Bake

Meringue Mushrooms

October 13, 2021
4 Stars
Author Notes

These funny little confections are a traditional garnish for bûche de Noël. My mother used to make them with us when we were growing up; they're a great project to make with young kids. They also make for a fun edible present. —Merrill Stubbs

Test Kitchen Notes

If you've ever tackled a bûche de Noël (or Yule log) for Christmas or whatever holiday you celebrate as a showstopper of a dessert, you know that it can be quite a project—yet extremely beautiful and rewarding the moment you serve it. Not only will your guests love the taste, the presentation will make everyone oooh and aaah. You can decorate your masterpiece with berries, a simple dusting of powdered sugar to look like snow, Santa figurines, and/or fresh rosemary sprigs, but a classic go-to is to make your own meringue mushrooms. After all that work to make the cake, you may feel like you don't want to go through the extra steps to make the mushrooms, but it's always a fun, creative touch, they're delicious to eat, and you can always break up the process in a couple of days. If you've never tried making and forming them before, we highly suggest giving it a shot this holiday season.

All you have to do is beat the egg whites, cream of tarter, and superfine sugar together, then pipe the mushrooms caps and stems on separate sheets. They'll bake for about 90 minutes, so a lot of the work is hands off. Dip the bottom of the caps in melted chocolate to give them an even more rustic look (and the chocolate acts as the glue), then dust with some cocoa powder as the finishing touch. They're so cute and adorable, you may use this recipe again and again any time you need a festive add-on to your baked goods. —The Editors

Watch This Recipe
Meringue Mushrooms
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Makes About 20 mushrooms
Ingredients
  • Meringue
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • Mushrooms
  • 3 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 pinch cayenne (optional)
  • Cocoa powder, for dusting
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Make the meringues: Heat the oven to 225°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone.
  2. In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low speed for about 1 minute, until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 more minutes, until the whites form soft peaks.
  3. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and gradually add the sugar. Continue to beat for about 5 minutes more, until glossy, stiff peaks form.
  4. Fit a pastry bag with a ½-inch round tip and spoon about half of the meringue into the bag. Twist the top and pipe ½-inch rounds onto one of the prepared baking sheets, leaving an inch or so between the rounds.
  5. Add the rest of the meringue to the bag. Pipe the mushroom stems on the second prepared sheet, starting a little thicker at the base and thinning out as you work up, creating a cone shape. (Count as you get toward the end of the meringue and make sure you have an even number of caps and stems; if not, pipe more of whatever you need.)
  6. Dip your finger in a little water and gently smooth the tops of the rounds. (No need to worry about the stems, as you'll be trimming them after they're baked.) Bake the meringues for 1½ to 2 hours, until crisp and dry; do not let them brown. Let cool on the baking sheets.
  7. Assemble the mushrooms: In the meantime, melt the chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler. Whisk in the cinnamon and cayenne, if using. Let cool slightly so that it thickens up a little and isn't so runny.
  8. While the chocolate is cooling, using a serrated knife, carefully trim about ¼ of an inch off the the pointed tips of the mushroom stems, creating a flat plane.
  9. Dip the bottom of each meringue mushroom cap into the chocolate, creating a thin layer, then attach to the narrow end of the stem, using the chocolate as glue. Arrange the mushrooms right side up on a baking sheet and refrigerate until the chocolate sets. Dust the tops of the mushrooms with cocoa powder to finish.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Michelle de Lima
    Michelle de Lima
  • Chef Devaux
    Chef Devaux
  • kirsty wright
    kirsty wright
  • Merrill Stubbs
    Merrill Stubbs

11 Reviews

Michelle D. December 11, 2017
How far in advance can these be made?
 
Chef D. November 22, 2015
AWESOME IDEA!
 
Nicole H. April 13, 2015
Would these be terrible if I used granulated sugar? I don't have superfine or a food processor to make some.
 
saucysam December 21, 2013
Tiny penises for dinner!!
 
sandra October 24, 2013
How far in advance can these be made
 
Louis October 23, 2013
They're delicious. Do you know the calorie count?
 
kirsty W. March 19, 2013
beautiful
 
Janet P. December 31, 2012
In the recipe you say 2 eggs. Don't you mean 2 egg whites?
 
Author Comment
Merrill S. December 31, 2012
Yes, yikes! Thanks so much for noticing the mistake. Will correct it now.
 
biancaS December 24, 2012
Is this is Celsius?
 
Author Comment
Merrill S. December 24, 2012
No, Fahrenheit.