If you live in a hot climate or it’s currently summer, having your chocolate melt or bloom can be a frustrating experience. Your first instinct is probably to put it in the fridge, but we’re here to say don’t do it (for your own sake)!
Keeping your chocolate fresh is fairly simple, if you know how. Below we’ll show you the tips and tricks on how to store chocolate.
1. Don’t keep your chocolate in the fridge
Although you might be tempted, resist any urges to keep your chocolate in the fridge! Here are two reasons why:
- Chocolate will absorb the aromas of the fridge. The cocoa butter in chocolate is great at soaking up any nearby odours. So if you’ve got cheese, fish, onions or really any other food items in your fridge, the smells will transfer. The result will be that your chocolate will taste of those other items in the fridge and lose its original aroma.
- Chocolate is sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Exposing the chocolate to warm temperatures after it has been refrigerated will cause sugar bloom. Why? Because the sugar in chocolate will be attracted to the moisture that collects on the bar as it’s warming up. This causes the sugar to rise to the top of the bar and dissolve. As the moisture evaporates the sugar crystals are left at the top. This is why your chocolate will have a white, dusty appearance. Sugar bloom affects both the texture and taste of the chocolate.
2. Do store it in a cool, dry place
The perfect place to store your chocolate is in a dry, cool, and dark place. Ideally, the temperature should be consistently around 15°C to 18°C (59°F – 64°F). The relative humidity needs to be below 55%.
If kept in these conditions, the state of chocolate can stay unchanged for months, sometimes even years. An ideal place for keeping chocolate is in an odourless tin or box within the pantry. This brings us onto point number 3.
3. Do keep it in an air-tight container
Keep your chocolate in an air-tight container to it from odours or moisture. Remember, the cocoa butter in chocolate takes on the aromas of nearby objects. That’s why it’s a bad idea to keep your chocolate where you keep your coffee.
Some chocolate bars come in resealable packaging. If it doesn’t, then we recommend using a ziplock bag to keep the chocolate fresh.
4. Don’t keep it lying around in the light
When chocolate comes into contact with light and air, it undergoes a process known as oxidation. The oxidation of chocolate will cause it to bloom and impact the flavour and texture of the bar.
Keeping chocolate in the light may also cause it to heat up and melt. This in turn will alter the chemical structure of your chocolate and cause it to bloom.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I freeze chocolate?
Yes, chocolate can be preserved by freezing it. However, the same principle applied to keeping it in the fridge. It may take on the odours of what’s in your freezer if it’s not kept in an airtight container.
Does chocolate go bad?
It depends! If chocolate contains milk, then yes the milk in a chocolate bar can go off after a certain period of time. However, if the chocolate contains only cocoa mass and sugar then it doesn’t really go bad. It will probably bloom after several months or years, but if you re-tempered the bar then the chocolate should be perfectly fine to eat again.
What if I have no alternative to storing my chocolate in the fridge?
If your chocolate is melting and you don’t have a cool spot to store your chocolate, then you may have no other choice than to keep it in the fridge. If this is the case, place the chocolate in an airtight container in the fridge. That way it will minimise the odours the chocolate will take on whilst being refrigerated.