Recipe by Holly Wilkins
"These take a bit of work and time, but are spectacular. They are highly prized for Christmas gift-giving! As with other meringue recipes, these should only be made on a dry day. You will need a pastry bag with a plain tip. If you can save some green plastic berry baskets from the summertime, these mushrooms look totally realistic placed in them."
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cream of tartar
unsweetened cocoa powder
chocolate confectioners' coating
These are super cute. I found that if you make a little hole in the bottom of the caps, you can fill them with chocolate for an extra little surprise.
For super realistic mushrooms, paint the bottom of the cap with chocolate, add the stem, then use a toothpick to make the 'gills' going out from around the base.
Everyone thought these were real mushrooms.
I'm sorry, but even when I went over the tops of the caps with a wet finger my mushrooms turned out horribly uneven. I even started them without the tips on top! I even watched the Martha Stewart episode on making meringue mushrooms! Any suggestions? I thought this was going to be a fairly easy task but it turned into a horrible mess.
I didn't find these took much time at all! There aren't a lot of ingredients to assemble and when you beat on high it only takes a few minutes to get a good meringue, and the piping was really easy too...I don't have a pastry bag so i just cut a corner out a zip-lock and used that, and it worked fine. The only real comment I have is that this recipe makes a lot of merigue. I guess you could make the mushrooms a lot bigger than life sized, but i'd say you could probably halve it and still get 36.
definitely a fun recipe - not the easiest but a fun challenge. This is not a recipe for a humid day-the meringue is sticky and never dries out. ***Don't use a silicone mat, use parchment. They stick bad enough that you will damage them prying them off.
These mushrooms are absolutely magical. They look so real, my husband was convinced I'd gone to the farmer's market without him! The only changes I made to the recipe were in the assembly. After removing the caps from the oven, I used a pastry brush to lightly smear the cocoa powder, going for a 'wild mushroom' look. After they had cooled, I sliced the pointed tips off of the stem pieces to make them flat. One at a time, I painted melted dark chocolate on the bottoms of the caps with a small craft brush, then pressed the cut end of the stem piece into the center. As each one was finished, I placed them cap side down in empty egg cartons so they wouldn't topple over. I left them to dry for a few hours, then sealed them in an airtight container. These were perfect on our Buche de Noel, but I can't wait until next Christmas to make these again. I think they'll be great for Easter, too. Thank you so much, Holly!
Being a young adult, I hadn't heard of these small confections before. So I just had to include them into my holiday cookie gift assortments. Although many people had seen them before, my age group were just floored! A definate treat to leave an impression. The chocolate cofentioners--- I wasn't sure what EXACTLLY is was, so I used Cocoa powder, tasted great ( almost like really marshmallowy hot chocolate!)
I also dyed some coconut green, mixed into some corn syrup and dipped the stem bottoms in there for some added realness. For some fantasy-- we made some colored corn syrup and painted little spots to resemble Wonderland mushrooms.
Oh, and many thanks to foodaholic for the great professional-looking photos!
Thanks to everyone's comments! I like the idea of using colored corn syrup to paint polka dots and make 'fantasy' mushrooms; also to make the 'gills'.
So sorry about the confusion of chocolate to use. The brand I used to use was Wilton Candy Melts. Now I like to use Giardhelli (sp?) dark semisweet chips, melted.
Note - I tried tonight, to make these with the pasteurized egg whites you buy in cartons? They did not whip to the same stiffness as natural whites, though the volume seemed about the same. Maybe a little less. They are in the oven now...I will report back on any major differences. But I am thinking one should stay with the natural, separate-them-yourself egg whites.
*I'm back! the only difference I found between the whites from carton and natural whites - was that the stems from the carton whites did not quite keep their shape as well during baking. I tried to make them tall and they didn't quite stay tall. But still fine. I've tried some new final touches too - before the chocolate hardens, on some I sprinkle the tiny colored balls to look like 'spores'...also on some I sprinkle finely chopped candy canes...and on the tops of large mushrooms, I put a couple dabs of melted chocolate, then 'paste' on 3 tiny nonpariels ("snowcaps" candies".
These were the definite show-stealer at my New Year's Party. I was SO impressed with both how easy they were, and how realistic they looked! If you're like me (and the baker at my local supermarket) thinking, "What the heck is chocolate confectioner's coating?", then don't panic. I melted 6 or 7 Hershey kisses and they did the trick perfectly. I've heard meringue can be tricky, so I made sure to slowly sprinkle the sugar one tbsp at a time, and beat it lots and lots and lots, and it worked. Thanks to hungry girl for the zip-lock bag tip. I'll be making these for years and years to come. Thanks Holly!!
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Serving Size: 1/36 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 36
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 11
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