Sweet mushrooms. When I first heard that such a thing existed, I was in disbelief. How could fungi be sweet, let alone have the scent of maple syrup? I was so intrigued that I actually entered a recipe contest where Marx Foods would send out a bagful of Dried Candy Cap Mushrooms to participants to see who could come up with the best recipe.
I'll be honest, once I received my shrooms, I perused the web to learn a bit more about them and some applications done by others. I even consulted with my brother (former culinary student) to see what he would suggest- the obvious being a dessert. I'm not a dessert fanatic (don't get me wrong, I love a good after dinner treat every now and again), so I wanted to steer clear of the already done cookies, cakes, and ice creams. I just had to figure out something that I could incorporate a maple-like flavor into. Being that we're close to the holidays, I wanted something relevant to the season too. Then it clicked, Cornbread. And then it clicked once more, Candy Cap cornbread Stuffing! The key was making a syrup out of the Candy Caps to get out the flavor and aroma. It played out well and the results were interestingly enjoyable. My taste testers and I were pleased with the subtle sweetness mixed with the savory combination of the stuffing. Even the cornbread itself was great, tasting like a cornmeal pancake with built in syrup.
You may not have Candy Cap mushrooms readily available (or the urge to order a batch-they are "gourmet" priced), but you could still make the recipe(s) using maple syrup. If you want to get a little crazy though, give these wild mushrooms a try. I had a great time experimenting with these "fun guys" and learning more about the West Coast shrooms.
Print Recipes Here
There are 3 parts to this recipe- the syrup, the cornbread, and then the stuffing.
Candy Cap Syrup
- 4 Tbs Candy Cap Mushrooms
- 1 ¼ Cup Water, cold
- 1 Cup Sugar
- In a sauce pan, soak Candy Caps in water for 20 minutes.
- Add sugar and heat over medium high heat until mixture boils.
- Reduce heat, stir, and simmer for at least 20 minutes.
Candy Cap Cornbread
- ¼ Cup Candy Cap syrup
- 1 ¼ Cups Buttermilk
- 2 Eggs
- ¼ Cup melted Light Butter
- 1 ¼ Cups Cornmeal
- 1 ¼ Cups Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 cup canned Sweet Corn, drained (fresh corn is ok)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk wet ingredients.
- In a bigger bowl, mix dry ingredients.
- Pour wet into dryingredients and mix. Add in corn.
- Pour mix into a sprayed/greased 9 x 13 pan
- Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Let it cool and then slice.
Makes 12 servings
Candy Cap Cornbread Stuffing
- 1 Tbs Olive Oil
- 1 Cup Celery, diced
- 1 Cup Onion , diced
- 3 Tbsp Dried Parsley
- Dash Sage
- Dash Cayenne
- Generous Sprinkling of Pepper
- Salt, to taste
- 8 pieces of cornbread
- ¼ Cup Candy Cap Syrup
- 1 ¼ Cup Chicken Broth
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Saute celery, onion, and seasonings in oil over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.
- Tear or cut cornbread into small cubes and place in a large bowl,
- Add in vegetables, broth, and syrup and stir until all is moist (not soaked, just moist- use additional broth if necessary).
- Place mixture into a baking dish and cook for 45 minutes, or until top is golden brown.
Makes 6-8 Servings