Tag Archives: pastry chef

Pink Lamingtons

By Kirsten Tibballs


270g unsalted butter, softened

270g golden caster sugar

5 whole eggs

½ lemon, zested

1 ½ tsp Heilala vanilla bean paste

270g self-raising flour

splash of full cream milk

pinch of sea salt

icing sugar, for dusting

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  3. Slowly add in the eggs and continue to whisk until fully combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition of eggs.
  4. Add the lemon zest, vanilla, flour, milk and a pinch of salt. Whisk until just combined.
  5. Pour the mixture into a baking tin (21.5cm x 5cm).
  6. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes. To check if it is ready, insert a skewer into the middle of the sponge, and it should come out clean.
  7. Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the lamingtons from their tins and cool on a wire rack.
  8. Place in the freezer.

Raspberry Jam

140g frozen raspberries

115g caster sugar

30g liquid glucose

  1. Place the raspberries, sugar and glucose in a saucepan and bring to a boil while stirring.
  2. Continue to heat until it reaches a temperature of 103˚C or until you achieve a soft jam consistency.
  3. Remove the jam from the saucepan and transfer to a bowl.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the jam.

Chocolate Soaking Syrup

240g caster sugar

240ml water

90g Callebaut Cocoa Powder 22-24%

40g raspberry jam (recipe above)

  1. Boil the sugar, water, cocoa powder and jam in a saucepan.
  2. Emulsify with a stick blender or combine by hand with a whisk.
  3. Once combined, set aside to cool.

Coconut Coating

180g desiccated coconut

QS pink colour

  1. Combine the desiccated coconut and pink colour in a bowl.
  2. Add more colouring until you achieve the desired colour of pink.

Swiss Meringue

75g or 3 egg whites

pinch of cream of tartar

150g caster sugar

QS water, for boiling

  1. Place the egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar in a mixing bowl. If you are using a stand mixer for whipping, use the mixing bowl from the stand mixer.
  2. For the bain-marie, bring some water to a boil in a saucepan then turn off the heat. Place the bowl on top of the saucepan of simmering water and whisk by hand until the mixture becomes warm to touch.
  3. Remove from the heat and transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
  4. Whip until you achieve a meringue.

Chocolate Garnish

150g Callebaut Ruby RB1 chocolate

150g Callebaut W2 white chocolate

15g pink oil soluble colour

  1. Temper the ruby chocolate.
  2. Pour the chocolate onto one end of a guitar sheet and place another guitar sheet on top.
  3. Use a rolling pin to push the chocolate to the other end of the guitar sheet.
  4. Using round cutters, press on top of the plastic sheet to create discs of varying sizes.
  5. Allow to contract for up to 10 minutes before removing the sheet and discs.
  6. Temper the white chocolate and add the pink colouring. Mix until you achieve the desired colour of pink.
  7. Repeat steps 2-5 to achieve pink chocolate discs.


  1. Cut the frozen sponge into squares measuring 6cm x 2.5cm.
  2. Insert a hole into the centre of the sponge and fill it with the raspberry jam.
  3. Dip the sponge into the chocolate soaking syrup and completely submerge it.
  4. Place the soaked sponge directly onto the pink coconut. Completely coat each lamington square in the coconut. Allow to sit for 1 minute before placing on a serving plate.
  5. Decorate the lamingtons with the Swiss meringue and chocolate garnish.

Keeping Up with Kirsten

Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School:

Online Classes

Catch Kirsten all year-round in Savour Online classes. There’re currently over 290 classes online, each of which include a video tutorial and a detailed recipe, with new ones each week with Kirsten or an esteemed guest chef! Recipes are developed and tested over and over for weeks and are exclusive to the Savour online platform.

Subscribe here!

Hands-On Classes

Step into the Savour kitchen to get hands-on with our in-depth classes for all levels of expertise. There’re more than 20 classes to choose from in chocolate, macarons, pastry and tarts, patisserie and cakes, and vennoiserie – with introduction classes, pop-up and seasonal classes, and classes with esteemed guest chefs from around the world. You’ll get a detailed recipe booklet, an apron, lunch and all your creations packaged to take home on the day ! Kirsten teaches pop-up classes throughout the year, so keep an eye on our website to find out when!

View class dates here!


A go-to destination for tips, tricks and simple chocolate and patisserie recipes with Kirsten! It’s also a place where Kirsten can take you along on her travels, near and far, to give you a behind-the-scenes insight into working in the industry.

Subscribe here!


Chocolate: A book for the everyday baker, with easy-to-follow recipes from a delicious sticky chocolate donut to the best brownies you’ve ever tasted!

Chocolate to Savour: Designed for professionals boasts complex recipes to broaden an experience repertoire and inspire creativity in the industry. This is out of print but you might find a few copies floating around online!

Buy here!

TV Show:

The Chocolate Queen is currently airing in Australia at 6pm and 10:30pm everynight on SBS Food, or anytime on SBS On Demand!

With Kirsten’s favourite chocolate tips  and tricks, you don’t need to be a professional to make showstopping creations in your own kitchen.

View the recipes here!

Deniz Karaca – A Chocolate Master

Deniz KaracaDeniz Karaca has certainly made his mark on the global chocolate and patisserie scene. As well as winning the inaugural Savour Patissier of the Year in 2016, Deniz was ranked among the top 3 in the World Chocolate Masters 2013. You may recognise him from MasterChef Australia, where he presented his notoriously complex yet spectacular dessert from the Masters, ‘Passion for Caramel’. Now, Deniz has combined his passion for wine and chocolate in his latest venture, Cuvée Chocolate, which produces artisan Australian-made chocolate to complement an array of wines. Deniz was recently filming two videos for Savour Online Classes so we decided to have a quick catch up!

When and how did you get into chocolate and patisserie?

When I was 16 I got an apprenticeship in the wonderful Cron & Lanz pastry shop in Göttingen, Germany. This sparked my interest in patisserie and chocolate, and from there, I went on to work in various areas of the industry such as hotels and cruise ships before relocating to Australia.

You won the very first Savour Patissier of the Year competition, what made you enter?

I loved the idea of competing against such a high calibre of Australian and international pastry chefs. Savour Patissier of the Year was in its first year when I entered, which made it even more thrilling as no one knew a concept like it before.

Your infamous ‘Passion for Caramel Tart’ from MasterChef (and Savour Online Classes) has so many components and uses of caramel. How did you come up with such a complex recipe?

I was visiting my wife’s aunt in Sydney and she made us a banoffee pie for dessert. I had never tasted a banoffee pie before and I absolutely loved it! I was mesmerised by the flavours. My brain then went into creative mode and I began playing with new ideas and elements. That is where my Passion for Caramel Tart stems from – a simple banoffee!

Is that the most difficult thing you’ve made?

No, surprisingly! I presented it on MasterChef and all the contestants were able to put it together so it’s not as challenging as it sounds. Crème Brulee on the other hand is something that sounds so simple, but if it’s not 100% perfect you cannot serve it, so I’d say crème brulee is difficult to nail.

Tell us about Cuvée (pronounced que – vay).

Since living in Australia, I have discovered a new-found love for wine! A few years ago, my wife and I were at a winery for a tasting and they offered us chocolate to try with the wine. As it is my forte, I thought I would give it a go, but even with alcohol in my system the chocolate did not taste good. All my best ideas come together when I’ve had a bit to drink, so on the journey back from the tasting, I came up with the idea to create chocolate to complement wines. It took 7 months from generating the idea to putting it into action and creating the first chocolate bar.

What’s the future for Cuvée?

At present, we use a blend of cocoa beans when creating our couverture. I have a farm where I breed cattle, so my dream is to become as self-sustainable as possible. I aim to use as many beans from source and create as much chocolate from scratch as I possibly can.

 What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

The World Chocolate Masters was amazing. It was such a challenge to really push myself and I was mentored by the wonderful Kirsten Tibballs and Paul Kennedy. All in all, it was a rewarding experience in so many ways.

Passion for Caramel Tart and Eggcelence are now available on Savour Online Classes!

Christmas Meringue Tree | Recipe by Kirsten Tibballs

Kirsten Tibballs' Bulla meringue Christmas tree



  • 3 large egg whites
  • pinch cream of tartar
  • 1 heaped tablespoon cornflour
  • 120g icing sugar
  • 132g caster sugar
  • green food colouring

Chocolate Cream

  • 300ml Bulla dollop cream
  • 250g good quality milk chocolate


  1. Pre-heat oven to 110°C (90°C fan-forced). Trace 6 circles in graduating sizes onto a piece of baking paper that fits your tray 12, 10, 8, 6, 4 and 2cm. Turn
  2. the baking paper over and place it on the tray.
  3. Sift cornflour and icing sugar together. Whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar until you reach a firm peak and gradually add in the caster sugar, whisking for a minute to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the mixer and fold through cornflour and icing sugar mixture.
  4. Place an 8mm-10mm piping tube in a piping bag and pipe discs using the marked circles as a guide. With the remaining meringue mixture, pipe individual meringue kisses with one quarter of the mixture onto a lined flat tray with a 10mm piping tube.
  5. Add a small amount of green colour to create a pastel green finish and pipe one third of the remaining mixture into kisses. Add additional green colour and pipe half into kisses, once again add more colour to the remaining meringue and pipe into kisses.
  6. Bake for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes or until the meringue is crunchy.
  7. Melt the milk chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments until it has melted. Fold a small amount of the cream through the chocolate and then add
    remaining cream.
  8. Set the chocolate cream aside at room temperature for 40 minutes or in the fridge for 10 minutes until it firms up enough to hold.
  9. To assemble, secure the largest meringue disc to your serving plate with a small dollop of chocolate cream. Spread a layer of chocolate cream on top and layer the next disc. Continue this process with the discs layered with chocolate cream. Coat the outside
    with chocolate cream by piping it on or spreading it with a knife.
  10. Alternate the different coloured meringue kisses and place them on the outside, adhering them to the chocolate cream. This can be finished up to 5 hours in advance.

Note: The meringues can be stored in an airtight container for a week prior to assembly.


Christmas Gingerbread Biscuits | Recipe by Kirsten Tibballs

Kirsten Tibballs' Christmas gingerbreadDifficulty: easy
Cooking time: less than 30 minutes
Serves: 10 or more



  • 290g plain flour
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 10g gingerbread spice
  • 135g honey
  • 20g unsalted butter, softened
  • 5g bicarbonate of soda
  • 45g hot water

Royal icing

  • 50g egg white
  • 150g pure icing sugar, sieved


For the gingerbread, in a mixer bowl with the paddle attachment add in the flour, caster sugar, gingerbread spice, honey and butter. Mix with the paddle attachment until combined.

Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the hot water and add it to the mixture, continuing to mix until all of the ingredients are incorporated and it comes together as a dough.

Roll out the dough to approximately 4mm thickness on a surface lightly dusted with flour.

Cut the gingerbread shapes and pierce with a hole to allow for ribbon.

Place cut out shapes onto a lined tray.

Bake at 170°C for 7-8 minutes.

Allow to cool.

For the royal icing, place the egg whites in a bowl and mix through the sieved icing sugar.

If needed adjust the icing by adding more egg white 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.

When ready to use, place the icing in a piping bag with a small round tip. Pipe the prepared royal icing onto the biscuits and set aside to set.

Thread with ribbon and tie with a bow.