How to Store and Protect Chocolate:
Just like a fine wine, gourmet chocolate needs to be stored correctly to maintain optimum quality for maximum enjoyment. This is a concept we often take for granted, because as we all know chocolate is made for devouring and not for keeping.
However, for those rare times you want to save your chocolates, it’s good to be reminded to store our sensitive treat in the right way. This will help preserve its look, texture, and flavour, making it possible to last for months and even years.
Simple Tips for Storing your Chocolate:
- Store in a cool & dry place
Store chocolate in a cool and dry place like a cupboard. The temperature should be between 15-20ºC with low humidity. Avoiding heat and moisture will prevent the chocolate from melting and help prevent blooming or other problems that can ruin its taste or texture.
- Keep away from light
Keep your chocolate wrapped up and away from light. Sunlight especially will change the temperature of chocolate, but light of any kind risks the oxidization of the cocoa butter, changing the chocolate’s taste and texture.
- Store in an airtight container
Avoid exposure to air by storing your chocolate in an airtight container. This will help stop the oxidization of chocolate which can negatively change its taste. Use an airtight container to reduce light exposure and prevent odours affecting the chocolate.
- Keep away from odours
Because cocoa butter in chocolate tends to absorb odours, store chocolate away from strong-smelling foods as these may affect the chocolate’s flavour.
The best chocolate storage is a glass container because glass is non-porous. Plastic is porous and can over time, allow odours to enter.
WHAT HAPPENS TO CHOCOLATE STORED IN THE FRIDGE OR FREEZER?
We do not recommend storing chocolate in the fridge and freezer, but we know some need to do this when living in a warmer climate and others just love their chocolate cold.
Generally, it won’t hurt the flavour, however chocolate will absorb odours from other foods kept in the fridge, so make sure to protect the chocolate in its original wrapper or in an airtight container.
The main problem is the change in temperature and condensation. The big jump in temperature and the moisture that is in the refrigerator can lead to chocolate bloom.
What is Chocolate Bloom?
Chocolate bloom is the result of chocolate storage gone wrong. This is when the chocolate appears whitish grey on the surface yet taste and usability remains the same.
Bloom comes in two types: fat bloom and sugar bloom. It occurs when chocolate is exposed to radical temperature shifts and/or moisture, leading to the separation of its key ingredients.
Sugar bloom comes from excessive moisture, causing the sugar in the chocolate to dissolve, leaving behind speckles of sugar crystals on the surface of the chocolate.
Fat bloom happens when chocolate softens and later resets. The cocoa butter melts and separates from the rest of the ingredients, rising to the surface and then solidifies once reset. This leaves an off-white layer on the surface of the chocolate.
Bloom chocolate can still be enjoyed. Use it for baking and cooking purposes where the chocolate will be remelted, and everyone is none the wiser.
To reduce the risk of bloom, avoid moisture and shocking chocolate with sudden temperature changes.
Read our blog on how to protect your chocolates during transit with a Hot Weather Protection pack.