Dessert Masters' Kirsten Tibballs reveals truth behind 'heartbreaking' disaster

'I just couldn't believe it.'

Dessert Masters viewers were left devastated while watching Monday night’s episode when Kirsten Tibballs’ impressive chocolate birdcage completely fell apart with just a few seconds left on the clock.

Judge Melissa Leong immediately gasped and ran away with her hands covering her mouth after seeing Kirsten’s dessert collapse, while the ‘Chocolate Queen’ herself simply burst into tears.

Dessert Masters' Melissa Leong / Kirsten Tibballs' broken chocolate birdcage.
Kirsten Tibballs' chocolate birdcage creation completely fell apart during Monday night’s episode of Dessert Masters. Photos: Channel 10

Speaking with Yahoo Lifestyle about the dramatic moment, Kirsten says it was “heartbreaking” knowing that the split-second disaster had cost her a place in the grand finale.

“I was in shock,” she shares. “And there were just so many pieces. It was on the floor, it was on the bench, and there were so many cameras around as well.

“I didn’t know what to do, to be honest. I was just shocked that it had happened because I knew picking it up it was stable, there wasn't a problem with me putting it over the cake and it wasn't going to break or anything like that - until I obviously banged it into something. I just couldn't believe it.”


While editing often plays a role in heightening the drama on reality TV, Kirsten asserts that the accident was portrayed accurately on screen and there really were only a few seconds left in the challenge.

“It was literally seconds, I worked right down to the wire,” she adds. “The cake was next to me all ready to go and it was literally a two-second job to put the birdcage on top of the cake.

“I was so happy with how it had come out, I was quite pleased with myself, and I'd already made the ivy leaves and the butterflies so they just had to be attached. So I put them on and the last thing I had to do was actually pick it up and put it over the cake so would it would be a birdcage over the cake.”

Kirsten Tibballs' adjusting her chocolate birdcage / Kirsten crying after it broke.
Kirsten says it was ‘heartbreaking’ knowing that the mistake had cost her a spot in the grand finale. Photos: Channel 10

Kirsten's recreation

Kirsten shares that since leaving the Dessert Masters kitchen, she has successfully recreated the dish with the birdcage still intact.

“I wanted to redo it to prove to myself more than anything that it’s possible to do it,” she remarks.

“I actually made four birdcages which are sitting in my office right now, I just left them there. I just wanted to do it more for me to say it is something that is achievable, you can do it, and it works really well.”

Kirsten Tibballs' recreated chocolate birdcage.
Kirsten has since successfully recreated the dessert at home. Photo: Instagram/kirstentibballs

'Quite proud'

Despite not making it to Tuesday night’s grand finale, Kirsten says she’s thrilled with her performance in the competition and the dishes she served the judges.

“I really loved doing the show and I'm surprised with how much I enjoyed pushing myself to create new things,” she details.

“I was the oldest one there and as someone of my age, to still be learning things and pushing myself to try new techniques and in that pressure cooker environment, you have to learn quickly. So it's really quick and I really enjoyed that aspect and I'm quite proud of some of the dishes I did and the flavour combinations.”

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