but a truffle-like fungus. A parasite on Helvella lacunosa. When parasitization takes place while the Helvella button is still underground, you get the form shown here. But I have also seen C. sclerotoidea on erumpent Helvella lacunosa.
If the Helvella sclerotia is cut in half too, you should be able to see the stipe chambers, as well as some filled air spaces between the cap and stipe.