Allow egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Cover a baking sheet with plain brown paper or parchment paper. Draw a 9-inch circle on the paper; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine egg whites, the 1 teaspoon vanilla, and cream of tartar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add the granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight) and sugar is almost dissolved. Fold in the almonds.
Spread meringue mixture over circle drawn on paper, building sides up taller than the center to form a shell. Bake in a 300 degree F oven 45 minutes. Turn off oven; let meringue dry in oven with door closed at least 1 hour (do not open oven door). Remove baking sheet from oven. Lift meringue and carefully peel off paper; transfer to a flat serving platter. (Or, store shell in a flat, airtight container overnight.)
For cocoa mousse, in a small mixing bowl beat cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Add cocoa powder, milk, and the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; beat until smooth. In another small chilled mixing bowl beat whipping cream with chilled beaters of an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form; fold into cocoa mixture. Carefully spoon cocoa mousse into meringue shell. Press whole berries, stemmed side down, into the mousse. In a small heavy saucepan melt semisweet chocolate and shortening over low heat, stirring constantly. With a small spoon, lightly drizzle over filling and meringue.
Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 2 hours. To serve, cut into wedges, dipping knife in water between cuts. Makes 12 servings.