- 4 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
- Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 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 one 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. Yield: 10-12 servings.