For the meringue mushrooms to decorate her Tiramisu Yule Log, Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez definitely did not want to go the traditional route. “Do I have to do the boring white mushrooms?” she asked. “How about I add a little cocoa to the meringue and do mushrooms that look like cremini,” she continued, her voice rising with enthusiasm.
“Great idea!” I shot back, because although I’m a fan of meringues of any kind, especially ones made to mimic mushrooms, I’ve often thought they looked too bright a white up against the chocolate brown bark of the log.
When Eriquez turned in her Christmas menu recipes, she was particularly proud of how her mushroom idea turned out. “Just wait till you try them,” she told me, “they’re really cute.”
It’s no surprise, then, that her Yule log with the mushrooms was the first recipe I tested. Everything was going beautifully until it came time to pipe the cocoa-tinted meringue onto the baking sheet. The meringue was super stiff when I began folding in the tiny amount of cocoa Eriquez called for, but when I tried to pipe the “stems,” which are supposed to stand straight up on the baking sheet, the tops kept leaning over. Continue reading