|Milk couverture, 37%, overwarmed, for the acetate sheet||as needed||as needed||as needed|
|Fresh thyme leaves|
|Milk couverture, 37%, half melted|
|Dark couverture, 63%, half melted|
|cocoa butter, melted|
|Dark couverture, 63%, tempered, for dipping|
|Colored cocoa butter, for the transfer sheet||as needed||as needed||as needed|
|Milk couverture, 37%, tempered, for plaques|
1 Prepare an acetate sheet on an acrylic base and cover with overwarmed couverture (see page 118). On the sheet, place a 15-in/380-mm square acrylic frame, ½ in/13 mm high. Place a divider or bar inside the frame to split it in half. (The recipe makes enough ganache for a half-frame, 7½ × 15 in/190 × 380 mm.)
2 In a medium pot, bring the cream and thyme to a boil over medium heat.
3 Once the cream has boiled, remove it from the heat, immediately cover with plastic wrap, and let steep for 10 minutes.
4 Strain to remove the thyme, and add additional cream as needed to return the total quantity to 7.8 oz/220 g. Return the cream to a boil.
5 Combine the invert sugar and the milk and dark couvertures. Pour the hot cream over the couverture mixture, and set aside undisturbed for 1 minute.
6 Add the lemon juice and cocoa butter. Using a spatula, stir in small circles starting in the center of the bowl, then gradually in wider circles to create a shiny, smooth ganache.
7 Cool to 92&F/33.3&C.
8 Blend in the butter using an immersion blender.
9 Spread the ganache into the prepared acrylic frame and allow to set overnight at room temperature.
10 Remove the frame, flip the slab over, and remove the acetate sheet. Place the slab on a guitar cutter and cut into ⅞-in/22-mm squares.
11 Transfer the pieces to a parchment paper–lined sheet tray, separate them, and let them rest at room temperature for 2 hours to form a crust before finishing.
12 To finish the pralines with plaques, decorate a transfer sheet as desired, spread with a thin layer of milk couverture, and let set.
13 Using an Exacto knife or a paring knife, cut the couverture into ¾-in/20-mm square plaques.
14 Using a dipping fork, dip each praline in the dark couverture. Place a plaque on top before the couverture has fully set.
15 Let set overnight at room temperature, then carefully peel off the acetate from each praline before storing. If you want to peel off the acetate sooner, place the pralines in the refrigerator for a short period of time first.
16 Store in an airtight container at 57& to 61&F/13.9& to 16.1&C in a dark, dry place.
1 Brush yellow cocoa butter onto a piece of acetate in horizontal streaks.
2 Brush green cocoa butter onto the acetate following the same streaks.
3 Repeat the process with brown cocoa butter.
© 2011 All rights reserved. Published by Wiley.