Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fungus Chocolatus Meringus - Meringue Mushrooms

Back when I was assisting my brother with my niece's Birthday cake, I made Swiss Butter Creme. In the post, I promised I would be revisiting the Swiss Meringue to form Mushrooms for a Buche de Noel that I had intended on making for Christmas dinner. Sadly, I didn't get to make it due to time constraints. Never the less, I simply moved my Buche to New Years Day.... Better late than never I always say.

So here you have it. Meringue Mushrooms, made with Swiss Meringue and painted with Bittersweet and White Chocolates... All in preparations for the Buche de Noel that shall ring in the New Year. But don't let the lack of a Buche stop you from enjoying the wonders of Swiss Meringue. No, No, No, my friends. Swiss meringue can be dropped onto sheets by the spoonful or piped into fingers, dried the same way, and then dipped in the chocolate of your choice. Stir in come coconut and make traditional macaroons.

Meringue Mushrooms

1/2 cup egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
a pinch cream of tartar
1/2 tsp vanilla or hazelnut extract
1 tsp Dutched Cocoa Powder - optional - plus more for dusting
2 tsp Natural Cocoa Powder
2 oz Bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 oz White chocolate, finely chopped
optional - Confectioners' Sugar for dusting

Place water in the bottom of a medium saucepan and place over medium heat to bring it to a simmer.

Combine egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl, and place over saucepan.

Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 3 1/2 minutes.

Test by rubbing between your fingers to ensure you cannot feel any sugar granules. (You do not have to cook this to 160 degrees as for the Swiss Butter Creme because it will be baked in the oven for 1 hour and will be fully cooked)

Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whip, starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes.

Add vanilla, and mix until combined.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

Divide the Swiss meringue between 3 small bowls; setting 1 aside. (for White button Mushrooms)

Fold 1 tsp of Dutched Cocoa into the second portion, (think Italian Brown/Cremini mushroom color)

and fold 2 tsp of Natural Cocoa into the third portion. (this gives a more Porcini color)

Now that you have 3 different colors of Mushrooms.

Place each portion in an 18-inch pastry bag fitted with a large round 1/2-inch tip.

Pipe domes, 1/2 inch to 2 inches in diameter, onto parchment lined baking sheets.

Smooth the tops with a wet finger.

Pipe 'stems' onto baking sheets, making one to go with each "cap."

Bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching positions of sheets at 30 minutes, for 1 hour.
Reduce the oven temperature to 175 degrees and continue baking, switching the position of the sheets after 20 minutes until meringues are completely dry to the touch but not browned, about 45 to 60 minutes more.

Melt bittersweet chocolate, stirring occasionally, in a small heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave in a small ceramic or glass bowl.

Using a small offset spatula, spread bottoms of caps with a thin layer of dark chocolate, and let set.

Melt white chocolate in another heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave in a ceramic or glass bowl.

Let cool until thickened, and spread over the dark chocolate.

To make gills, use a toothpick to draw lines from center to edge of caps allowing the dark chocolate to show through the white, and let set.

Using a paring knife, make a small hole in center of underside of each coated cap.

Dip the pointed end of each stem in remaining white chocolate.

Insert into a hole; let set, then store in airtight containers in a cool, dry place up to 1 week.

Now sit back and enjoy the most delicious mushrooms ever! If using for cake decor, dust some of the mushroom caps with more cocoa powder or confectioners' sugar, if you like.



Dajana said...

The cutest mushrooms I've ever seen.

Michele said...

Martha Stewart would be proud! You did a great job on those mushrooms! Happy New Year my friend!

DDpie said...

Awesome job dude, but then we don't expect any less of you ;) Happy New Year!

Patti T. said...

I am always impressed when I see these made by someone. You make it sound so easy. In case I haven't told you lately, I really really enjoy your blog. Thanks for showing us all these great recipes and especially the step by step pictures.

Bob said...

Nice. Love the chocolate gills. Heh.

DutchBakerGirl said...

I love the mushrooms! You do make it seem easy--something else for me to try. :)

Katy ~ said...

Well done! I'm still too scarritt to try it, grins, but you gave a wonderful explanation, and the photos were helpful! thank you so much.

The Moon Muse said...

Adorable! I love all the details.

Cookiebaker said...


Unknown said...

those are the cutest fungi Ive ever seen!