These Mushroom-Shaped Chocolate Orange Meringues are one of the most impressive recipes I've ever successfully completed. They also make brilliant gifts, as they are dead cheap to make. Recipe was modified from here. The number of mushrooms you make depends on how big they are, it is best to vary the sizes somewhat for a more natural-looking selection.
You will need:
4 egg whites
4 drops of lemon juice
Pinch of salt
1 tsp orange extract
1 1/2 granulated sugar
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or equivalent of block chocolate
2. Add 4 drops of lemon juice, salt, and orange extract. Slowly add the sugar while beating.
3. Beat mixture until it is able to hold stiff peaks and does not slide out of the bowl if held at an angle or upside-down. This may take a while, but is very important. After mixture has thickened is a good time to preheat the oven to 225 °F (about 110 °C)
4. Add mixture to a large pastry bag (or strong plastic bag with a corner cut off to act as a pastry bag).
5. Pipe the caps of the mushrooms by making smooth domes.
6. Pipe the stems of the mushrooms by gently squeezing the mixture out into upright cylinders with peaks (for use in attaching the two pieces together later).
7. Spoon 1 or 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder into a sifter or sieve and sprinkle over mushroom caps and stems (see pictures).
8. Bake for 1 1/2 hours at 225 °F. Leave the meringues in the oven for another hour without the heat on. Do not open the oven until after this hour.
9. Once meringues have cooled, melt chocolate in the microwave or on stovetop.
10. For each mushroom cap, poke a hole in the bottom that is about the size of the tip of the stem you intend to attach.
11. Use a small spatula to spread the bottom of the mushroom cap with chocolate.
12. Dip the tip of the stem in chocolate as well before attaching the two pieces together.
13. It may be helpful for meringues to dry upside down. Leave out to dry overnight.