Shortbread Wreath 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.
Makes: 10 wreaths
Time: 1 hour
Makes 30 rings
Coconut Shortbread Pastry
75g unsalted butter
50g pure icing sugar
17g desiccated coconut
25g whole eggs
130g plain flour
1g baking powder
Place the butter and icing sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until you achieve a smooth paste. When there are no more lumps of butter left, add the eggs and coconut. Mix until combined. In a separate bowl, sieve the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the sieved dry ingredients to the mixture and combine on a low speed, being careful not to overmix or it will develop the gluten. Once the pastry has come together, press into a neat, flat square and cover in plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Cinnamon & Nutmeg Ganache
140g Bulla cream 35% fat
1g fresh grated nutmeg
3g ground cinnamon
60g Callebaut 823 milk chocolate
73g Callebaut 811 dark chocolate
Boil the cream, nutmeg and cinnamon. Place both the milk and dark chocolate in a bowl. Pour the hot mixture over the chocolate and whisk by hand until the chocolate has fully melted. Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap touching the surface. Leave the ganache at room temperature for approx. 1-2 hours until it reaches a piping consistency.
Rolling the Pastry
Lightly dust the bench with flour and cut the pastry in half. Roll the pastry in two batches. Lightly dust the top of the first half of pastry and roll out to a 3mm thickness with a rolling pin. Keep moving the pastry and dusting it as you go to ensure it doesn't stick. Using a 70mm cutter, cut out discs. Cut the centre out of each disc with a 40mm cutter to create rings. Place the rings onto a Silpain mat on top of a perforated baking tray or an aluminium tray lined with baking paper. Reserve any offcuts and add them to the second batch of fresh dough. Repeat the process until you have 30 discs in total. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 160˚C. Allow to cool at room temperature.
Transfer the ganache to a disposable piping bag fitted with an 8mm round piping tip. Pipe a layer of ganache onto the shortbread ring. Place another ring on top and gently press it, ensure you don't press it too hard or the ganache will spill out. Pipe another layer of ganache and set another ring on top.
100g Callebaut dark, white or milk chocolate
10 glace cherries
36 whole almonds (skin on)
10 skinned pistachios
36-40 whole roasted hazelnuts
QS icing sugar, for dusting
Temper the chocolate by heating it in a plastic bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until you have 50% liquid and 50% pieces of chocolate. Stir it vigorously without additional heat until all the chocolate has melted. If you have some resistant buttons, you can gently heat the chocolate with a hair dryer while stirring. Quarter the glace cherries and cut the pistachios in half. Prepare a paper piping cone and fill it with a small amount of tempered chocolate. Pipe a drop of chocolate onto the nuts and cherries and decorate the top of the wreath, using the chocolate to secure them. Dust with icing sugar prior to serving.