Just about everywhere you go in Pixie Hollow, you'll find no shortage of toadstools. Fairies use them for all kinds of things, including tables, workbenches, and umbrellas. Although these meringue mushrooms bear a remarkable resemblance to the real thing, they serve just a single, but important, purpose: satisfying a fairy fan's sweet tooth. For the best results, make them on a dry (rather than a humid) day.
- Baking sheets
- Parchment paper
- Mixing bowl
- Electric mixer
- 3 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (preferably extra fine)
- Wooden spoon
- Pastry bag fitted with a round tip
- Small microwavable bowl
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
1. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper, and heat the oven to 200 degrees F.
2. Beat the egg whites on medium speed until they are frothy.
3. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until the whites form soft peaks.
4. Turn the mixer up to high and beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time. Continue beating the whites until they become glossy and form stiff peaks.
5. Spoon the meringue into the pastry bag. On the first tray, pipe 18 to 24 mushroom caps by holding the pastry bag perpendicular to the tray and using even pressure to squeeze out mounds of meringue that measure 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter and about 3/4 inch high. To avoid creating peaked tops, try twisting the pastry bag as you pull it away from the caps. You can also gently smooth small peaks with a wet fingertip.
6. Pipe mushroom stems onto the second tray (you'll want to make extras since some are bound to topple). For each one, start with a round base (about 3/4 to 1 inch wide) and continue piping meringue as you slowly draw the bag upward to give the stem a tapered top. Ideally, your stems should be about 1 1/2 inches tall.
7. Bake the caps and stems for 75 minutes, turning the trays halfway through the baking time so the meringues will cook evenly. Turn off the heat and leave the trays in the oven until it cools.
|8. Now it's time to join the stems and caps. Use the tip of a knife to hollow out a small hole on the underside of each cap, as shown. Then heat the chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring each time, until they are melted. For each mushroom, dip the top of a stem into the melted chocolate and insert it into the hole in the cap.|
9. Once the chocolate has set, lightly dust the mushroom tops with sifted cocoa powder, and enjoy! Store any leftovers in an airtight container.