Martha Stewart Living, December/January 1993/1994
Yield Makes enough to decorate one BÃ»che de NoÃ«l
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
- 3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
- Heat oven to 225 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, heat sugar and 1/2 cup water over low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid reaches 248 degrees.(hard-ball stage) on a candy thermometer.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric beater fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites on low speed until soft peaks form. Increase speed to high, and add hot syrup in a steady stream, beating constantly. Continue beating until cool and stiff, about 5 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Fold in cocoa powder.
- Spoon meringue into a large pastry bag fitted with a coupler and large plain tip. Pipe meringue onto prepared baking sheet to form 2-inch domes. Pipe a separate stem shape for each dome.
- Sprinkle cocoa powder lightly over meringues. Bake until dry, about 2 hours. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
- To assemble mushrooms, melt chocolate in a double boiler or in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Trim off points from tops of stems. With a small offset spatula, spread chocolate on underside of a cap and place trimmed end of stem into center of cap. Place mushroom, stem side up, in an egg carton to harden. Repeat with remaining mushrooms; refrigerate until set.
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