Meringue Shells with Macerated Strawberries, Whipped Cream and Hazelnut Chocolate Sauce
- 3 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- Hazelnut Chocolate Sauce, recipe follows
- Hazelnut Chocolate Sauce:
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons orange liqueur
- 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup toasted, chopped hazelnuts
In a bowl combine the strawberries, 2 tablespoons of the Grand Marnier, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the orange zest. Let macerate for at least 2 hours, and up to 8 hours, tightly covered, and refrigerated.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with foil and grease lightly with butter.
In a mixing bowl, beat 3 egg whites and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar with a mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add 3/4 cup of the sugar and beat until the meringue forms stiff, shiny peaks. Spoon the meringue into 6 equal mounds on the greased sheet, and using the back of a spoon, spread slightly out and make an indentation in the center.
Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and leave in the oven until dry, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool completely.
In a mixing bowl, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks begin to form. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of the sugar and the remaining 2 tablespoons of the Grand Marnier, and beat just until stiff peaks begin to form.
Place 1 meringue on each of 6 plates, and fill with 1/2 cup of the macerated strawberries. Top with a dollop of whipped cream, and drizzle warm chocolate sauce over the top. Serve immediately.Hazelnut Chocolate Sauce:
In a medium saucepan, bring the cream and orange liqueur to a gentle boil. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate, and whisk until melted and well blended. Whisk in the hazelnuts and cover to keep warm until needed.
Yield: About 1 1/2 cups
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