We’ve talked before about tempering chocolates so, a process necessary in order to achieve a smooth, glossy finish for your chocolates and chocolate dips. But even when chocolate is in temper, blooming can still occur. Bloom is that greyish or white coating on the chocolate that usually occurs when chocolate is not stored correctly.
There are two kinds of chocolate bloom – one that is made from fat and the other from sugar. The former occurs when the chocolate gets too warm. As a result, the cocoa butter melts and then re-solidifies, leaving those grey streaks on the surface of the chocolate. Sugar bloom on the other hand, happens when the chocolate was stored in a damp area. The moisture collects on the surface of the chocolate, and draws out the sugar. When the moisture evaporates, it leaves behind a grit of sugar crystals on the surface.
Chocolate that has bloomed shouldn’t be thrown away. While it may look unappetizing, it can still be eaten. Only the appearance of chocolate is affected when blooming occurs, not really the taste (although for the connoisseur, the texture is impacted)
What do you do with bloomed chocolate?
Blooming does not affect the taste of chocolate and you can virtually do anything with it. You can bake or make a dip with using chocolate that has bloomed. So whether you’re baking delicious brownies or simply coating some luscious cookies you still get that flawless taste and consistency of a delightful chocolate.
But it’s best to avoid melting sugar bloomed chocolate for baking applications, as the texture will be irreversibly grainy. You can use it though for high liquid, high-heat applications like chocolate sauce or hot chocolate.
But how do you know what caused your chocolate to bloom? If it feels gritty or rough, you know it was caused by moisture. If it still feels smooth, it is caused by the separation of cocoa fats.
Can you temper bloomed chocolate?
We said that blooming occurs when the chocolate was not properly stored giving it a dull and unappealing appearance. But the good news is, tempering bloomed chocolate gives back that shiny and rich chocolatey-brown colour.
When re-heated, the cocoa butter will re-integrate and if properly done, you’ll get that shiny consistency you want for your favourite chocolate dip.
Tips to avoid blooming
If you are not comfortable seeing your chocolate bloom, here are some really helpful tips for you.
Keep the temperature low – You want to keep your storage’s temperature low (under 60 °F). Very high temperature causes the cocoa butter to melt and separate. And when it re-solidifies, it leaves a white hazy layer on your chocolate. Storing chocolates in the lower cabinets of your kitchen will help keep the right storage temperature.
Place your chocolates in an air-tight container – Moisture draws the sugar from the chocolate. When the water evaporates, it leaves traces of sugar crystals on the surface. To prevent this, you may want to invest in really good air-tight containers, or you can wrap your chocolate using cling wraps. Just make sure that you wrap your chocolate tightly, leaving no space for air, to avoid sugar bloom from forming.
Don’t store chocolates inside the fridge – While it is very tempting to store your chocolates inside the fridge especially during hot seasons, it isn’t really the best option. There is too much moisture inside the fridge and this might encourage sugar bloom in your chocolate. Don’t risk it. It is still best to just wrap your chocolate tightly and keep it somewhere that is dry and cool.
In the world of baking, chocolates can be one of the most challenging to deal with. But by making yourself familiar with their unique properties, cooking and storage requirements, you will find chocolate the best thing you’ve ever had in your kitchen!