Two days before serving, preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line 3 baking sheets with foil or parchment paper. With pencil, outline an 8 inch circle on each. In large bowl of electric mixer, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until peaks form. gradually add granulated sugar; beat until stiff but not dry, about 3 minutes. With spatula, spread 1/3 of the meringue evenly over each circle. Bake 3 hours; turn off oven; leave meringues in oven overnight. Then carefully peel away foil or parchment paper. Make filling and topping: On waxed paper, with pencil, mark 8 inch circle; tape paper to baking sheet or inverted cake pan.
Melt 1/4 of the chocolate in top of double boiler over hot water; or microwave in a glass custard cup on medium about 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. With spatula, spread melted chocolate over marked circle. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
In blender or food processor, puree thawed raspberries, and press through a sieve into a glass measure; discard seeds. Place 1/4 cup puree in a custard cup; sprinkle 1 tsp. gelatin over it; let stand 5 minutes. Add 1 inch hot water to small pan; place cup in pan; heat and stir until gelatin dissolves. Or place 1 cup in microwave; microwave on high for 40 seconds. Let gelatin mixture cool; remove chocolate round from refrigerator; carefully peel away waxed paper; invert onto same paper; brush with raspberry puree. Return round to refrigerator until set.
Place remaining puree in medium bowl or microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle with remaining gelatin. Let stand 5 minutes; dissolve as in previous step. While it is hot, add remaining chocolate; heat and stir until melted. Remove from heat. If using a microwave oven, cook on high for about 1 minute, stirring every 30 seconds. Set bowl with chocolate in larger bowl with ice and water. Stir occasionally until mixture is very thick, about 5 minutes.
In small bowl, whip 1 cup cream until stiff. When chocolate mixture is consistency of unbeaten egg whites, fold in cream until no white streaks remain. Place a meringue layer on doily-covered cake plate. Cover with half of chocolate cream mixture; scatter 1/4 cup strawberries or raspberries over chocolate. Repeat with another meringue layer, remaining chocolate cream mixture, and 1/4 cup berries. Place remaining meringue layer on top. In large bowl of electric mixer, beat remaining cream with confectioners' sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread a thin layer over side and top of torte; place remaining cream in pastry bag with star tip.
Remove raspberry round from refrigerator. With sharp knife, cut into 10 wedges. Transfer each to top of cake, reassembling circle. Pipe a stir in center of each raspberry wedge and a double row of stars around top edge or torte. With remaining cream, pipe stars around bottom edge. Place a raspberry or small strawberry on top of each star. Refrigerate several hours or overnight before slicing. Makes 10 servings.
By Robin from Washington, IA
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