Monday, November 26, 2012
This will be my last post for the year as I am taking a break from blogging until February next year.
For a bit of fun, I thought I will make mushroom meringues. I really enjoy making them, and they came out cuter than I expected. They will make great Christmas gift in a glass jar, or as decorations on Christmas log (Yule log or Buche de Noel).
100 grams egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch of salt (about 1/4 teaspoon)
100 grams caster sugar
100 grams icing sugar
30 grams white chocolate
Pink food colour
Preheat the oven to 120 degree celsius (or 100 degree celsius fan forced). Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.
In an electric stand mixer with whisk attachment, at medium speed, beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Start to add caster sugar, a spoonful at a time, 3-4 seconds between each addition. It's important to add the sugar slowly at this stage as it helps prevent the meringue from weeping later. Increase speed of mixer to high, and continue beating mixture until stiff and glossy.
Sift icing sugar over the mixture, then gently fold it in with a big metal spoon or rubber spatula.
Seperate the meringue mix into two parts. Keep the first white for the stems, and the second with pink liquid food colour to a pastel pink shade.
To pipe caps, holding the piping bag upright and close to the baking paper, pipe the meringue with even pressure into round meringue disk.
To pipe stems, holding the pastry bag upright and close to the parchment paper, pipe the meringue with even pressure, into a cone-shape, making the base of the stem a little larger than the top. Try to keep the stems as straight as possible. Some of the stems may fall over on their sides during baking, so it is a good idea to make extra. Use a damp fingertip and smooth down the tip of the stems into a flat top.
Place the meringues into the oven and reduce the temperature to 110 degree celsius (or 90°C degree celsius fan forced). When you place the meringues in the oven, the initial slightly higher temperature sets their outsides. The lower temperature then dries the meringues rather than bakes them. Leave the oven on for 45 minutes or until the meringues are crisp and sound hollow when tapped on the base. Turn the oven off and allow the meringues to cool completely in the oven.
To assemble the mushrooms, melt the white chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. Dip the top of a stem in the white chocolate, and stick the chocolate-covered stem top to the mushroom cap. Place the mushroom on a baking tray to set, and repeat with remaining caps and stems. The stems can be trim down further by using a lemon zester if you have problem with having the caps sitting flat on the stems.
Labels: The Basics