---------- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.02
  Categories: Desserts
       Yield: 10 servings
       4    Egg whites, room temp
     1/8 ts Salt
     1/8 ts Cream of tartar
       1 c  Less 1 tb sugar
     3/4 ts Vanilla
 ----------------------CHESTNUT PUREE----------------------
       3 lb Fresh chestnuts or one 1lb
            -15 oz can chestnut puree
       1    Vanilla bean (if using fresh
     3/4 c  Water
     1/3 c  Sugar
 -----------------------CREAM FILLING-----------------------
   1 1/2 c  Whipping cream
       1 tb (or 2) tb sugar
       1 ts Vanilla
       1    Egg white, room temp
       2    Squares semisweet chocolate
   Preheat oven to 250 deg F. Grease a baking sheet,
   sprinkle with flour, and mark 1 9inch circle or 10 3.5
   inch circles (this may require more than one baking
   sheet) In large bowl, beat egg whites with salt until
   foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks
   form. Beat in 2 tb sugar until mixture holds long,
   stiff peaks when beater is lifted. *Fold* in remaining
   sugar and vanilla. Place in pastry bag fitted with
   1/2-inch plain tube and pipe 1 large round or 10 small
   ones onto prepared sheet. Bake 1 hour or until
   meringue is firm to the touch. If meringue (s) brown
   during baking, reduce heat. Transfer meringue (s) to
   rack and let cool. FOR CHESTNUT PUREE:
   Peel chestnuts using small, sharp knife and leaving
   inner skin. Preheat oven to 375 deg F. Place chestnuts
   in shallow heatproof dish and bake 10 to 15 minutes,
   or until skin dries and peels off easily. Rub nuts in
   rough cloth to remove skins. Place peeled nuts in
   saucepan with vanilla bean and water to cover and
   bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and
   simmer 25 to 30 minutes, or until very tender. Remove
   vanilla bean (it may be washed and reused.) Drain
   chestnuts, then put through food mill or sieve, or in
   food processor, and puree.
   Briefly boil together 3/4 c water and sugar to make
   thin sugar syrup, then set aside to cool. When cool,
   beat enough syrup into chestnut puree to make it thin
   enough to pipe through pastry bag but still thick
   enough to hold its shape. If using canned puree,
   sweeten to taste, making sure it is thin enough to be
   piped. Fit pastry bag with 1/8-inch plain tube and
   fill with puree. Beat cream until stiff, then add
   sugar to taste and vanilla. Beat egg white in separate
   bowl until stiff peaks form, then fold into cream.
   Place cream mixture into pastry bag fitted with star
   tip. Arrange meringue (s) on serving platter and pipe
   chestnut puree in bird’s nest shape around edge of
   meringue. Pipe cream mixture in center, piling it
   high. Sprinkle grated chocolate over whipped cream and
   chill until serving time.