10 large egg whites (10 ounces)
3 cups minus 2 tbsp sugar, divided
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 lb blanched almonds, finely grated
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
2 tbsp hot water
3 cups whipping cream
vanilla extract, to taste
dark sweet chocolate, shaved
dark sweet chocolate, finely grated
powdered sugar for dusting
Beat the egg whites in a large mixing bowl until foamy. Gradually add 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons of the sugar, beating constantly until mixture forms a mass that will stand in a stiff peak. Combine 1 cup of the sugar with the cornstarch; carefully fold this into the beaten egg whites along with the grated almonds. Spread the mixture onto baking sheets lined with buttered parchment paper, forming three 10-inch circles using the collar of a 10-inch springform pan. (Place the collar on the paper, fill with the mixture, lift the collar and repeat twice more.) Bake in a 250 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from pans, cool on wire racks.
Dissolve the gelatin in the hot water then allow to cool slightly. Commbine the whipping cream and the vanilla; beat until stiff. Add the remaining 1 cup sugar and the warm gelatin mixture, mixing carefully.
To assemble the cake: Spread some of the whipped cream mixture between the meringue layers. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining whipped cream mixture. Sprinkle the chocolate shavings over the top of the cake and press the grated chocolate onto the sides. Sift the powdered sugar over the top. Keep in a cool area.
NOTE: You are not misreading the recipe and it is not a mistake; there are no cherries in or on this cake.