Meringue Mushrooms are the perfect finishing touch for Christmas Yule logs or Charcuterie boards. With toasted sugar, cream of tartar, and melted dark chocolate, these mushrooms have a flavor that just can’t be beat. Plus they are an adorable addition!
Meringue mushrooms aren’t real mushrooms, but are made using meringue to create a mushroom shape that goes perfectly on a Yule Log. A Yule log also known as bûche de Noël is a traditional Christmas cake that looks like a log and is served during the Christmas season. These meringue mushrooms are added to create a realistic look to your dessert.
Although these sweet treats add the perfect touch to your Yule log, they also work well on charcuterie boards, as appetizers, on other cakes, or on their own.
WHY WE LOVE MERINGUE MUSHROOMS
Crispy, sweet and incredibly realistic, Meringue mushrooms are the perfect accompaniment to a rich and chocolatey cake. We love these little treats, and here’s why:
- No need for perfection. In fact, it’s best if the mushrooms are imperfect because all mushrooms are unique. The imperfections make these sweet treats look more natural.
- Easy to make. With just a few simple ingredients and a piping bag, you can make incredibly delicious meringue treats in no time.
- More than enough. With the ingredients below, you have more than enough mushrooms for your Yule log which means extra for snacking. The kids love this because then they can have sweet treats while everything else is cooking.
- Cute treats for anytime. Although these meringue mushrooms are a Christmas tradition, they're also fun to make anytime of the year as afternoon snacks or dinner treats.
- Granulated sugar-You want superfine sugar if you can find it.
- Cream of tartar
- Dark chocolate- I use Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Melting Wafers.
- Cocoa powder-for dusting
RECOMMENDED TOOLS FOR THIS RECIPE
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Electric mixer
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Pastry or piping bag
- ½-inch round piping tip
HOW TO MAKE MERINGUE MUSHROOMS
- Preheat and Prep- First, preheat your oven to 200℉. Then, line the baking sheet with parchment paper and set to the side.
- Beat the egg white- In a small bowl, beat one egg white with the cream of tartar using an electric mixer. Beat until soft peaks form.
- Add sugar- After the soft peaks form in your egg white, increase the mixer speed to high, and gradually add in the sugar (a tablespoon at a time). Beat until stiff peaks form.
- Put meringue in a piping bag-Next, place the meringue into a large piping bag with a fitted ½ inch round tip.
- Pipe your mushroom caps- First, pipe your caps by piping 1-1 ½ inch rounds onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Pipe your mushroom stems- Next, pipe the stems by holding the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet and forming a stem base. Then, lift the bag while squeezing to make the pointed end. The stems should be 1 inch high.
Pro Tip: Pipe a few extra stems since some of the stems tend to collapse.
- Smooth the tops- Dip your finger in a little water and use it to gently smooth the tops of the caps.
- Bake- Place the meringue mushrooms in the oven and bake them for two hours or until they are crisp and completely dry.
- Cool the meringues- Shut off your oven and allow the meringue mushrooms to cool inside the oven until they reach room temperature.
- Dust with cocoa powder- After the meringues have cooled, dust them with cocoa powder. Then, use your fingers to rub the cocoa powder into the caps and stems until they have a darkened rustic brown appearance ( like a mushroom).
- Melt the dark chocolate- Place your dark chocolate melts in a microwave safe dish and melt it. You can also use a double boiler.
- Prepare the mushrooms- While the chocolate is cooling, make a hole in the bottom of each mushroom cap with the tip of your knife. Then, using a serrated knife, trim about ¼ inch off the pointed tips of the stems.
- Attach caps and stems- Using the melted chocolate, spread a generous amount over the flat side of several mushroom caps. Then, attach the surface of the stems to the caps with the chocolate.
- Repeat- Continue the assembly process until all of the mushrooms have been assembled.
- Place in an airtight container- To prevent the mushrooms from getting sticky, place them in an airtight container as soon as possible.
TIPS FOR PERFECT MERINGUE MUSHROOMS
- Don’t make them early- Although these mushrooms can keep for 1 week, I would advise you to make them after you finish your Yule cake, or when ready to eat them. If just a small amount of air comes in contact with them, they will become soft and sticky.
- Egg whites- Before beating your egg whites, you want them to come to room temperature. Additionally, make sure there are no specks of egg yolk.
- Sugar- Superfine sugar is best because it makes a smoother meringue since it’s easier to dissolve. Be sure you add sugar gradually otherwise it will be gritty.
- Make extra- Sometimes the stems will collapse while baking or you didn’t pipe enough for the cap. Make sure to make a few extra stems and caps just in case.
- Don’t open the oven- You want to avoid opening the oven for at least the first hour of baking. This is because opening the oven door can cause the meringues to crack.
- Store in airtight containers
- Store at room temperature
- Place mushrooms in dry area
- Only store for 1 week
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is meringue?
Meringue is a type of candy or dessert that is typically associated with the French. But, it is also found in Polish, Swiss, and Italian cuisines as well. It’s made from whipped egg whites, sugar, and an acidic ingredient such as lemon, vinegar, or cream of tartar.
How long does meringue stay fresh?
Meringue is finicky. You can store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-weeks, but after that they are no good. Additionally, once you open the container, they begin to go bad quicker. You can also store meringue in an airtight container in the freezer for up to a month. After that, though, they will crack.
How can I tell if I overbeat the meringue?
If you overbeat the meringue, you can tell because the meringue will take on a course and grainy appearance.
OTHER RECIPES YOU MAY ENJOY
- 1 large egg white room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar use superfine if you can find it
- ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 ounces dark chocolate melted
- Cocoa powder for dusting
Preheat the oven to 200°F and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, beat the egg white and cream of tartar with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
Once they form soft peaks, increase the speed to high and gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time and beat until the peaks are very stiff.
Place the meringue into a large pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch round tip.
For the caps, pipe 1 - 1½-inch rounds onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving an inch between the rounds.
For the stems, hold the pastry bag perpendicular to the baking sheet. Start piping gently, forming a stem's base, then lift the bag while squeezing. Make sure to make the pointed end by pulling up the bag. The stems should be about 1 inch high.
Pipe a few stems extra since some stems can collapse.
Dip your finger in a little water and gently smooth the tops of the caps.
Bake for 2 hours until crisp and completely dry.
Shut off the heat and allow the meringues to cool inside the oven until they reach room temperature.
Once the meringues have cooled, dust them with cocoa powder, then use your fingers to rub the cocoa powder into the caps and stems until each has darkened to a rustic brown.
Assembly: melt the chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler. While the chocolate is cooling, make a hole on the bottom of each cap with the tip of a knife. Using a serrated knife, carefully trim about ¼ of an inch off the pointed tips of the mushroom stems.
Spread a generous coat of melted chocolate over the flat side of several mushroom caps, then attach the cut surface of the stems. Repeat until all of the mushrooms are assembled.
To prevent them from becoming sticky, put them in an airtight container as soon as you make them.
Although these can keep for up to 1 week if stored correctly, I advise you to make them after you finish your Yule Log cake. If a small bit of air comes in the contact with the meringue, they will become soft and sticky.
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