Cue stress, panic and mayhem with the realisation that Christmas is just around the corner.
But let’s save the real hysteria for those hosting this Christmas. With a shocking year wrapping up, we know everyone is expecting (or at least hoping for) a sensational Christmas spread.
So, to help the loving family and friends around us who don the Host With The Most title, we’ve reached out to the dessert queen herself, Kirsten Tibballs, to share her top four tips and tricks for hosting an easy-breezy Christmas…well at least for the sweet treat portion of the day!
First and foremost…
1. Plan Ahead
(But if you’re reading this on the 24th of December, skip ahead. May the odds be forever in your favour…)
When it comes to Christmas desserts Kirsten always likes to plan ahead of time and begin her prep a few weeks out – something she highly recommends we do. After you plan the types of desserts you want to treat your guests to, Kirsten recommends buying your ingredients ahead of time. This will give you the chance to get a head start on your desserts in the days leading up to Christmas – or at least be prepared to create them on the day, so you can spend more time with your loved ones and less time in the kitchen.
2. Create Things You Can Store Ahead of Time
Kirsten says she always tries to look for desserts that she can create and store ahead of time, or recipes with components of a dish that she can begin in the days leading into Christmas. Things such as shortbread, gingerbread and Christmas cookies are perfect, as you can create them weeks out from Christmas and freeze them until the night before you wish to serve them to guests.
You can also source the ingredients for decorating your Christmas cookies ahead of time and place your own creative spin on each. If you are in need for some Christmas dessert inspiration, Kirsten’s Savour Online Classes platform has hundreds of recipes for you to choose from, including lots of festive desserts to help plan your perfect Christmas Day.
3. Chocolate is the Answer
But when is it not? Chocolate is so fabulously versatile to create with. Of course, for our very own chocolate-queen, Kirsten loves crafting hand-made chocolates in all different flavours and having them on hand to treat her guests come Christmas Day. You can purchase some fabulous Christmas-inspired chocolate moulds, which will make your life that little bit easier.
Hand-made chocolates also make for a fantastic and personalised gift, and you can adapt the flavour to suit whoever you are giving to. Kirsten’s favourite chocolate to create with is milk chocolate, so she always ensures she makes a few extra to enjoy for herself (a perk of being the cook on Christmas Day). If you are looking for something a little different, why not craft some chocolate truffles?! However, when creating chocolate treats of any kind, Kirsten only recommends that you source good quality couverture chocolate – it will make the world of difference when it comes to flavour and texture.
4. When You’ve Only Got 15 Minutes, Trifle It!
If handcrafting chocolates, baking cookies and planning desserts ahead of time seems a little arduous, then whip together this sensationally delicious (and easy) 15-minute trifle, thanks to Kirsten herself! Trifle is undoubtedly a Christmas staple for many families, however, they usually can be time-consuming…not this bad boy. You can store your ingredients in the days leading into Christmas, and whip it together in 15 minutes. You can find the recipe to Kirsten’s 15-minute Christmas Trifle below.
Duration: 15-minutes Prep (2-3 hours chill time) | Difficulty: Easy | Serves: 8-10
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Pinch of salt
250mL Bulla Thickened Cream
250g brown sugar
1 tbsp unsalted butter
800mL Bulla Dollop Cream (A)
150g icing sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 x packet of gingernut biscuits
10 x fresh passionfruit
200mL Bulla Dollop Cream (B)
1 x small block of milk chocolate
1. Place the vanilla, salt, thickened cream and brown sugar in a saucepan and boil it for 3 minutes. Add in the butter and whisk together and set aside to cool.
2. Combine the dollop cream (A), icing sugar and lemon zest in a bowl. Place one-third of this in your trifle bowl.
3. Top with a layer of passionfruit followed by a layer of gingernut biscuits and butterscotch sauce.
4. Repeat the process three times until the bowl is full.
5. Place in the fridge for 2-3 hours to set.
6. Finish with dollop cream (B) and chocolate shavings peeled off the block with a vegetable peeler.
7. For those who are looking to update their cooking and baking skills ahead of Christmas, they can do so by visiting Kirsten’s Savour Online Classes.