These vegan meringue mushrooms are based on my vegan meringue kisses recipe. They're made using aquafaba (chickpea brine) in place of egg whites which are traditionally used in meringue recipes.
Perfect for decorating your vegan Bûche de Noël or vegan tree stump cake, they look super realistic and are made with just a few pantry staple ingredients.
📖 Recipe Overview
- Uses minimal pantry staple ingredients
- Eggless and dairy-free
- Can be enjoyed as a snack or as a decoration for your vegan Christmas baking
🧾 Ingredients Needed
- Aquafaba: Put simply, aquafaba is the water in which white beans, namely chickpeas have been cooked. When whisked, chickpea brine mimics the properties of egg whites, making it perfect for vegan meringues and pavlova as well as an array of other vegan desserts.
- Caster sugar: Also known as superfine sugar in the US. Sugar is essential for creating meringue recipes as it creates structure. The more sugar you incorporate into a meringue, the stiffer and glossier it becomes.
- Cream of tartar: This is a stabilizer and helps to create a stronger and more stable meringue. If you don’t have this to hand or want to make a vegan meringue without cream of tartar, you can use the same volume of apple cider vinegar in its place.
- Cornstarch: Also known as cornflour depending on what side of the world you’re in. This is a really important step as cornstarch stabilizes the vegan meringue mixture, helping it to keep its structure when baked.
- Vanilla extract: This ingredient is optional but it gives the aquafaba meringue mushrooms a really nice flavor.
- Dark chocolate: You'll need a good quality dairy-free dark chocolate for these mushroom meringue cookies.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder: This is also optional, but it gives the mushrooms a more realistic look and added chocolate flavor.
🥣 How To Make Mushroom Cookies
Reduce the aquafaba
I pretty much always recommend reducing aquafaba for vegan meringue recipes. It intensifies the liquid, making it more viscous and a lot closer to resembling the consistency of egg whites.
To reduce the aquafaba add it to a saucepan and simmer until it has reduced to half the volume. Then chill it in the fridge until completely cool before using. You can do this step a day or more in advance of making the vegan meringue mushrooms if desired.
Make aquafaba meringue
First, make sure the bowl you're using is completely clean. Wipe down the inside of the bowl with an acid such as vinegar or lemon juice to remove any fat residue. Fats and oil are your enemies when making meringue!
Then add the reduced aquafaba and cream of tartar to the bowl and whisk on high speed for ten minutes, until soft peaks form. Then begin adding the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, whisking in between to incorporate the sugar into the meringue.
Once all of the sugar has been incorporated into the aquafaba meringue and you have a thick glossy consistency, you can add the flavoring. In this case, we're using a little vanilla extract.
Whisk in the vanilla extract and lastly, fold through the cornflour.
Piping the vegan meringue
You'll need two separate baking sheets - one for the mushroom caps and another for the mushroom stems.
Using a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle, pipe out the caps and gently smooth out any kinks with the back of a spoon if needed.
For the mushroom stems, pipe pulling upwards to create taller, thinner stem-shaped meringues. Do not worry if they are all different, this actually works better and makes them appear more realistic!
Lastly, gently dust the mushroom meringues with some cocoa powder before baking them on very low heat.
Assembling the meringue mushrooms
Using a skewer, pierce a hole into the underneath side of the mushroom cap and brush with some melted chocolate.
Carefully press the mushroom stem into the cap and voila! Vegan meringue mushrooms!
They’re ready once you’re able to lift them off the baking sheet without sticking.
Place them in an airtight container and keep them at room temperature, do not refrigerate.
Yes, aquafaba meringue freezes really well in an airtight container.
🍽 More Aquafaba Desserts
- 236 ml (1 cup) aquafaba, *see notes, prep ahead of time (see step 1)
- ¼ teaspoon (¼ teaspoon) cream of tartar
- 200 g (1 cup) caster sugar (superfine)
- 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
- 8 g (1 tablespoon) cornflour (cornstarch), plus extra for dusting, sifted
- 10 g (2 tablespoons) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 75 g (2.65 oz) vegan dark chocolate
Reduce the aquafaba (at least 2 hours prior to making the recipe)
- The first step is reducing the aquafaba, this can be done the night before or at least two hours in advance of making the recipe. Add the aquafaba to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer until it has reduced by half in volume. After 5 minutes of simmering, check the volume by pouring the liquid into a bowl on your weighing scales or measure the volume by cups (be careful as it’s going to be hot!). If there's more than half of the original liquid volume continue to simmer until it reduces to half a cup.
- Allow the aquafaba to cool to room temperature and pour into a jar and refrigerate to chill.
- Preheat your oven to 100°C (212°F). Line a baking pan with some parchment paper and dust with a thin layer of cornflour - this will make it easier to lift the meringues once they are ready and prevent them from sticking to the paper.
- Take a large clean bowl, and make sure it's completely dry and free of any grease. Add the aquafaba and cream of tartar to a large bowl and whisk on high speed for 10 minutes until soft peaks form.
- Add the caster sugar one tablespoon at a time while continuing to whisk and incorporate the sugar into the aquafaba. Whisk in each tablespoon for about 30 seconds before adding the next. Continue this process until you have incorporated all of the sugar, then whisk for another 10 minutes until thick and glossy. Add the vanilla extract if using and whisk for a minute to combine.
- Add the cornflour to each bowl, and carefully fold it through the meringue mixture using a spatula until it is just incorporated - do not over-mix.
- Transfer the meringue to a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. Pipe the mushroom capes onto one baking sheet, allowing about a centimeter or so between each one. You can vary the sizes to resemble real mushrooms. If needed, you can use the back of a spoon to flatten out any kinks from lifting the piping bag.
- On the second baking sheet, pipe the stems by pulling upwards whilst piping. Use a sieve to dust both trays of meringues with some cocoa powder.
- Bake in the oven for 60-75 minutes. Check they are ready by lifting one of the meringues, it should come clean from the tray. Once ready, leave the meringues in the oven for another 15 minutes with the door ajar. Take the tray out of the oven and allow the meringues to cool completely for another 30-60 minutes before removing them from the tray.
- Melt the chocolate over a bain-marie (double boiler). Using a skewer or cocktail sitck, pierce a hole into the underneath of all the mushroom caps. Using a pastry brush, coat the underneath with melted chocolate and then carefully stick a mushroom stem into the hole. Repeat this with the remaining mushrooms.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. You can also freeze them in an airtight container for several months.
- Aquafaba: The liquid part from tinned chickpeas.
- Cream of tartar: Substitute with white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
- To tell when they are cooked, they’re ready once you’re able to lift them off the baking sheet without sticking.
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