As much as you love chocolate, chocolate needs you to love it too. You may already know how it requires tempering and proper treatment while cooking, but you might not know that you need to properly store it too.
Ever notice that if you store chocolate in too moist or warm conditions, a grey, powdery substance starts to grow on its surface? This is called bloom, and while it's perfectly safe to eat, it's unpleasant to look at and something to easily avoid. Here's how.
Wrap chocolate tightly to protect its surface from moisture. Wrapping it in aluminum foil or plastic wrap usually does the trick.
Store it in a dark place like your pantry, a cupboard, or anywhere where it'll be safe from light, heat and moisture. White chocolate is most easily damaged by light.
Avoid the fridge when possible. An ideal storage temperature for all chocolate is generally 18 degrees C to 21 degrees C. If it's the middle of summer and your chocolate is melting in the cupboard, you may have to move it to the fridge. The danger in doing so is that when you remove it, condensation can form on its surface and cause bloom.
Respect its shelf life even though it may have a noted expiry date. Unsweetened, bittersweet and semisweet chocolate will keep up to 18 months, milk should be used within six months and white chocolate within just three to four months. Older chocolate can lose flavour and you risk 'fat bloom', which is when the fat rises to the surface to create an oily bloom, similar to that caused by moisture. While fat bloom can actually be wiped off, it's equally unattractive and easily avoidable - by consuming your chocolate frequently!
Now that you know how to lovingly store chocolate, let it love you right back in any of these delicious recipes.
Apple Chocolate Chip Cookies
Banana and Chocolate Malt Cake Cones
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Best-Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies
Milk Chocolate Cupcakes
Molten Chocolate Cakes
Chilled Chocolate Spread
Chocolate Brownie Croquembouche
Chocolate Cherry Cups
Chocolate Layer Cake
Chocolate Truffles for Two
Gluten-Free Super Fudgy Chocolate Brownies
Chocolate-Covered Homemade Marshmallows