Kirsten Tibballs’ recipes for sweet Christmas gifts

Kirsten Tibballs, Savour Chocolate and Patisserie SchoolMelbourne’s own Queen of Chocolate Kirsten Tibballs is a world-famous pastry chef and chocolatier, but her real magic superpower is teaching amateur cooks how to recreate her amazing sweet treats at home.

Kirsten runs a huge range of classes at her Savour Chocolate and Patisserie School in Brunswick, plus online video classes for students around Australia and across the globe.

With just weeks until Christmas, Kirsten has shared her favourite easy recipes for Christmas gifts. Scroll down to the Christmas Granola. It’s a cracker.

  1. Chocolate Christmas Twigs

    1. Christmas Twigs - Kirsten Tibballs
    2. Preparation time: 20 mins
    3. Ingredients
      500g caster sugar, for coating
      200g dark chocolate (Kirsten recommends Callebaut)
      ½ tsp cinnamon powder
      1½ tsp Grand Marnier Liqueur
    4. Method
      Place half of the sugar into a small tray so the base is covered but not flat.
      Place the chocolate into a plastic bowl. Temper the chocolate by melting it in the microwave on high for 30 second intervals, until you have half liquid chocolate and half solid chocolate.
      Stir it vigorously without additional heat until all the chocolate has melted. If you have any stubborn pieces of chocolate, gently melt them for a few seconds with a hairdryer.
      Add the cinnamon to the chocolate and while stirring, add the liqueur to thicken the chocolate slightly.
      Place the prepared chocolate in a zip lock bag and cut the corner off.
      Pipe lines of chocolate onto the sugar, in the shape of twigs.
      While the chocolate is still wet cover with additional sugar.
  2. Gingerbread Biscuits

    1. Christmas gingerbread
    2. Makes 15
      Preparation time: 30 mins
    3. FOR THE BISCUITS…
    4. Ingredients
      290g plain flour
      85g caster sugar
      10g gingerbread spice
      135g honey
      20g unsalted butter, softened
      5g bicarbonate of soda
      45g hot water
    5. Method
      Mix the flour, caster sugar, gingerbread spice, honey and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (Kirsten uses Kitchen Aid).
      Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the hot water and add it to the mixture, continuing to mix until all the ingredients are fully incorporated and it comes together as dough.
      Lightly dust your surface with flour and remove the dough from the mixer. Roll the dough out to approximately 4mm thickness on the lightly dusted surface.
      Using star shaped cutters in a variety of sizes, cut out star shapes and make a hole for the ribbon with a skewer. Place the shapes onto a tray lined with baking paper.
      Bake at 170C for 7-8 mins. Cool before decorating.
    6. FOR THE ROYAL ICING…
    7.  Ingredients
      50g egg whites
      150g pure icing sugar
      Ribbon
    8. Method
      Sieve the icing sugar.
      Place the egg whites into a bowl and mix through the sieved icing sugar. If needed, adjust the icing by adding more egg whites or icing sugar until you have a firm piping consistency.
      Royal icing sets very hard very quickly, so keep it covered and in the fridge when you are not using it.
      Place the icing into a piping bag fitted with a small round piping nozzle.
      Pipe lines of icing onto the cooled biscuits and set aside.
      Thread a piece of ribbon through the hole and tie with a bow.
  3. Christmas Granola

    1. Christmas granola
    2. Preparation time: 10 mins
    3. Ingredients
      375g rolled oats
      140g slivered almonds
      170g cashews
      85g shredded coconut
      150g dark muscovado sugar
      180g honey
      65ml vegetable oil
      5g sea salt
      100g golden raisins
      100g raisins
      100g cranberries
    4. Method
      In a large bowl, mix the oats, almonds, cashews, coconut and sugar until combined.
      Warm the honey with the oil and salt in a saucepan and pour over the oat mixture.
      Spread the mixture out onto a lined tray and bake at 120C for 60-70 minutes, turning every 15 minutes to ensure an even bake.
      Remove from the oven and stir through the dried fruits once cool. Store in individual containers.
  4. Tropical Fruit Mince Pies

    1. Tropical Mince Tarts - Kirsten Tibballs
    2. Makes 18
      Preparation time: 30 mins + 2 hrs cooking
    3. FOR THE SHORTBREAD…
    4. Ingredients
      450g plain flour
      250g unsalted butter
      150g caster sugar
      52g whole egg
      25ml water
      Plain Flour, for dusting
    5. Method
      Sift the flour.In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (Kirsten uses a Kitchen Aid), combine the sifted flour and butter to form a crumb. It is important that you do not over-mix at this stage.
      Combine the sugar, water and eggs in a bowl and add to the crumb mixture. Mix until a smooth dough is formed, without excessive mixing.
      Remove the dough from the mixer and cover in plastic wrap. Allow to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
    6. FOR THE FILLING…
    7.  Ingredients435g brown sugar
      58ml orange juice
      174g mango
      130g banana
      420g pineapple
      2.5g gingerbread spice
      116g dried apricots
      35g sultanas
      58g candied orange peel or dried orange peel
      14g vinegar
    8.  MethodDice the fresh and dried fruit to approximately 8mm.
      Melt the brown sugar in a pan with the orange juice.
      Add in the diced mango and pineapple followed by the gingerbread spice. Cook on a high heat then add the banana and dried fruits.
      Add the vinegar and reduce until you achieve a chutney consistency.
      Place the prepared chutney into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to cool.
    9. ASSEMBLY…
    10. Roll the prepared shortbread pastry to a thickness of 3mm.
      Cut out 30 x 80mm discs for the base.
      Line individual tart moulds (diameter 60mm, height 23mm) or brioche moulds with the pastry.
      Fill each of the moulds with the cooled fruit mince.
      Roll the remaining pastry to a 3mm thickness and cut tops for the tart with a 60mm round cutter.
      Place the cut pastry disc directly on top of the fruit mince and press the edges to remove the excess pastry.
      With a small knife, puncture a small hole in the top of the pastry.
      Reserve any additional pastry or keep the offcuts flat and roll out to a 2mm thickness.
      With a holly cutter, cut out three holly leaves per tart. You will have more leftover pastry, reserve this for the holly berries.
      Using a brush, place a small amount of water on top of the tart to adhere each holly leaf.
      Create three small holly berries per tart with the leftover pastry and place in the middle of the tart.
      Bake at 200C for approximately 8 mins.
      Remove the pies from the moulds while they are still warm. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
  5. Christmas Chocolate Wreath

    1. Kirsten Tibballls' Chocolate Christmas Wreath
    2. Makes 6
      Preparation time: 25 mins
    3. Ingredients
      130g dark chocolate (Kirsten uses Callebaut)
      12 roasted hazelnuts, quartered
      18 whole almonds with skin, roasted
      18 pistachios
      18 golden raisins
      6  glace cherries, quartered
      Ribbon
    4. Method
      Place the chocolate into a plastic bowl. Temper the chocolate by melting it in the microwave on high for 30 sec intervals, until you have half liquid chocolate and half solid chocolate.
      Stir it vigorously without additional heat until all the chocolate has melted. If you have any stubborn pieces of chocolate, gently melt them for a few seconds with a hairdryer.
      Use a silicon ring or a silicon doughnut mould and place all the fruit and nuts in the base.
      Place the prepared chocolate in a zip lock bag and cut the corner off. Pipe the chocolate on top of the fruit and nut mixture.
      Place it in the fridge for 10 mins to set.
      Remove wreaths from the moulds and tie the ribbon through the centre. The wreaths last for up to six weeks.

 

 

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Kirsten Tibballs’ recipes for sweet Christmas gifts