Meringue is an incredibly popular and cheap decoration made from beating egg whites with sugar until stiff and baking at a low temperature. The final meringue should be light, crispy and, of course, edible. Meringue is so flexible so feel free to let your imagination go wild This post is dedicated specifically to meringue mushrooms, one of the typical decoration for yule log (or Buche de Noel). These are so easy to make, and oh-so-satisfying to look at and enjoy since they closely resemble real mushrooms, which go great together with logs and tree trunks. It kinda reminds me of all those fairy tales I’ve been told, you know, with mushrooms growing under old oak trees in a forest
- 1 egg medium white (30 – 33 gram )
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tatar
- 50 gram (1/2 cup minus 1.5 Tbsp) powdered/ icing sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 5~10 gram chocolate
- a mixing bowl
- a hand- or stand-mixer
- disposable piping bags and a piping tip (optional)
- a baking pan lined with parchment paper
– The egg white must be at room temperature and grease-proof (free from any kinds of fat such as egg yolk, oil, butter…)
– If you use granulated sugar, it’s best to finely ground the sugar beforehand.
– Cream of tartar should not be substituted by vinegar or lemon juice.
– The mixing bowl and whisk must be dry and grease-proof.
1. Have a baking pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Also prepare a disposable piping bag and a piping tip. Preheat the oven to 100°C/ 212°F.
2. Put the egg white into a bowl and add a pinch of salt. Turning the mixer on low, beat for about 30-45 seconds until large bubbles form. Note that the beating time might vary depending on the power of your mixer, but as long as there are large bubbles, you’ll be fine.
3. Add the cream of tartar. Gradually speed up the mixer to medium and beat until soft peaks form. The mixture should be white and fluffy, with tiny bubbles that resemble shaving cream.
4. Slowly add the sugar and turn the mixer to high speed. Add the sugar a little at a time and beat until it has dissolved before adding more. The mixture would get glossy and stiff. When you’ve added all of the sugar, mix at medium speed until the sugar has completely dissolved and stiff peaks form.
5. Again, the mixing time would vary depending on your mixer. Mine was 500 Watt and it takes me about 8~10 minutes to get stiff peaks. And by stiff I mean really stiff so that the mushrooms will hold its shape.
6. Immediately transfer the mixture into a piping bag attached to a piping tip. The tip should be about 0.8 to 1cm in diameter (alternatively, cut the tip of your piping bag at approx. 0.4 cm)
7. Keeping the bag upright. To pipe the mushroom cap: pipe a circle and sharply swirl to stop the meringue as you lift off the tip. For the stem: Pipe a cone-shape straight up.
8. The size and shape of the mushrooms totally depend on you. I personally think it’s more natural and interesting to make mushrooms with all kinds of shapes and sizes, so I’ve made a bunch of them. The egg white will not rise or expand while baking; it will only dry up, so the shape you have is exactly what you’ll get. You can also make mushrooms with different colors and patterns as you’d like.
9. When you’re done piping and forming mushrooms, dip your fingers into a little water and press the tips of the mushroom caps to create a smooth surface.
10. Baking the meringue mushrooms at 100°C/ 212°F for about 55-60 minutes. The low temperature prevents the meringue from burning. The longer you bake the meringue, the crispier it will turn out. The meringue is ready when it doesn’t stick to the parchment paper when lifted (pic. #1 below).
11. The mushrooms must be completely cool before the final assemble. Melt a little chocolate. Make a little hole under the mushroom cap (pic. #2). Dip the small end of the stem into the melted chocolate and attach it to the hole (pic. #3~4~5). Leave to cool.
12. The finished mushrooms should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place and can last for several days.
Opera Yule Log cake with Meringue Mushroom (recipe HERE)
Authors: Trang & Thu