Crunchy, sweet, and utterly irresistible, these meringue mushrroms are a versatile treat. Enjoy them as a dessert, give them as edible gifts, or use them to adorn your Buche de Noel or Christmas Yule log.
For Swiss meringue:
For the finish:
* If needed, please refer to Baking Conversion Charts.
Preheat the oven to 210°F (100°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
To make Swiss meringue, place egg whites in the clean bowl of a stand mixer or a large metal bowl. Add powdered (icing) sugar and whip egg whites with a hand whisk a few times. Put the bowl over the bain-marie or water bath and beat egg whites with a whisk until foamy.
When the meringue mixture is hot, remove the bowl from the heat, and beat it with a stand or electric mixer until it cools completely. The meringue will have a glossy appearance with stiff peaks. Use it right away.
Transfer meringue to a large piping bag with a round piping tip 1/2" (12 mm). Pipe 4 meringue dots in the corners of the prepared baking sheet and place parchment paper. It will fix the paper during pipping and baking.
To pipe the meringue stems, hold the pastry bag upright on the baking sheet. Start piping gently, forming a stem's base, then lift the bag while squeezing. Make sure to make the pointed end by pulling up the bag.
For the caps of the mushrooms, keep holding the piping bag upright to the baking sheet and smoothly squeeze the bag. Push the meringue into a plain round shape. Once the perfect shape is obtained, stop squeezing and slowly remove the bag off to the side to avoid creating a peak on top. If needed, use a wet fingertip to flatten the spike of the meringue dome.
The size of mushroom caps and the height of stems may vary: while the caps may average 1 to 2 inch (2.5 cm to 5 cm) rounds and about 1 inch (2.5 cm) high, the stems may get about 1 inch (2.5 cm) tall. Caps and stems should be placed 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Sprinkle mushroom caps with cocoa powder. Bake caps and stems for 1 hour. Once the meringue is ready, let it cool and detach from parchment paper.
To assemble meringue mushrooms, carefully select and arrange the caps and stems to achieve the most visually appealing size and shape combinations. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or microwave.
Then, use one of the provided methods for assembly.
Pro tip: Don't worry about slightly crooked stems: they will appear perfect when flipped over. However, adjust any completely fallen stems.
Sprinkle cocoa powder on the upright meringue mushrooms to give them a freshly emerged look from a soft earth patch.
Keywords: meringue mushrooms, mushroom meringues