Meringue Mushrooms



Meringue Mushrooms
(Adapted from The Joy of Cooking)
Yield: About 12-24 mushrooms

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Ingredients

3 large (90 grams) egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (180 grams**) superfine sugar. (To make superfine sugar, place an equal amount of regular sugar in the blender and process for 30 seconds). You can use brown or white sugar.
Chocolate Sauce
Cocoa

**Note: If you have a kitchen scale, measure your egg whites. You want to use double the amount of sugar.

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 200 F; place two oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of your oven.

2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Tip: Draw circles with a dark marker on each piece of parchment paper to help with sizing, then flip the paper over before adding the meringue.

3. Have ready a large piping bag fitted with a round plain tip.


Left photo: soft peaks; right photo: stiff peaks

4. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium low until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar as you beat the egg whites on high until stiff peaks form.


5. Transfer the mix to your piping bags. Pie the caps of the mushroom in a circular round motion. Use a wet fingertip to smooth the tops. Pipe the stems in a wide cone-shaped motion.

Tip: Make a few extra stems, some may fall over during baking.

6. Bake the meringues for 90 minutes or until they are firm enough that they don't stick to the parchment paper. (Mine took 2 and a half hours)

Note: The baking time will vary depending on the humidity in your kitchen.

7. Once baked, leave the meringues in the oven. Turn the oven off, open the door slightly and let them dry out a good few hours or overnight.

8. To attach the mushroom stems to the caps, spread the bottom of each mushroom cap with a little chocolate sauce. Then gently press the top of a stem into the center of the mushroom cap. Once the chocolate hardens, lightly dust the tops of the mushrooms with cocoa to give it a dirty, earthy look.

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