These cute little vegan meringues are made to look like mushrooms! Festive vegan meringue cookies are just like the egg-white based ones but are made with aquafaba instead! They are perfect for decorating a vegan Yule Log, or Bûche de Noël, for a fun and beautiful Christmas dessert.
If you haven’t heard of aquafaba before, it’s the liquid leftover from cooking chickpeas. As the chickpeas cook, they release some of their carbohydrates and protein into the water. Once reduced and strained, it whisks up like egg whites and has similar structural characteristics in baked goods. And if you’re wondering, there’s no chickpea flavor in the final product!
Tips for Perfect Vegan Meringue Mushrooms:
- The trick to getting the most out of your aquafaba is to reduce the volume of it. There’s a huge variation on how thick the aquafaba is right out of the can – this variation happens between brands but also even between cans of the exact same brand. Many recipes suggest reducing aquafaba by 1/3 but I have had better results reducing the liquid by half. Simply keep a measuring cup by the stove while the aquafaba is simmering and occasionally pour it back into the measuring cup to keep an eye on how the volume is reducing. You can always mix a bit of water back in. Strain it through a fine mesh sieve and then chill in the fridge until you need it. Once cooled, it should have the consistency of egg whites. Don’t be put off by the smell while it cooks, or the color as it darkens a bit – it’ll all work out! One of the magical things about aquafaba is the way it becomes a light creamy color once it’s whipped and how the flavor is undetectable once it’s added to a recipe.
- While I have found that over-whipping aquafaba will not harm it like over-whipping egg whites will (they dry out and break), once the sugar is added to the meringue, the air starts getting knocked out as the sugar becomes completely dissolved. For this reason, I recommend beating the aquafaba until stiff peaks form, then gradually adding the sugar and to stop beating once the sugar is blended. It does become glossier with additional beating, but it thins out and doesn’t hold its shape as well if over-beaten.
- Meringue, whether it’s made with eggs or aquafaba, does not like fat. Fat will ruin the meringue and you won’t get the fluffy cloud-like texture which is needed for the sponge cake. Ensure there’s no fat when creating the meringue by washing your equipment really well, and then wiping it down with a piece of paper-towel and vinegar.
If you make these Vegan Mushroom Meringues, please let me know in the comments below and feel free to give it a rating! Also, I love connecting on Instagram where you can tag me in your creations using my recipes. I love seeing what you’re up to in the kitchen! Thanks for reading along and I hope you enjoy this recipe!
Vegan Mushroom Meringues
- 6 tbsp reduced aquafaba
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt (if using unsalted aquafaba)
- unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
- 1/4 cup vegan chocolate, melted
- Preheat the oven to 200°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Wipe down the bowl of your stand-mixer and balloon whisk attachment with vinegar and a paper towel. Removing any fat or oil residue is critical to ensure that the meringue does not deflate.
- Add the aquafaba, vinegar and salt (if using) to the bowl, and whip on high until stiff peaks form. The meringue should cling to the bowl when it's turned upside down, and should form a peak which keeps its shape when the whisk is removed and turned upside down.
- Add the sugar to the meringue, a few tbsp at a time, keeping the mixer on high. At this point, beat only until the sugar is incorporated. While aquafaba can be beaten forever (unlike egg white meringue which can become dry and break), once the sugar is added to aquafaba it can deflate the meringue once the sugar is completely dissolved during over-beating.
- Spoon the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a 3/8"-1/2" round tip. Start by creating 25 stems and 25 caps.; you may have some left over for more at the end. To make the domes, pipe 1/2" above the baking sheet until you have a diameter of about 1.5"-2"; turn the tip quickly at the height of the dome and then lift quickly. Use a finger dipped in water to smooth the point or bump on the dome. For the stems, pipe and then lift until you have a stem about 1-1.5" high and then quickly lift to release the meringue, creating a "kiss" shape. Create some variation in the sizes, but take care not to make the stems too high or they will fall over. Dust the mushroom stems and caps with a bit of cocoa powder.
- Bake the meringues for 1.5 hours, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. At the end of the baking time, the meringues will be hard but should not change color. Turn the oven off but leave the meringues inside with the door closed until the oven is completely cool. The meringues can be stored there until you're ready to assemble the mushrooms.
To Assemble the Mushrooms:
- Use the tip of paring knife to drill a hole into the flat side of a mushroom cap. Paint chocolate on the flat side of the cap to create a gill and shadow effect. Dip the tip of a stem into the melted chocolate and then gently insert into the hole made in the cap. Set aside for the chocolate to dry. Store in a paper bag or cookie tin in a dry place. Do not store in the fridge as it is too humid and the mushrooms will soften and become sticky.