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'Pull It Back And Settle Down': Kirsten Tibballs Gears Up To Reveal Another Iconic Pressure Test

The queen of chocolate is back in the MasterChef kitchen and has once again brought a challenge that will push contestants to their limits.

A regular in the MasterChef kitchen, Kirsten has been behind some of the most dastardly challenges throughout the show's history. From her Trio of Fruits to her Apple Pie, Kirsten's incredible desserts and her award-winning chocolate skills are once again going to test the might of a handful of contestants.

No stranger to the dramatic pressure test reveals, Kirsten said she still gets a kick out of seeing the faces of contestants when they first realise what they'll be attempting to make.

"I almost see a little look of fear before I open the cloche," Kirsten told 10 play, laughing.

"My hard work's over and I just get to enjoy watching other people create products," she added. "The lead-up is always a lot of work, developing a concept and product and making it for the show, but I love it."

When developing the recipes she wants to bring in for a challenge, Kirsten said she considers a few elements.

"It needs to be innovative and it needs to push the contestants to try something new that they may not have done before. And, of course, it has to taste beautiful."

On some occasions, Kirsten said the powers that be have told her to pare back her recipes.

"I'm often told like, 'What are you trying to do Kirsten? You need to pull it back and settle down!'"

Having run her Savour School since 2002, Kirsten's natural teaching instincts sometimes kick in and she has to resist the urge to step in and help contestants who are attempting her dishes.

"I just want to help them all," she said, laughing. "It's very challenging for me... I love teaching and sharing my knowledge and wanting people to succeed in my creations.

"MasterChef is meant to be challenging and push the envelop and push the contestants but, for me, I'd like them all to replicate products that are exactly like mine."

In 2013 Savour expanded to offer online classes through a subscription model, with Kirsten and international guest chefs teaching an array of techniques and recipes.

From a young age, Kirsten said she entered Easter egg competitions during her apprenticeship. Falling in love with the versatility of chocolate, she continued to master the form. In 2004, she represented Australia in the World Pastry Team Championships, winning first in the world for her handmade chocolates.

"I always loved the medium of chocolate because I think it’s the most versatile ingredient in the world," Kirsten said.

"I know a lot of people will disagree with that but you can do anything with it. You can make individual chocolates, use it as an ingredient, as a garnish. There are not many ingredients that have that sort of flexibility. And who doesn’t love it?"

As an official ambassador for Callebaut chocolate, Kirsten is also extremely passionate about sustainable cocoa production and farming.

"I've been to Africa, the biggest producer of cocoa beans, several times to look at programs that are supporting farmers and training them in sustainable farming methods," she explained.

"There's going to be more and more of that traceability and sustainability and I think that's essential going forward for any chocolate business, that the chocolate you're using and working with comes from a sustainable source."

A few years ago a headline went viral stating that chocolate was on track to go extinct by 2050, something Kirsten says has been avoided by these very practices of expanding education and introducing sustainable farming to many of the communities that rely on cocoa production.

"By training them in really great agronomic practices you can actually increase the yield for the farmer, so they're making more money... with this training the changes are really quite dramatic," she said, adding, "that is going to hopefully ensure that we never run out of chocolate because the volumes of cocoa being produced are slowly increasing."

Find out what deviously delicious challenge Kirsten has in store for our contestants when MasterChef continues tonight.

Watch the new season of MasterChef Australia, Sunday to Thursday at 7.30 on 10 or watch on demand on 10 play