Sunday, September 15, 2013

Meringue Mushrooms Tutorial

I remember seeing these mushrooms in a Bon Appetit magazine years ago and thinking how cool they looked. I was waiting for the perfect opportunity to make them, since you can't just slap some mushrooms on just any ol dessert, so when I made authentic Black Forest cupcakes (recipe coming soon) I knew these would be the perfect garnish. I really like these mushrooms because not only do they look amazing, unlike fondant or sugar decorations these actually taste good!

Some tips for whipping egg whites:
-Your whites will whip faster if they're at room temperature.
-Make sure your bowl and whisk are completely CLEAN, any fatty residue will prevent the whites from getting stiff.
-Wipe down the bowl with a little bit of white vinegar or lemon juice, the acid will remove any residue from the surface.

Meringue Mushrooms

makes about 10-15 mushrooms

4 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tarter
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 chocolate, melted over a double broiler


1.Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Take a piping bag and fit it with a #12 tip, you will be using this to pipe the finished meringue.

2.In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tater and vanilla and continue to beat on medium speed. Sprinkle in the confectioners sugar until incorporated. Beat on medium high speed until egg whites hold stiff peaks (it should take no more than 10 min. total). Place meringue into the piping bag.

3.To pipe the mushroom caps, squeeze out round mounds of meringue onto one of the prepared cookie sheets. Pull the bag off to the side to avoid making peaks on the top. For the stems, press out a tiny bit of meringue onto the other sheet, then pull the bag straight up. They should resemble candy kisses. Do not worry about making all of the pieces exactly the same. The mushrooms will look more natural if the pieces are different sizes. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until the caps are dry enough to easily remove from the cookie sheets. Set aside to cool completely.

What you'll need:
-two clean paintbrushes
-unsweetened coco powder with a sifter

1.When the mushroom caps cool, sprinkle tops with coco powder, lightly dust off with paintbrush for a more natural look.

2.Poke a small hole in the bottom of a mushroom cap. Spread the melted chocolate over the bottom of the cap (I used a paintbrush). Dip the tip of a stem in chocolate, and press lightly into the hole. When the chocolate sets, they will hold together. Repeat with remaining pieces. Store at room temperature in a dry place or tin.

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