Kirsten Tibballs' Caramel and Passionfruit Tart

5 September 2019 Kirsten Tibballs

Kirsten Tibballs' Caramel and Passionfruit Tart

Photo by Kimberley Moore


155g unsalted butter, softened
95g icing sugar, sieved
32.5g ground peanuts
1 vanilla bean
50g whole eggs
10g Dutch processed cocoa powder
240g plain flour
    2.5g salt


2g gold gelatine sheets
92g caster sugar
4g lemon zest
65g frozen passionfruit puree
180g whole eggs
60g unsalted butter


100g Callebaut 2815 dark couverture chocolate


2g gold gelatine sheets
12g honey
37g egg yolks
136g cream
65g Callebaut 823 milk couverture
24g Callebaut Madagascar dark couverture

SALTED CARAMEL (optional):

110g caster sugar
100g thickened cream
1g sea salt
70g unsalted butter


270g caster sugar
190g egg whites
pinch of cream of tartar
handful salted roasted peanuts

TO MAKE THE PASTRY combine butter and icing sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the peanuts and continue to mix. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the attachment as you go. 

When there are no lumps of butter remaining stop, cut the vanilla bean and scrape in the seeds. Add eggs and continue mixing.

Combine cocoa powder, flour and salt in a separate bowl and add to the mixer. Mix until it comes together as a dough. Remove the dough from the mixer and press it into a flat square. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 60-90 minutes.

Dust the bench and the top of the chilled dough with extra flour. Roll out to a 3mm thickness and place the tart ring on top of the pastry. Cut out a disc larger than the ring and line it with the pastry, pressing it into the corners.

Place in the fridge for approximately 20 minutes then trim the excess pastry with a sharp knife. Line the ring with scrunched up baking paper and fill with uncooked rice.

Bake at 170°C for 7-8 minutes then remove the lining and continue to cook for a further 6-8 minutes.

TO MAKE THE PASSIONFRUIT CREAM soak the gelatine in a bowl of cold water until soft and pliable.

Place the sugar, zest, passionfruit and eggs in a saucepan and combine with a whisk to break up the eggs. Heat on a low heat until it starts to thicken.

Remove from the heat and add the pre-soaked and drained gelatine. Combine with a whisk and strain the mixture into a jug.

Cool to approximately 55°C. Slowly whisk in the butter a piece at a time, ensuring each piece is fully incorporated before adding the next. Allow to cool at room temperature – the mixture must be below 30°C before placing it onto the tart.

FOR THE CHOCOLATE COATING melt the chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave. Remove the tart ring from the shell and brush the chocolate directly on the base.

Allow to set for 5-8 minutes then pour the passionfruit cream in halfway. Shake the tart to level out the top then place in the fridge for 60-90 minutes or until fully set.

TO MAKE THE CHOCOLATE HONEY CREMEUX soak the gelatine in a bowl of cold water until soft and pliable. Whisk the honey and yolks together in a bowl.

Boil the cream in a saucepan and pour over the egg yolk and honey mixture. Whisk together by hand.

Place on a low heat and, while stirring continuously, reheat the mixture to 80°C to produce an anglaise.

Strain the anglaise over the two couvertures and whisk until the chocolate is melted. Pour on top of the set passionfruit cream and level the top with a palette knife. Refrigerate.

TO MAKE THE SALTED CARAMEL heat the sugar in a saucepan until it melts and caramelises. 

Meanwhile, heat the cream in a microwave or boil it in a saucepan. When all the sugar has dissolved and a caramel is achieved, remove from the heat and add the boiled cream. Combine with a spatula and reheat to 105°C.

Add the salt and butter and combine with a spatula. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap touching the surface to cool.

TO MAKE THE SWISS MERINGUE heat the sugar and egg whites together in a mixing bowl over a bain-marie while whisking.

Add the cream of tartar and heat to 60°C. Remove from the heat and mix in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment to create a meringue. Transfer to a disposable piping bag fitted with an 18mm piping tip and pipe onto the tart, starting around the edge and working your way in.

Spread it out with a palette knife. Transfer the caramel to a disposable piping bag and pipe swirls through the meringue. Spread out with a palette knife. Finish by sprinkling peanuts on top

Kirsten says…

At the heart of every family is food. It brings everyone together around the table in conversation and laughter. It’s not something I thought about until I had a family of my own, but the dinner table is where we all come back together and reconnect.

The kitchen is home to me – I grew up cooking the food from our garden with my mum and my nana, it’s where I built my career and now it’s where I like to spend time with my son sharing those same family recipes. I’ve started collecting the ones we make together to put into a book when he moves out of home, so that he too can pass them onto his children when he starts a family of his own.

Getting your children interested in baking can be difficult. I’ve found if you make something they are keen to eat and give them messy jobs where they can roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty, then they’re happy to help.

The pastry in this recipe is an ideal place to start; the kids can enjoy mixing the dough, and you can enjoy a quick break while they put in the hard work.

Bring them back in later to help whip the meringue and spread and blend it with ribbons of caramel – which I find is the most fun – and it’ll be hard to keep them out of the kitchen the next time!

For me, it all started with picking passionfruit from my nana’s garden to top her traditional sponge cake. I’ve realised it’s often the little things we share with our kids in the kitchen that they remember most – even just licking the spoon.

» Kirsten Tibballs is the founder of Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School in Melbourne. For details about classes, visit

» This article first appeared in The Big Issue ed#585