why does my melted chocolate turn white
Why Your Chocolate Turns White (Yes, You Can Still Eat It)
Have you ever seen chocolate lose its temper? It can get pretty ugly. What makes chocolate smooth and appealingБand what gives the texture a satisfying snapБis the tempering process during chocolate production. It ensures bars and other chocolates have a beautiful, even-coated, glossy, dark brown hue. If chocolate wasnБt tempered, it would have a dull, uneven, grayish and unappetizing color. Not exactly attractive. What happens when you open a package of chocolate and there is greyish film or whitish speckles on the surface? ThatБs what is called Бchocolate bloom. Б This doesnБt mean the chocolate is old, or inedible (it will probably taste fine) but it does mean that the chocolate ingredients have separated and are no longer properly tempered, causing that unappealing mottled look. There are two kinds of chocolate bloom: fat bloom and sugar bloom. Fat bloom is the most common and it occurs when chocolate is exposed to high heat and then re-solidifies at a lower temperature, causing the cocoa butter to separate from the chocolate, leaving those whitish-gray streaks on the surface. Sugar bloom is caused by moisture, most often in the form of condensation or humidity.
When chocolate comes in contact with moisture, and then subsequently dries out, it causes the sugar in the chocolate to crystalize, leaving discoloration and splotches on the surface. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this. To properly store your chocolate, the most ideal situation is to keep it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, such as a cellar or pantry. If your area is experiencing a warm-weather spell and you donБt happen to have air-conditioning, consider the coolest place in the house, typically a lower cupboard or dark pantry. Chocolate can begin to melt somewhere around 86-90 degrees Fahrenheit. If the coolest place in your home is warmer than that, then using the refrigerator is the next best option. Carefully wrap and seal your chocolates in a couple of layers of plastic wrap or ziplock bags to keep moisture and odors out, seal the bags in an airtight container, and then place in the warmest spot in your refrigerator, often the top and middle shelves, toward the front. (Yes, our refrigerators have their own microclimates. ) When youБre ready to enjoy your chocolate again, take it out of the fridge and let it sit out for several hours before unwrapping, so it has a chance to acclimate to room temperature.
The chocolates in our donБt contain preservatives, so any of them with fillings or inclusions are best enjoyed somewhat fresh. (Pay attention to the expiration dates. ) For chocolate bars, however, we understand the need to buy (*ahem* ) a variety and to keep stashes at home or at work. There seems to be a lot of wildly varying opinions in the chocolate world, but generally, if stored properly, dark or bittersweet chocolate should last 1-2 years. (Not as long for milk or white chocolates containing dairy, or if the chocolate contains nuts, which can go rancid over time. ) A dark bar can potentially last even longer if stored in continually optimal conditions (dry, dark, and cool), but who waits that long to eat chocolate?! Photo by Jackie Donnelly via Strawberries, bananas, caramels, coconut balls -- just about anything you can imagine becomes sweeter when you dip it in chocolate. Sometimes after storage, dipping chocolate that was once glossy and enticing develops a white to gray coating that looks anything but appetizing. This coating, known as bloom, develops when moisture comes in contact with the chocolate or when the fats in the chocolate separate from the cocoa.
Fortunately for the chocolate connoisseur, both scenarios are preventable. Store dipping chocolate in a cool, dark place where the humidity level does not exceed 50 percent. Ideal temperatures in the storage area should average between 60 and 69 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow dipping chocolate that has been stored in the refrigerator or freezer to come to room temperature before removing it from its wrappings. Cold chocolate that comes in contact with the open air forms condensation, resulting in sugar bloom. Temper the dipping chocolate before using it. Heat the chocolate in a double boiler over low heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon, removing the pan from the heat when the chocolate begins to melt. Add some unmelted chocolate to the heated chocolate, attach a candy thermometer to the double boiler and let the chocolate cool to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Set the double boiler back on low heat, stirring until the chocolate reaches 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Fat bloom is most likely to form on dipping chocolate stored in temperatures between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It is not harmful to eat dipping chocolate affected by sugar or fat bloom.
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