There are two techniques for creating this decoration. In the first method, the couverture is converted into a sticky mass by adding oil or nougat. The quantities used depend upon the quality of the couverture, the ambient temperature, and the temperature of the marble slab. The lower the temperature, the more fat is required. Heat the couverture mixture to between 86 and 89 degrees Fahrenheit, spread it onto a marble slab, and work it until it sets, as shown in the picture sequence below.

First method: Use a palette knife to spread couverture tempered at between 86 and 89 degrees Fahrenheit onto a marble slab

When the couverture has begun to set, smooth with a spatula and "polish" with the palm of the hand.

For the more fascinating, high speed “professional method,” heat a large (20×25 inches), smooth, clean baking sheet to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. Temper 5 ounces of couverture at 104 degrees Fahrenheit, and then use a small paint roller (made of foam, not lambs’ wool) to spread it onto the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator to cool for at least 1 hour or for longer until required. Then let it stand in an ambient temperature of about 72 degrees Fahrenheit until it becomes malleable. Proceed to shape it as shown below.

Second method: spread couverture tempered at 104 degrees Fahrenheit in portions onto a large baking sheet using a foam roller

 

To create a fan, grasp the corner of the spatula with the thumb and forefinger of the left hand and push the spatula forward with the right hand

 

The chocolate wrinkles up on the left-hand side, forming the folds of the fan.

 

The fans can go directly on top of a cake as decoration, or they may be placed on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and set aside for use later

{December 2, 2012} {Tags: }