Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree by Kirsten Tibballs

Australia's Queen of Chocolate, Kirsten Tibballs, has been busy creating a delectable looking (and tasting) Christmas dessert for the whole family to enjoy this December.

Swiss Meringue Discs & Kisses

540g caster sugar
372g egg whites
300g icing sugar
60g cornflour
160g desiccated coconut
200g roasted slivered almonds, crushed
QS vegetable oil spray
QS AmeriColor red gel colour
QS AmeriColor yellow gel colour
QS AmeriColor green gel colour

Heat the sugar and egg whites together to 60°C in a mixing bowl over a Bain Marie.
Remove from the heat and mix in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment to create a meringue.
Fold through the sieved icing sugar and cornflour.
Divide this mixture between two bowls.
Add the coconut and almonds to the meringue in one bowl and mix together. This mixture will create the discs, the other meringue is for the kisses.
Trace circles in graduating sizes (2cm, 4cm, 6cm, 8cm, 10cm, 12cm, 14cm, 16cm and 18cm) onto a piece of baking paper that fits your tray. Trace two in each size.
Spray some vegetable oil onto a tray. Flip the baking paper over and place it onto the greased tray.
Transfer the meringue with the coconut and almonds into a piping bag fitted with a 10mm round nozzle. Pipe discs using the marked circles as a guide.
Bake in the oven at 75˚C for 2 hours. If it is not crunchy or dried enough, bake further.
To make the kisses, transfer the remaining meringue to a piping bag fitted with a 10mm round nozzle. Set aside some of the meringue to add colour to.
Grease a tray with vegetable oil and place a sheet of baking paper on top.
Pipe the kisses shape onto the baking paper, you should have approximately 230-250.
Divide the remaining meringue between 3 bowls. Add a drop of colour to each bowl and mix with a spatula. Add more colour until you achieve the desired shade.
Pipe the coloured meringue onto a sheet of baking paper on a greased tray. You should have approximately 15-20 kisses in each colour (red, yellow and green).
Bake in the oven at 75˚C for 2 hours.
Allow to cool.

Dark Chocolate Mousse

320ml Bulla Pure Cream (A)
200g caster sugar
4tbsp of honey
700g Callebaut Dark Chocolate
500ml Bulla Pure Cream (B)

Boil the cream (A), caster sugar and honey together then pour over the roughly chopped dark chocolate and whisk to combine.
Place the cream (B) into a bowl and semi-whip it until it has some body but still collapses.
Fold the semi-whipped cream through the chocolate base with a spoon until combined.

2 punnets of fresh raspberries

Cut the raspberries in half.
Transfer the chocolate mousse to a piping bag fitted with a 10mm round nozzle.
Prepare a cake board and pipe some of the chocolate mousse onto the board and place the largest meringue disc (18cm) on top of the board.
Pipe a swirl of mousse on top of the disc.
Place a few of the halved raspberries on top of the mousse.
Add another 18cm disc on top.
Add another layer of mousse and sprinkle some raspberries on top. Place the 16cm disc on top.
Repeat this method until you complete the tree with the 2cm disc. While you are building the tree, ensure it is straight and not leaning to one side.
Pipe a thin layer of mousse over the tree, in lines going from the bottom to the top of the tree.

Assemble the kisses from the bottom of the tree, starting with the white and randomly adding a coloured one as you go.