here’s to three (times tens) more!

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aida mollenkamp July 25, 2014 at 12:57 am

Congrats!!

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Shiran @ Pretty. Simple. Sweet. July 28, 2014 at 7:57 pm

Congratulations! You’ve been doing a really good job for 3 years :) And this meringue cake – gorgeous!!!

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Katie Matthews July 29, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Happy Blog Birthday Izy!!! Congratulations on achieving so much over the last three years. It’s an incredible achievement! The meringue stack looks incred! Can you imagine the sugar-rush?

Also, it would be pretty spectacular if you managed to keep this highly successful online space a secret from the family for so long!

Katie <3

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Skye July 30, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Congratulations on three years (and two days!) of beautiful blogging, Izy! Your work is so inspiring and you must be so proud of everything that you have created in this space… Here’s to three more years of gorgeous posts and decadent cakes (like this one!)… Xx

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Tracy | PeanutButter and Onion July 31, 2014 at 4:16 pm

I am currently wheat free and in love with cherries! this is perfect!

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Kate @ ¡Hola! Jalapeño July 31, 2014 at 6:18 pm

Congratulations on your blogoversary! This cake is stunning, truly stunning!

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sara August 2, 2014 at 7:23 pm

Happy blogoversary! And yum–what an fantastic dessert!

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Ellen @ Indigo Scones August 10, 2014 at 4:25 am

This is a delayed congrats, but sincere nonetheless! Beauteous as always Izzy girl, please keep baking forever and ever <3

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Maria Lopez August 14, 2014 at 9:42 am

This is a very very pretty cake! its sooo beautifully created and looks soo fab! do you wear protection gloves when you prep your ingredients or you just do it with your bare hands?

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Maria Lopez August 15, 2014 at 4:18 am

There is only one word for this “perfection”, amazing preparation and picturesque dessert..:) thank you for sharing..:)

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Abigail August 16, 2014 at 9:40 pm
Carolyn August 18, 2014 at 2:26 am

Made this today with fresh raspberries, for my son’s 19th birthday cake. It’s not as pretty as it could have been, as my hands are both really bad with carpal tunnel syndrome but boy oh boy, it sure tasted good!!! Carolyn

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Shikha @ Shikha la mode August 18, 2014 at 7:58 pm

So much congratulations for being such a badass in the blog world! You inspire me – I’ve been working steadily on my blog and am can only hope to one day make as big of an impact as you :)

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