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Strawberry Hazelnut Torte

"This beautiful dessert is a very big hit at parties," relates Phyllis Amboss of Pacific Palisades, California. "The tender meringues have a wonderful hazelnut flavor with layers of chocolate, whipped cream and berries. "I got the recipe when we were in Israel for a few months in 1979. I had no cookbooks with me, and my hairdresser gave me an old Australian cookbook with this recipe in it. I made a few changes and this is the result."
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min. + chilling Bake: 30 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    12 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
  • Dash salt
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup ground hazelnuts
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon shortening
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2-1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • Additional fresh strawberries, halved

Directions

  • Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Trace two 8-in. circles 1/2 in. apart on the paper; set aside.
  • Add vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and salt to egg whites; beat until soft peaks form. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Spread over paper circles. Sprinkle with hazelnuts; cut through meringues with a knife to swirl nuts.
  • Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until the meringue and nuts are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheet. When completely cool, remove meringues from paper; store in an airtight container. In a microwave, melt chocolate and shortening; stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature.
  • To assemble, place a meringue, flat side down, on a serving plate; spread with half of the melted chocolate. In a large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners' sugar and remaining vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form. Spread half over chocolate layer. Arrange sliced strawberries over whipped cream.
  • Spread flat side of remaining meringue with melted chocolate. Place chocolate side down over strawberries; spread with remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate for up to 4 hours before serving. Garnish with halved strawberries.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 247 calories, 14g fat (8g saturated fat), 41mg cholesterol, 42mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (27g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.
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