Here comes some Cocoa Meringue Mushrooms. I remember seeing these mushrooms in a magazine some time ago and thinking how cool they looked. December is the baker’s favorite month of the year for very obvious reasons! You try to bake a lot of different goodies for Christmas feast. For similar reasons for this week’s Bake Along challenge #53, Subhashini gave us this Meringue mushroom recipe. I was excited to try it the moment I saw it. Crisp, sweet and melt in your mouth, these cookies make a charming addition to your Christmas cookie platter or a perfect garnish for Black Forest cupcakes.
Eggwhites – 2
Granulated white sugar – 1/2 cup
Cream of tartar 1/4 teaspoon(substitute for cream of tartar is 10-15 drops of lime juice mixed with a pinch of salt)
Dark chocolate – 50 gms
Unsweetned cocoa powder – for dusting
Method of preparation:-
1. In a clean dry stainless steel bowl beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar 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).
2. Very carefully fill a piping bag with this beaten egg mixture. Cut the tip of 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.
4. keep the remaining meringue in the piping bag refrigerated until the first batch gets baked. Bake in pre-heated oven for 80 to 90 minutes at 110 degree C until the caps are dry enough to easily remove from the cookie sheets.
5. Once baked, let cool on wire rack.
6. When the mushroom caps cool, sprinkle tops with coco powder, lightly dust off with paintbrush for a more natural look.
7. Chop the dark chocolate and melt it in microwave at 30 second bursts on high power.
8. Use a tooth pick to gently scratch and make a hole in the center of the bottom side of the mushroom heads.Use toothpick to apply some chocolate into the hole just made. Take one of the pair, which is the bottom part of the mushroom and stick it inside the hole and chocolate will hold it in place once dried.
9. When the chocolate sets, they will hold together. Repeat with remaining pieces. Store at room temperature in a dry place or tin.
** Meringue Tip Alert **
+ Use stainless steel bowl to whip your whites. Make sure you have washed it thoroughly that it does not have any fat content that has stayed behind. For precaution, wash with lemon and hot water. Wipe it clean and let it dry.
+ Wash your beater blades also thoroughly, wipe off clean and dry it completely.
+ Not a bit of yolk into it, if you happen to add by mistake, discard it and start over.
+ If the meringue loosens up, don’t stress out, try again !!