4 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
Pinch of Cream of Tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
light cookie crumbs
Combine egg whites, sugar, and tartar in bowl from stand mixture. Place over top of a simmering pot of water. Whisk constantly until mixture is smooth to touch and warm. Remove from heat and place bowl back into stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment and whisk on high speed for 10 minutes until meringue is white and fluffy and bowl is cool to touch.
Line tray with parchment paper. Fill piping bag fitted with small round tip with meringue and pipe small round mounds for tops of mushrooms. Pipe stems for the mushrooms by creating a small skinny base. Bake at 200F for 60 minutes. Then turn oven temperature down to 175F and continue to bake for 45-60 minutes more until meringues are dry but not yet coloured.
Melt dark and white chocolates separately. Using an offset spatula, first cover bottom of mushroom tops with dark chocolate and allow to harden. Switching to white chocolate cover the dark chocolate. While white chocolate is still soft, use a toothpick to etch out the “gills” of the mushroom cap. Allow to dry. Using a sharp knife core out a small piece of the mushroom cap (underneath), dip a stem in to the white chocolate, and insert into the cored out area. Allow to dry.
To decorate the cupcakes, cover the top of the cupcake with chocolate buttercream. Place cookie crumbs, chocolate shavings, and rocks as desired to create the “floor” of a forest. Place mushrooms into the buttercream. Pipe small amounts of grass around the mushroom and rock bases. Sprinkle the top of the mushrooms with cocoa powder to give a more realistic effect.