Photo by Annaliese Bischoff
Provenance of Dish
With a new batch of dried candy caps I’ve been curious to experiment with them. This recipe uses ground candy caps like a spice. I did not want the candy cap to become cloying, but still wanted their earthy sweet distinctive flavor. With the sweetness of the meringue mushroom shell caps, I decided not to sweeten the whipped cream....but if you must, go ahead. And if you don’t have edible flowers and mint, you can substitute a cup of fresh fruits, like raspberries and sliced peaches or mixed berries. I always like a contrast of fresh sour and sweet with the pairing. Today I am using violets and mint from my garden.
2 egg whites (about 1/3 cup), room temperature
¼ tsp cream of tartar
Pinch of salt (@1/8 tsp)
½ cup sugar
½ tsp. ground candy cap mushrooms
½ tsp. ground cacao nibs or unsweetened cocoa
1 cup heavy whipping cream (1/2 tbl. Sugar if you must have it sweetened)
½ tsp. vanilla
@1 cup of edible flowers
@1/2 cup of mint leaves
Dusting of candy cap mushroom powder and cacao or cocoa
• Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
• Beat the room temperature egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff and glossy. Slowly add the sugar, mushroom powder and cacao or cocoa. When you have glossy stiff peaks, spoon the mix onto the parchment paper to create 6-8 circles, depending upon how large you want your meringue caps to be. Make indentations in the middle of each cap; you can use a tablespoon or small measuring cup to do this.
• Bake for an hour, until the meringue is dry and somewhat hardened. Let cool completely (at least 30 minutes).
• Whip the heavy cream with the vanilla until you have soft peaks. If you must, add some sugar for sweetness.
• To assemble add the meringue cap to the bottom of the serving dish. Spoon on the cream. Strew the edible flowers and mint leaves (rolled and cut into a chiffonade). Add an optional dusting of candy cap powder and cacao or cocoa. Refrigerate for at least an hour so the flavors mingle. Garnish with additional flowers and mint upon serving.