Mushrooms: Preheat your oven to 200 degrees F
(100 degrees C) and place two oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of your
You will need two baking sheets
lined with parchment paper.
To make all the mushrooms the same size, I like to make a template. Take a
piece of parchment paper and draw 24 - 2 inch (5 cm) circles, spacing the
circles about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Flip the parchment paper over, and place it
on your baking sheet.
Have ready a
large piping bag fitted with a round plain 1/3 inch tip (8 mm) (I used Ateco
In the bowl of
your electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, (or with a hand mixer) beat the egg whites
and cream of tartar, on medium low speed until soft peaks form. Continue beating,
on high speed, gradually adding the superfine
sugar, until the whites are shiny and hold stiff peaks. (To make sure that the
sugar has fully dissolved, rub a little of the meringue
between your fingers. It should feel smooth, not gritty. If it feels gritty then
beat the meringue a little more.) Transfer the meringue to your piping bag.
Pipe Caps: Holding the pastry bag upright
and close to the parchment paper, and with even pressure, pipe the meringue into
2 inch (5 cm) rounds that are about 1 inch (2.5 cm) high. Smooth out any
tips on the tops of the meringues using a wet fingertip.
Pipe Stems: Holding the pastry bag upright
and close to the parchment paper, and with even pressure, pipe
the meringue into a
cone-shape that is about 1 inch (2.5 cm) high. Try to keep the stems as straight
as possible. Some of the stems may fall over during baking, so it is best to
make a few extra stems.
Bake the meringues
for about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the meringues are firm enough that they
easily release from the parchment paper without sticking. Once baked, turn off the oven, have the oven door
slightly ajar, and allow the meringues to completely cool and dry out. I like to leave them
in the turned off oven at least a couple of hours (or preferably overnight).
To attach the
mushroom stems to the caps, spread the bottom of each mushroom cap with a little melted
chocolate (acts like a glue). Then gently press the top of a stem into the
center of the mushroom cap. Let the chocolate dry by placing the meringue
mushrooms upside down on a baking sheet. Once the chocolate hardens, lightly
dust the tops of
the mushrooms with cocoa powder.
Store in an airtight container
for several weeks. If you live in a humid climate I find it best to store the
meringue mushrooms in the refrigerator.
Makes about 24 - 2
inch (5 cm) Meringue Mushrooms.
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