I decided to go one step further with the yule log that is fast becoming the December birthday cake of choice in our family, by making sweet mushrooms and chocolate leaves too. You can see last year's here. It took me a grand total time of 2 1/2 hours to make it this year as each component is quite time consuming. The basic yule log/buche de noel recipe is from Nigella's Christmas book
I made up the meringue mushrooms with one egg white and 50g caster sugar and piped stalks and caps onto some baking parchment. When they had cooked in a low oven for 15 minutes or so I spooned some melted dark chocolate on the underside of the mushroom to look like gills and probed the stalk into the cap. A little sprinkling of cocoa powder finishes the mushrooms off nicely.