By Yasmin Othman...
Makes 15 mushrooms
100g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids), melted and tempered
4 tbsp sugar sprinkles
vegetable oil for oiling
250g caster sugar
5g unsweetened (Dutch) cocoa powder
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
? tsp cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 100?C. Lightly oil and line 2 large baking trays with baking paper. Mix caster sugar and cocoa powder together and set aside.
Place egg whites and salt in a freestanding mixer with a whisk attachment. Make sure the bowl is grease-free. Whisk egg whites on a medium speed until they become frothy and start to form soft peaks.
Increase speed to high and add tablespoonfuls of the caster sugar/cocoa mixture, one spoonful at a time, until all the mixture is used up. The meringue should be smooth, glossy and holding stiff peaks.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a large metal spoon, stir in the cream of tartar.
Fill a piping bag with a large plain nozzle with the meringue mixture and pipe blobs, pulling the piping bag upwards to make spiky stems onto one of the prepared baking trays. On the other baking tray, pipe slightly larger blobs resembling domes.
Bake the meringues in the oven for 1?1 - hours, or until dried and crisp. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before removing from the baking tray.
Once cool, make small holes in the bottoms of the domed meringues. Dip the tops of the dome-shaped meringues in the dark chocolate and sprinkle with sugar sprinkles. Leave to set at room temperature for 20 minutes. Gently place the dome-shaped meringues onto the spiky meringues to resemble mushrooms. Store in an airtight container for a week.
Extracted from Atelier Confectionery by Yasmin Othman (Hardie Grant, approx €27, out now). Photographs by Lisa Linder.