Chocolate is one of the best desserts on planet Earth. The rich and indulgent flavor and the glossy, ultra-smooth texture are enough to send taste buds to the moon. But if you see an odd white coating on your chocolate, it might look anything but appealing. What is this coating, and how can you avoid it and fix it?
Hello, one and all! My name’s Michelle, and I am a home baker and avid chocolate connoisseur. Although I technically have an affinity for white chocolate, there’s no denying that milk and dark chocolate are also tasty.
With all of my chocolate experience, I’ve definitely run across “bloom” and have discovered how to avoid it.
Come on, chocolatiers – let’s learn about bloom!
- What is Chocolate Bloom?
- 5 Ways to Avoid Chocolate Bloom
- How to Fix Chocolate That’s Bloomed
- Chocolate Bloom is Unattractive but Can Be Avoided!
What is Chocolate Bloom?
Have you ever made homemade chocolate or purchased a store-bought candy bar, only to realize it’s covered in an odd white coating? This dull coating isn’t a sign of expired chocolate. It’s called “bloom” and can be caused by two things:
- Sugar bloom – Sugar bloom occurs when there is a drastic temperature change. The sudden change in temp produces condensation, ultimately reacting with the sugar, causing a dull coating and off-putting grainy texture.
- Fat bloom – On the other hand, fat bloom happens when the cocoa butter melts and recrystallizes. However, it can also sometimes occur from sudden temperature changes, too.
5 Ways to Avoid Chocolate Bloom
Although bloom doesn’t render the chocolate inedible or unsafe to eat, it’s still something you want to avoid. After all, chocolate is supposed to look and feel a certain way. If it doesn’t, it won’t be very appealing.
The good news is that there are many ways to avoid the dreaded bloom. Here are my top tips for bloom-free success.
1. Be Careful with Temperatures
Bloom is almost always the result of a sudden temperature change. Unfortunately, this is something that’s far too common when it comes to making homemade chocolates. To ensure that temperature changes don’t cause bloom, follow these tips:
- Don’t make chocolate in a humid environment (over 50% is a no-no)
- Make chocolates in a room with temperatures between 68 F and 72F
- Avoid sudden temperature changes when making chocolate
- Don’t overmix the chocolate
- Store chocolate in a cool place before and after tempering (not the refrigerator!)
2. Follow the Directions Closely
Tempering chocolate isn’t the easiest thing to do, and even experienced bakers make simple mistakes that ruin the result. That said, the best thing to do is follow along with the directions closely. Find a good recipe and stick to it, word for word.
A chocolate tempering machine is an outstanding appliance to consider having in your arsenal.
3. Use High-Quality Chocolate
Low-quality chocolate will be much more susceptible to mishaps, such as blooming. That said, one easy way to deter the dreaded bloom is to use high-quality chocolate.
4. Avoid Water
When it comes to melting chocolate, you need to avoid water like the plague. Even the tiniest amount of water can cause your beautiful chocolate to seize up.
5. Store Correctly
While storing your chocolate in the fridge might seem right, this is a definite no-no. The refrigerator is the worst place for chocolates and will ultimately create bloom. What is the better option? Store in a cool and dry place.
If you don’t have AC and live in a hot or humid area and have to use the refrigerator, ensure the chocolates are amply wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in an airtight container.
How to Fix Chocolate That’s Bloomed
The best way to fix bloomed chocolate is to re-temper it. If you don’t want to go through all the hassle, you can also simply melt it, pour it into a mold, and allow it to cool. This will allow the fat to redistribute, leaving you with lovely-looking and delicious chocolates.
Some bloomed chocolate is not repairable, though. If your chocolate has severely bloomed and there is no saving the texture, don’t throw it out. Although you won’t be able to melt it back to health, you can use it in other applications.
Remember – bloomed chocolate is still yummy and safe to consume!
My favorite way to repurpose bloomed chocolate is to bake it. I cut the chocolate into small chunks and add it to my favorite brownie recipe. Bake as usual and enjoy some of the best-tasting brownies of your life.
Bloom isn’t all doom and gloom, right? Well, you’ve learned a lot about chocolate bloom already. However, if you want to learn some more, here are a couple of frequently asked questions to take a look at.
Is the white bloom on chocolate safe to eat?
Although white bloom on chocolate is definitely unappetizing and may slightly alter the flavor of your chocolate, it’s 100% safe to consume. If you’re worried about it or don’t want to eat it, you can try repurposing it. The best way to do that is to add it to your baked goods, such as brownies, cakes, or cookies. Yum!
Does chocolate bloom in the fridge?
Chocolate can definitely bloom in the fridge – although it seems like it’s a safe spot to store your chocolates. The moisture from the refrigerator can lead to the dreaded sugar bloom. Instead of the fridge, store your chocolate in a cool and dry place. Remember – moisture is a cause for bloom problems, too!
At what temperature does chocolate bloom?
Chocolate is pretty picky. That said, chocolate can bloom when temperatures reach around 75F. That’s why it is critical to make chocolates in a kitchen hovering between 48F and 72F.
Chocolate Bloom is Unattractive but Can Be Avoided!
Chocolate bloom is a pretty common thing, especially for homemade chocolates. The best way to avoid any type of chocolate bloom is to be careful with temperatures and follow the directions closely. You should also avoid any kind of moisture and store it in a cool and dry place.
Do you struggle with chocolate bloom? What did you do to fix it and avoid it in the future?About Michelle