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Before starting this Milk Chocolate Easter Fishes and Shells recipe, organise the necessary ingredients for the tempering process. Make sure you are using chocolate couverture for this recipe. Chocolate blocks from the supermarket, even high-quality for baking, will not provide good results.
I'm using chocolate couverture pistoles for this recipe. Melt the chocolate in the microwave, working in periods of 1 minute. Make sure you don't melt the chocolate for too long so it doesn't burn. Stir the chocolate during every interval until melted completely. If you're using chocolate block, cut into chunks beforehand.
Stir the melted chocolate with a rubber spatula. At this stage, the temperature should be between 40 and 45°C maximum. The use of a laser thermometer is recommended for this operation.
Wait until the temperature goes down to 35°C. To speed things up, transfer the chocolate from one bowl to the other.
The temperature is gradually cooling down (38.2°C in the picture).
Combine well with a rubber spatula until cooled down to the desired temperature. Try to combine constantly.
The temperature is now at 35.4°C.
Add Mycryo cocoa butter (1% of the total weight of chocolate). We need 4 grams for this recipe. Sift the powder through a fine sieve.
Combine the Mycryo cocoa butter carefully with a rubber spatula and incorporate to the warm chocolate.
Continue stirring while monitoring the temperature. Milk chocolate needs to cool down to 28°C.
You will notice the temperature is slowly cooling down...
... and eventually the desired 28°C. The process and temperatures are exactly the same for white chocolate. The difference with dark chocolate is the final temperature (31°C instead of 28°C).
Filling the mould: Prepare all the necessary elements.
Transfer the tempered chocolate into a piping bag.
Fill the cavities of the mould of your choice. I'm using the chocolate mould with assorted Easter shapes. The cavities are not deep at all, so we're making solid chocolates here.
Fill the cavities up to the top...
... even overflowing a little.
Using the handle of a chocolate spatula, tap on the sides of the mould to remove air bubbles. This will prevent the formation of air bubbles on the surface of the chocolates.
Place the mould on a sheet of greaseproof paper.
Arrange a polyethylene sheet on the surface of the mould.
Using the chocolate spatula, scrape the surface of the plastic sheet to even the chocolate.
The plastic sheet will stick to the chocolate...
... ensuring there are no air bubbles.
Leave to crystallize, either at room temperature (cool room)...
... or in the fridge for 20 minutes.
When the chocolate is fully crystallized, remove the polyethylene sheet.
Flip the mould on your kitchen worktop. On peut apercevoir par transparence, qu'à certains endroits les chocolats sont partiellement décollés.
Detach the chocolates from the mould. Some chocolates should come off really easily. Slightly twist the mould or tap it on the workbench to detach the chocolate still in the cavities.
Collect the chocolates into a container. If the chocolate has been tempered properly, the chocolates should come off easily. The tempering operation is the key to the success of this recipe. The colour should be homogeneous and the finish should be glossy. Poorly tempered chocolate often comes with white marks on the surface and is almost impossible to release from the mould.