½ cup slivered almonds
3 large egg whites
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
7 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 ¼ cups heavy cream, cold
⅓ cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, to taste
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
4-6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, grated or shaved into curls, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Spread the almonds on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven until golden, about 15 min. Set aside to cool.
3. Turn the oven down to 275 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides (not the lip) of a 9-inch glass pie plate.
4. Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and set over a pan of hot tap water until slightly warmed. Then whisk the warm egg whites until soft peaks form. Whisk in the cream of tartar and then add the sugar in a slow, steady stream, whisking continuously. Continue whisking until stiff and glossy, about 15-20 min.
5. Make a pie shell with the meringue by smoothing it over the bottom and sides of the buttered pie plate. Bake until slightly crisp and dry, about 15 min. Cool on a rack.
6. Combine both chocolates in a bowl over simmering water, and stir occasionally until melted. Let cool to room temperature.
7. Combine the heavy cream, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed until very soft peaks form, about 2-3 min. Stir ⅓ of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate. Then add the chocolate mixture to the remaining whipped cream, gently folding until completely incorporated.
8. Scatter the toasted almonds over the cooked meringue shell. Fill with chocolate cream filling. Top with grated chocolate or chocolate curls. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.