Boccone Dolce (Sweet Mouthful)

4 egg whites
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar
3 cups cream
1 pint fresh strawberries
Meringue layers:
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Beat until stiff: egg whites, a pinch of salt and cream of tartar. Gradually beat in 1 cup sugar and continue to beat until stiff and glossy.

Line baking sheets with waxed paper and on paper, trace 3 circles 8 inches in diameter. Spread the meringue evenly over the circle about 1/4 inch thick and bake 20 - 25 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully peel waxed paper. Put on racks to dry.

Filling:
Melt over hot water, semi-sweet chocolate and 3 tablespoons water.
Whip cream until stiff, gradually add 1/3 cup sugar and beat until very stiff.
Slice strawberries.

Place meringue layer on plate and spread with a thin coating of melted chocolate. Then spread a layer of whipped cream about 3/4 inch thick and top with layer of sliced berries. Put second layer of meringue, spread with chocolate, another layer of whipped cream and berries. Then a third layer of meringue. Frost sides smoothly with whipped cream. Decorate top with remaining chocolate or with berries.

Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

-Nancy Hutchins