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Storing Chocolate
Posted: 03 June 2008 12:45 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Unfortunately, my home is not air conditioned, and it is getting to be that time of year when it is not unusual for my kitchen to be in the upper 80s or even 90s (my baking slows down considerably, although a 350 oven is tolerable—but not 475!).  Last year, I lost some chocolate because it obviously doesn’t store well in those conditions.  I have tried to be mindful of that this year and use up my supply, but I have a considerable amount of white chocolate which I would like to store.

I know it is not recommended to refrigerate or freeze chocolate, but has anyone had success with this?  I’m thinking well-wrapped in the freezer might be better because humidity would be less of an issue.  Or should I just make a big batch of white chocolate butter cream and freeze that?

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Posted: 03 June 2008 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’d think if you were careful to vacuum seal the chocolate, you should be able to store it in the fridge or freezer for a very long time.  I freeze leftover ganache this way all the time, and we like to freeze our chocolate candy bars in this house.

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Posted: 03 June 2008 03:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Best to freeze chocolate than refrigerate.  Vacuum pack or well wrapped is a must.

Refrigeration creates fat bloom in chocolate which is undesirable.  The chocolate butter floats on top.  But it is still ok to use if you melt it.  Freezing doesn’t allow the fat to travel fast enough to bloom on surface.

My white chocolate is always frozen.  My dark chocolate is in my wine cellar (that gives it years).  In Hawaii, people also like to store in the ground:  dig a hole in a shady spot in your yard, and keep you chocolate there, of course inside an airtight container.

I have also stored dark chocolate, vacuum packed inside a cooler, and the cooler placed on my ceramic tiled floor under my pantry or coolest spot in my home.  The cooler helps prevent the inside to go so hot as when outside is about 90.  You can’t do this with white.

Sure you can freeze the white chocolate as buttercream.

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Posted: 03 June 2008 06:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I thought fat bloom was caused by improper heating or cooling.  Fat bloom is harmless, but unsightly if you plan to serve as is… if you plan to melt the chocolate, the fat bloom will disappear.  Moisture will cause sugar bloom which is something you want to avoid.  One way to tell if the chocolate has fat bloom or sugar bloom is to touch the bloom with your warm hand… if the bloom disappears, it’s fat bloom smile.  If it doesn’t disappear, or starts to disintegrate, it’s sugar bloom :(.

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Posted: 03 June 2008 06:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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when you it in the fridge, the chocolate becomes covered with a white haze.  what is that?

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Posted: 03 June 2008 06:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I’m not sure.  Could be either I suppose - do the hand test to know for sure.  I wonder if storing it vacuum sealed would help to prevent that?

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Posted: 03 June 2008 06:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Actually… the more I think about it, I believe the “haze” is fat bloom, whereas bumpy or gritty white spots are sugar bloom.

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Posted: 03 June 2008 06:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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it is actually explained on Cake Bible.

vacuum seal won’t help much, when chocolate is refrigerated.

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Posted: 03 June 2008 07:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Oh yes… I should have checked there to begin with.  Page 424 states to store airtight to avoid exposing to odor and moisture, and it states that the best temp to store it at is 60-75F, with less than 50% humidity, but it doesn’t specifically say don’t refrigerate.  The same instructions for storage are given in A Passion for Chocolate.

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Posted: 03 June 2008 07:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I did a quick google search and found this advice from Nestle:
Advice From Nestle:

What?s the Best Way to Store Chocolate?
If your chocolate gets a bad case of the ?blooms? it means that it has not been properly stored. To avoid bloom and maintain an optimal state of factory-freshness, chocolate must be kept in a cool, dry, dark, well ventilated place.

Keep chocolate in a cupboard or pantry that is a constant 60-70 degrees, the average home temperature. Avoid storing chocolate in cupboards near the stove or any other heat source such as a radiator or furnace vent, or in glass-fronted cabinets, especially those that get direct sunlight.

Chocolate should not be kept in the refrigerator or the freezer unless your kitchen is extremely hot or humid. If you must keep it chilled, wrap well and place in sealed plastic freezer bag. Before using, remove from plastic, leave wrapping on, and gradually allow chocolate to come to room temperature.

Once the original, manufacturer?s packaging has been opened, wrap chocolate tightly in aluminum foil. Nestl? experts suggest a second layer of plastic wrap over the foil. Others prefer a first layer of parchment or brown craft paper. Chocolate can also be kept in a sealed plastic container that is large enough so there?s space for air to circulate around it.

Wrapping chocolate well also protects it from absorbing the odors and flavors of other foods stored nearby.

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Posted: 03 June 2008 08:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Patrincia, thanks for your final word =)

I keep my dark chocolate vacuum sealed in my wine chiller (55oF).

I keep my white real-chocolate vacuum sealed in my chest freezer (-20oF).

NEVER, do I keep chocolate in my refrigerator, unless candy I am actively eating.

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Posted: 03 June 2008 08:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Hi Hector - sounds like your storage solutions are ideal.  If one doesn’t have those storage options, and they had to choose between the refrigerator/freezer or a humid kitchen, the fridge/freezer sounds like the slightly better way to go. 

All this talk of chocolate makes me want to make ganache smile.

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Posted: 03 June 2008 08:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I am so glad that Costco carried Vinotemp wine chillers for very inexpensive for a short time!  I wish I got two units!

It is best in the freezer (than refrigerator).  The molecules are frozen thus don’t move as fast as in the refrigerator thus won’t get as much bloom float.  But freezer kills some of the chocolate flavor, so you know.

Dark Chocolate will keep ok, for about 12 months inside an insulated cooler in your bathroom floor or under your bed or in a dark hallway, which are known to be the coolest.  Up to 85 degrees outside I would say is still ok.  The cooler will help prevent rapid fluctuations of temperature inside where the chocolate is stored, temp fluctuation is what affects bloom.  White Chocolate will last half of that time.

Keeping chocolate vacuum sealed helps tremendously, it is also air which kills chocolate.

So, if you pass that time, stick in the freezer, rather than in the trash.

At 55oF constant, dark chocolate keeps “for ever” and the flavor is reported to get better with aging.

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Posted: 03 June 2008 10:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I have a question. I know dark chocolate has a long shelf life (even after the expiry date) but how long can it be stored for and used before you have to get rid of it. Assuming it is in its original packaging.

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Posted: 04 June 2008 07:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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my take is that dark chocolate stored vacuum sealed (no air) in a cool room (55oF to 60oF) lasts forever and flavor gets better like aged wines.  At higher temperatures I would follow the stamped expiration date, can be 1 year, maybe 2 maximum.

original packaging is not always a guarantee, chocolate packaging is so varied and fancyfull, be sure it is airtight and air free.

use your taste, if it still tastes good, then it is good.

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Posted: 04 June 2008 11:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Thanks Hector. The reason I asked is b/c the Lindt outlet store that I go to was selling their Lindt Excellence 100g chocolate bars for a really low price b/c the expiry date is a few days away. I guess I’ll stock up. I’m sure I’ll use them up pretty fast and soon…...

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