Meringue Mushrooms

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Lately, a roulade has taken precedence over any other dessert in my kitchen. I have made them a countless number of times, happily. It seems effortless to make one. It doesn’t consume much time nor many ingredients. And when done, it can lead anyone to believe that a whole day was tirelessly spent on preparing it. Deception can be so sweet sometimes!

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But this post isn’t about the roulade I have mastered so well. This post is rather about another little gem that I have discovered in the process. Now that I confess my affinity for roulades it should come as no surprise as to what I will be making for Christmas. While researching my Christmas dessert I found these meringue mushrooms beyond irresistible to make. These little meringue mushrooms are used as a garnish but they can be such a whimsical treat during the holidays.

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Christmas needs fun projects.  These meringue mushrooms were just as much fun to make as popping them to melt in my mouth. Why didn’t I fancy these before?

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Meringue Mushrooms

(recipe adapted from Joy of Baking)

Ingredients:

  • Eggs Whites: 2
  • Cream of tartar: 1/4 tsp
  • Castor Sugar: 1/2 cup
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips: 1/2 cup
  • Coco powder: 1 tbsp

Method:

  • Preheat oven at 250 F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
  • Bring eggs to room temperature (to get better volume) before separating them from the yolks.
  • Whisk egg whites till frothy and bubbly then add cream of tartar. Continue beating till very soft peaks form.
  • Add the castor sugar a tablespoon at a time (this ensures the sugar is well incorporated and the meringue does not bleed later) till the meringue is stiff and glossy – about 7-8 minutes.
  • Fit a piping bag with a size 12 tip (or wider if you have one). Fill bag with meringue.
  • One one baking sheet lined with parchment pipe the mushrooms stems by carefully holding the piping bag upright while releasing pressure to form short stems. The stems can be stubby bottom and pointed tops or long and slim in shape. Different stem styles gives the mushrooms character. Pipe more stems than caps as a lot of the stems may fall while baking.
  • To pipe the caps, you may want to use a wider piping tip if you prefer. Hold piping bag upright, apply pressure to form rounds of different sizes. You can smooth the tops of the caps with your damp fingers to give the mushroom a smooth cap or leave a few points just to have a few different types of mushrooms.
  • Place the baking trays in the oven for an hour. Turn off oven after an hour, then slightly open the oven door to let the meringue crisp up further. The meringue is done when easily pealed from parchment paper.
  • Once cooled dust coco powder over the caps and stems to give them the earthy look.
  • To assemble the mushrooms, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave until just melted. Prepare the stems by slightly cutting off the top to give them an even surface.
  • Take a mushroom cap and spread some melted chocolate with a spatula or a butter knife and immediately press a prepared stem. Hold for a few seconds to let the stems adhere.
  • You can dust more coco powder once the mushrooms have been put together.
  • Serve first to the littlest member of your family! Enjoy.

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