Chocolate is an incredibly popular treat that many people love to keep in their homes for baking and as a special treat. It's also a popular gift, but no one wants their gift to melt before it's even opened! While all types of chocolate have a pretty long shelf life it can still spoil if stored improperly especially over long periods. Certain conditions, like a heat wave, can cause this delicious dessert to spoil or bloom.
Find out the best ways to store your treats to make sure your emergency stash of chocolate bars stays good for your next bad day.
Best Conditions to Store Chocolate
Ideally, chocolate should be stored in a slightly cool, dry, dark place. The perfect environment would be a consistent 60-70 F. It's also best for chocolate to be stored somewhere with low humidity (less than 50 percent) to avoid any risk of condensation. Water can cause chocolate to spoil. Leaving it out of direct sunlight is pretty common sense when it comes to this candy. However, one lesser known danger to chocolate is strong odors. Chocolate can absorb the odor and therefore some of the flavors of other foods.This may sound yummy for things like oranges but imagine an onion!
How Heat Affects Chocolate
If your chocolate has melted this doesn't necessarily mean it's spoiled. While melted chocolate can be messy it can usually still be saved.
Often once the chocolate cools it will taste the same, even if it's lost its shape. However, frequent exposure to high temperatures can cause the cocoa butter in chocolate to rise to the surface, creating “bloom,” an unpleasant cloudy gray color. While it's safe to eat bloomed chocolate it doesn't always have the best flavor.
This is a superficial flaw that can be corrected by melting and properly tempering the chocolate. If the chocolate has any type of fillings, however, it's not recommended to try melting it. In addition to bloom, white chocolate can go rancid when exposed to strong light, which will greatly affect the flavor and quality of the chocolate.
Storing Chocolate in Warm Temperatures
If you live in an extremely warm area and do not have air conditioning, you may need to keep your chocolate in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent it from melting. To freeze the chocolate, place it in an airtight container, and do not remove it from its container until it has been brought up to room temperature, to prevent condensation from forming on the chocolate. These water droplets will prevent the chocolate from melting smoothly and might affect the texture of the melted chocolate. If you don't want to wait until it's reached room temperature there's nothing wrong with having a nice cold treat!