When you’re making a yule log, you might be tempted to skip the meringue mushrooms. After all, the cake itself is a rather involved process and you’re probably short on time. Still, I urge you not to skip the mushrooms. They make the cake look much more amazing and realistic, and they are DIVINE with the chocolate mousse. Everyone loves the mushrooms. Don’t skip them.
1 pinch cream of tartar
1/4 cup superfine sugar
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 200 degrees
Beat the egg white and cream of tartar in a small bowl until stiff peaks form
Gradually add sugar and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks again
Using a pastry bag and piping tips, form large round tops and smaller stems (see above photo)
Bake one hour
When the pieces have cooled, make a little hole in the top pieces as shown above. I used a sharp knife, but you could also use an ice pick, if you have one. I’m not sure if most people have ice picks anymore, now that ice doesn’t come in large blocks and lobotomies aren’t in fashion.
Once you’ve made the holes in the tops, melt a few chocolate chips and spread the melted chocolate on the tops, then poke a stem into each top. The chocolate acts like glue and holds the stem in the hole, plus it looks like the dark part underneath a mushroom, whatever that part is called. I’m sure it has a name.
Since mushrooms found on random logs are not generally clean, you can make your mushrooms more realistic but dirtying them up with some cocoa powder. Store them in a container until you’re ready to serve your yule log so they don’t get soggy.
Voila. I think the mushrooms a ton to the finished product, don’t you?