Hands up if you don’t shy away from a Christmas baking challenge! Have a crack at replicating this ripper of a meringue Christmas tree!
Covered in stunning mini meringue kisses, this tree is built using layers of meringue discs, sandwiched together with dark chocolate mousse and raspberries. I mean, c’mon, this is a Christmas tree of EPIC PROPORTIONS.
Ok, so part of me says if you can make meringue, you can make this show stopper for your dessert table this Christmas. The other part of me kind of freaks out at the amount of steps that lies ahead. And we have Queen of desserts, Kirsten Tibballs, to thank for this impressive Christmas Tree recipe.
Having said that though, if it were easy, EVERYONE would be doing it. So tell us, are you brave enough to have a go?
Christmas Tree recipe
For Swiss meringue discs and meringue kisses
540 g caster sugar
372 g egg whites
300 g icing sugar
60 g cornflour
160 g desiccated coconut
200 g roasted slivered almonds, crushed
vegetable oil spray
AmeriColor red gel colour
AmeriColor yellow gel colour
AmeriColor green gel colour
- Heat the sugar and egg whites together to 60°C in a mixing bowl over a Bain Marie. (That’s a fancy term for a pot of simmering water. Only a few cms though, you don’t want to cook those eggs.)
- 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.
For Dark Chocolate Mousse
320 ml Bulla Pure Cream (A)
200 g caster sugar
4 tbsp of honey
700 g Callebaut Dark Chocolate
500 ml 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.
How To Assemble The Tree
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.
Straight from Kirsten Tibballs’ festive table to yours, you can sit back and bask in the glory of your meringue tree on Christmas Day. Job well done, we hope you nail it!
Want your meringue with less fuss? Give these easy pavlova decorating ideas a go!