Have you ever opened a piece of chocolate, only to find it has white blemishes on it? You might think the chocolate's gone bad or that it's now inedible. But do not worry, this just means your chocolate has "bloomed". Learn more about chocolate bloom in this blog.
what is chocolate bloom?
Chocolate bloom is a term used to describe the white or greyish streaks or layers on the surface of the chocolate. There are two types of chocolate bloom: fat bloom and sugar bloom.
1. fat bloom
Fat bloom occurs when the cocoa butter in chocolate separates from the cocoa solids and rises to the surface, forming white, powdery marks and a dull white finish on the chocolate.
There are several reasons why fat bloom appears. The most common reason is that the chocolate is exposed to warm temperatures, which causes the cocoa butter in it to soften. When the fat melts, it separates from the other ingredients in the chocolate and rises to the surface, where it then solidifies again and creates white or greyish marks. Because of the cocoa butter's separation from other ingredients, the chocolate can lose its temper and shine.
Fat bloom can also happen because the chocolate is not tempered properly. If the chocolate does not contain enough beta crystals, the cocoa butter will separate from the other ingredients more easily.
2. sugar bloom
Sugar bloom is characterized by a white, dusty, grainy coating that appears on the surface of the chocolate. To differentiate sugar bloom from fat bloom, while fat bloom feels oily and melts when touched, sugar bloom feels dry to the touch and has a grainy texture.
Sugar bloom is a crystallization of sugar caused by moisture. This can be due to keeping the chocolate in a humid environment (like in a fridge), or due to the formation of condensate ("sweating") when a cold product is brought into a warm area.
In either case, when water vapor condenses on the surface of the chocolate, the moisture dissolves the sugar in the chocolate. And when the water evaporates, the sugar recrystallizes into sandpaper-like rough irregular crystals.
Read more: How to Thicken a Runny Ganache?
is bloomed chocolate safe to eat?
Whatever type of chocolate bloom is affecting your chocolate, there’s no need for you to worry, because the chocolate is still safe for consumption. Bloom is just a separation of cocoa butter or sugar in the chocolate, so there is nothing dangerous about it.
If you don’t mind eating a chocolate product that has a slight difference in appearance, eat your chocolate away.
does chocolate bloom affect the taste of your chocolate?
Although chocolate bloom changes the appearance of your chocolate, it does not change its taste. It might, however, change the texture of your chocolate. In bloomed chocolate, the cocoa butter’s fat crystals exist in different forms instead of the ideal form V. This may cause the chocolate to have a sandy or crumbly texture.
Read more: What's the Difference Between Compound and Couverture Chocolate?
how to fix bloomed chocolate
Even though it is safe to eat, we can’t deny that bloomed chocolate isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing. There is no need to throw out your chocolate, though. If your chocolate has bloomed and it’s, don’t worry, because there are still ways to save your chocolate.
Chocolate bloom can be repaired by melting the chocolate down, stirring it, then pouring it into a mold and allowing it to cool, bringing the fat back into the solution. You can also re-temper the chocolate to regain its glory: all the shine, snap, and stability that you expect from tempered chocolate.
If the chocolate bloom has affected your chocolate so much that its texture has changed, it is not recommended to melt and re-temper your chocolate. Instead, our chefs recommend repurposing the chocolate for other applications where it is melted down, baked, or mixed with other ingredients, such as for cake filling, ganache, or chocolate sauce. Go to our recipe page for amazing chocolate recipes.
how to prevent chocolate bloom
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. To prevent your chocolate from blooming, keep these things in mind.
- Do not store your chocolate in the fridge. A refrigerator has a high humidity, which leads to sugar bloom. Instead, store your chocolate in a cool, dry place. When chocolate is kept at a consistent temperature below 24°C (ideally between 17-23°C), and at a humidity of less than 55%, it will stay stable for months.
- If you have to refrigerate the chocolate and don’t have air conditioning storage, wrap your chocolate tightly and place it in an airtight container.
- Keep your chocolate away from environments with fluctuating temperatures; instead, make all temperature changes gradually. When you take your chocolate out, let it come back to room temperature before unwrapping. This will keep it in a good condition.
- Ensure your chocolate and finished products do not come in contact with any water or condensation. Make sure all utensils and tools are dried completely before they touch the chocolate. Also make sure that anything that comes into contact with the chocolate, such as berries and fruits, is dry.
- If possible, use chocolate that is recently manufactured. Although you have just bought it, the chocolate could have been sitting in a warehouse for a long time.
If you still see chocolate bloom even after following all the tips, contact your chocolate supplier to see if they can offer any further suggestions.
At the end of the day, choose a reputable chocolate brand that makes high-quality chocolate, like Embassy Chocolate. We have more than 25 years of chocolate-making experience, gaining the trust of hotels, restaurants, and cafes to provide quality couverture chocolate.