This meringue works well for piping shapes and baking them until crisp. It can be rewhipped if necessary.Note: Raw eggs should not be used in food prepared for pregnant women, babies, young children, the elderly, or anyone whose health is compromised.
Having plenty of frosting on hand allows you to practice mixing colors and piping flowers before you begin decorating. To blend colors, first tint a small amount of buttercream by adding gel-paste food coloring a dab at a time. Blend after each addition until the color is darker than you would like. (You can use a single shade of food coloring or experiment by mixing two or more.) Gradually mix the tinted frosting into more buttercream until you get the right shade. Pipe flowers onto parchment or waxed paper until you're comfortable enough to try them on the actual cake.
Baking produces a thin, crispy crust over a layer of soft chewy meringue that melds perfectly with the embedded chocolate chunks. When sliced, the meringue cracks and collapses slightly onto the rich chocolate cake. This cake is just as delicious without the meringue topping; bake the chocolate until it is crackling and slightly firm, 40 to 45 minutes.
A fruitcake has been reinvented: Meringue mushrooms sprout from the cake's surface, which is untraditionally covered with snowy white frosting. The mushroom gills are created with contrasting layers of white and bittersweet dark chocolate.