Making a Yule Log

1.To make meringue mushrooms, hold pastry tip perpendicular to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and pipe meringue into the shapes of mushroom caps and stems of various sizes, then set aside for 5 minutes. Lightly moisten a fingertip in cold water and smooth out any "tails" left behind on mushroom caps. Bake meringues for 1 1/2 hours.
2.Bore a small, shallow hole in center of underside of each mushroom cap with the tip of a paring knife. "Glue" stems to caps by dipping tips of stems into icing, then sticking into holes in caps. Sift a little cocoa powder on tops of caps. Meringues can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.
3.Transfer roulade with parchment to a clean work surface, sprinkle with rum, then spread filling evenly over top using a metal spatula.
4.Grab the long edge of the parchment paper with two hands and gently roll roulade onto itself, pulling off paper as you roll.To make stumps, diagonally cut a 2" length from each end of buche; then, to make the stumps thinner than the buche, partially unroll each piece, trim off flap, and discard. Set stumps aside.
5.Using two long metal spatulas, carefully transfer buche to a serving platter lined with strips of waxed paper. "Glue" stumps onto buche with some of the icing.
6.Spread remaining icing on buche, dragging spatula along icing to simulate tree bark. Remove waxed-paper strips.
7.Remove waxed-paper strips. Decorate with mushrooms, then sift confectioners' sugar over mushrooms and buche.

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