French Meringue Mushrooms and Shapes

  • Baking Temp (degrees F): 200 initially; then 175
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It is believed that meringue was invented in 1720 by a Swiss Pastry chef called Gasparini. The dish soon spread to France where it was said to be the favorite dessert of Marie Antoinette. There are different types of meringues and you are all correct because their texture depends on ingredients, whipping and baking time.
Less sugar creates a softer meringue for toppings on cakes or pies; more sugar creates a harder meringue used for piping into shapes.
Bake hard meringues at VERY LOW temperatures to avoid browning - because they will very quickly.
Add a tablespoon of cornstarch dissolved in heated water to whipped egg whites for a hard meringue that cuts smoothly.

The mushroom-shaped meringue is used to decorate the traditional Christmas cake -- the "Bûche de Noel" or Yule Log.
You can present the "mushrooms" in a basket for a charming party centerpiece or serve as a cookie. You can pipe mushroom caps of all different shapes and sizes and then separately pipe stems to match. 

Recipe used with:
Bûche de Noël (Christmas Yule Cake Log) Recipe
Gluten Free Buche de Noel Tutorial Recipe

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