Christmas Meringue Mushrooms
Prep time: 30 mins
Baking and Cooling 3 hours 30 mins
Start by making the meringue:
1. Preheat the oven to 100°C (fan). Line the Tala Performance Baking Tray 34.5 x 24.4 x 2cm with baking paper.
2. Add the egg whites into a spotlessly clean bowl.
3. Whisk on medium speed until foamy (about 3-4 minutes). Add the white wine vinegar and whisk until the meringue reaches soft peaks (about 4 minutes).
4. Increase the speed to high and gradually add the sugar one tablespoon at a time. Continue to whisk until the meringue is shiny, thick and holds stiff peaks (about 2-3 minutes).
Pipe and bake the meringue mushrooms:
5. Spoon ¾ of the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm round piping nozzle. Set aside.
6. Add the red food colouring to the remaining meringue in the mixing bowl and whisk until the colour is even. Spoon into another piping bag fitted with a 1cm round nozzle.
7. Hold the piping bag of white meringue upright and pipe 20 mushroom stems by squeezing the piping bag and lifting upwards at the same time to make the meringue stand tall.
8. For the mushroom tops, pipe 10 red round domed discs (roughly 3cm diameter) and 10 white discs.
9. Bake for 90 minutes. The meringues should be hard, dry to the touch and easily lift off the baking paper.
10.Close the oven door, turn it off and let the meringues cool down completely inside for at least 2 hours or overnight (this will prevent them from cracking).
Assemble and decorate the mushrooms:
11. Use a sharp knife to make small holes in the bottom of the mushroom tops. Push the mushroom stems into the holes until they feel secure. The marshmallowy inside of the mushroom tops should hold the stems in place.
12.To decorate the white mushrooms, dust a little cocoa powder on top.
13. To decorate the red mushrooms, mix the icing sugar with a few drops of water to make a thick white icing. Transfer to a piping bag and snip off the tip to make a small hole. Pipe dots of icing on top of the mushroom.
14. Leave to set and then use to decorate your festive bakes!