Straw­berry-Choco­late Meringue Torte

Country Woman - - LET’S EAT - —CHRIS­TINE McCULLOUGH AUBURN, MA

I make this rich and de­li­cious torte when­ever I’m asked to bring dessert to any oc­ca­sion. Use re­duced-calo­rie whipped top­ping if you wish to cre­ate a lighter ver­sion. PREP: 45 MIN. BAKE: 70 MIN. + COOL­ING MAKES: 6 SERV­INGS

4 large egg whites

3 cups sliced fresh straw­ber­ries 1 tsp. plus 1 cup sugar, di­vided 1¹ ₂ cups heavy whip­ping cream

¹ ₃ cup con­fec­tion­ers’ sugar

³ ₄ tsp. vanilla ex­tract

¹ ₄ tsp. cream of tar­tar ¹ ₄ tsp. salt ¹ ₂ cup semisweet choco­late chips

1. Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room tem­per­a­ture for 30 min­utes. Mean­while, in a small bowl, com­bine straw­ber­ries and 1 tsp. sugar. In an­other bowl, beat cream un­til it be­gins to thicken. Add con­fec­tion­ers’ sugar and vanilla; beat un­til soft peaks form. Chill straw­ber­ries and whipped cream, cov­ered, un­til as­sem­bly.

2. Pre­heat oven to 250°. Line a bak­ing sheet with parch­ment pa­per. Trace two 8-in. cir­cles 1 in. apart on pa­per; set aside. Add cream of tar­tar and salt to egg whites; beat on medium speed un­til foamy. Grad­u­ally add re­main­ing sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beat­ing on high af­ter each ad­di­tion un­til sugar is dis­solved. Con­tinue beat­ing un­til stiff glossy peaks form. Spread evenly over cir­cles.

3. Bake un­til set and dry, 70-80 min­utes. Turn off oven (do not open oven door); leave in oven 1½ hours. Re­move from oven; cool com­pletely.

4. In a mi­crowave, melt choco­late chips; stir un­til smooth. Spread evenly over tops of meringues. Care­fully re­move one meringue to a serv­ing plate. Re­move whipped cream from re­frig­er­a­tor; beat un­til stiff peaks form. Spread half of the whipped cream over the meringue; top with half of the straw­ber­ries. Re­peat lay­ers. Serve im­me­di­ately. PER SERV­ING 470 cal., 26g fat (16g sat. fat), 68mg chol., 154mg sod., 58g carb. (54g sug­ars, 2g fiber), 5g pro.

STRAWBERRYCHOCOLATE MERINGUE TORTE

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