Preheat oven to 225 F
In a mixer with a whisk attachment beat the eggs in a clean, dry bowl until foamy. Beat in the salt and cream of tartar. beat until meringue holds into shape.
Add the sugar, 1tablespoon at a time, beating at least 30 seconds between additions. When the sugar is added, add the vanilla and beat 8 minutes longer. Meringue should be very stiff.
Line cookie sheets with foil (using dots of meringue to hold them in place on the corners)
Spoon the meringue into a large pastry bag fitted with a #8 plain tip.
Shape stems by holding bag at right angle to the baking sheet. press from the top of the bag to make a wide base for the stem, then slowly raise bag straight up to form a stem about 1 1/2 tall
Cut off with a small sharp knife and proceed with the stems untill half of the meringue is used up.
Make the caps by pressing from the top of the bag to press out even rounds of meringue.
Put cocoa into a small fine mesh strainer and dust the stems and caps with cocoa.
Place in the upper 1/3 of the oven and bake for one hour. Do not allow to brown. Check after 1/2 hour. if they start to color, open the door for a bit.
Remove dried meringues from the oven and cool. If tops of stems are pointed cut straight with a sharp serrated knife.
Invert the caps into an egg carton. With a small spoon spread the melted chocolate on the bottom of the caps and glue on the steems. Gently place in the refrigerator to harden the chocolate.
Makes 24 to 30 Mushrooms
Do not store in an airtight container.