Last year when we made these mushrooms, everyone ate them off the cake before I could eat one. So this year we made a lot more. They're supposed to decorate a buche de noel. But they're not only cute-- they taste great as well.
First you make meringue, and then you pipe shapes with a pastry bag-- see below. After the meringues are cooked, make small holes with a skewer.
Then melt some chocolate chips (about half a cup) in the microwave.
Glop the chocolate on the bottom of the mushroom cap with a spoon or knife.
Carefully stick the stem in the hole and let the mushrooms dry. It takes an hour or two for them to dry completely.
Sift cocoa powder onto the tops of the mushrooms.
Meringue Mushrooms (adapted from Cuisine at Home-- a magazine)
4 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/4 cups sugar
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form. Increase speed to high and begin adding sugar gradually. Beat until whites are stiff.
Use a pastry bag to pipe 1 inch circles. Wet your finger and then smooth the little spike so it looks like the cap of a mushroom. Make little stems by piping the meringue straight up.
Bake for 1-1.5 hours, rotating the pan every half hour. Then turn off the heat and open the door and let the meringues dry.
When the meringues are cool, drill a little hole in the bottom of the mushroom cap with a skewer (see photo). Melt chocolate chips and paint the base of the cap with chocolate. Put the stem into the cap and let dry like the first photo shows. In the end, dust the caps with a little cocoa powder.