Chocolate Strawberry Meringue Torte
- Preheat oven to 200°F. Draw three 8-inch circles on parchment paper and place them upside down (ink side down) on cookie sheets.
- Fit a pastry bag with a large plain pastry tip with a 1/2 inch opening.
- Whip egg whites with first listed 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar to medium peaks. Add salt and vanilla and whip to stiff peaks. Stop whipping.
- Using a rubber spatula, gently fold remaining 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar into meringue. Do not mix/fold unnecessarily as it will make meringue runny.
- Using a piping tip such as Ateco 809 (11/16-inch diameter), pipe meringue into a spiral starting from center up to edge of drawn circle. Feel free to use a spatula to make surface more level if needed.
- With any remaining meringue pipe some large kisses using a large star pastry tip.
- Place in oven and bake for approximately 150-180 minutes. Occasionally open the oven door for extra steam to escape and aid in drying of meringue. Before removing all meringue from oven, remove a meringue layer and tap it on the bottom. It should feel hollow and completely dry. Leaving meringue for a total of 180 minutes (or longer) in oven will not harm the quality of meringue.
- Once cooled, meringue can be stored at room temperature in airtight containers/plastic food bags until ready to serve.
- When meringue is baking, prepare chocolate cream. Bring to a boil 1 cup whipping cream, milk, and sugar. Remove from heat. Chop chocolate into chip-size pieces and whisk into heated mixture. Once completely blended, add remaining 1 cup cream. Cover chocolate cream and place in the refrigerator until completely cold.
- Prepare ganache just before serving.
- Place a meringue layer on a serving plate. Wash strawberries, remove stems and cut in half. Reserve some in the refrigerator for decoration.
- Once chocolate cream is completely cold (38°F) whip until it is thickened and almost firm peaks develop.
- Spread half of chocolate cream onto meringue layer. Press cut strawberries into cream.
- Cover with a second meringue layer and repeat the process of cream and strawberries. Top with remaining meringue layer.
- Prepare ganache and spread on surface of torte.
- Decorate surface with meringue kisses and strawberries.