Want to make chocolate barks but afraid it will melt? We’ve got just the right tips for you. Read on to know how to keep chocolate bark from melting.
The holiday season is here! It’s time to prepare your best chocolate snacks. Chocolate barks can be a great idea to share with your families and loved ones: it’s simple yet unique, and it’s not only delicious but also aesthetically pleasing.
What is Chocolate Bark?
For those of you who aren’t familiar with it yet, chocolate bark is a shard-shaped snack made from chocolate. Also known as mendiants in French, chocolate bark comes from France and has since become a popular traditional snack to celebrate the Christmas and New Year holidays.
You may wonder, how do chocolate barks differ from chocolate bars?
Unlike chocolate bars, chocolate bark is made from tempered chocolate which is combined with inclusions such as nuts and fruits. In some countries, chocolate bark even comes in holiday-themed inclusions, such as peppermint candy to give a fun wintery feel.
Interestingly, chocolate barks do not only come in the shape of glass shards. Some chocolatiers also opt for the shape of bars and discs.
As for the types of chocolate to use for chocolate barks, you may see a lot of dark chocolate barks out there. And why not, dark chocolate like our Embassy Oceanic Blend Dark Couverture Chocolate 65% tastes amazing when combined with inclusions like nuts and dried fruits. Even so, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get creative with your chocolate barks!
If you are a fan of milk chocolate, you can create creamy, velvety chocolate barks with Embassy Azalea Milk Chocolate Couverture 34%. A well-tempered chocolate bark made from Embassy Chocolate’s couverture chocolate has a smooth, glossy finish with a satisfying snap when bitten into, which gives your chocolate barks a premium feel.
Read more: Why Do You Need To Temper Chocolate? What Does It Do?
How to Keep Chocolate Bark from Melting
With all the greatness of a chocolate bark, a challenge you may come across when serving it as a family treat is the melting issue. With different temperatures and levels of humidity, chocolate barks tend to melt easily, especially when not properly tempered.
Here are some tips to keep your chocolate bark crisp and sharp for longer:
1. Temper it properly
An important thing to know is that the problems regarding your chocolate melting easily are usually caused by improper processing.
A lot of people think that they only need to melt chocolate to make chocolate barks and other confections. While this makes the process much easier and less time-consuming, it doesn’t guarantee that the chocolate hardens properly when cooled.
Chocolate is mainly made of cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar. If you only melt your chocolate, the fat crystals in the cocoa butter won’t have a stable form. Thus, it will result in a chocolate bark that looks dull, does not snap when broken, and are more prone to blooming, in which white streaks or blemishes appear on its surface.
To keep your chocolate bark from melting, a proper tempering process is necessary. Tempering is a process where the chocolate is brought to certain temperatures, which essentially optimizes the form of the cocoa butter fat crystals and keeps it stable. Tempering also makes your chocolate look glossy and prevents blooming. It will also have a smooth mouthfeel and a velvety texture, making your chocolate even more delicious. Most importantly, well-tempered chocolate will stay solid for longer. Therefore, it is very important that you temper your chocolate properly.
The 3 most important factors in tempering are temperature, time, and movement:
- Temperature is crucial, as in the 3 steps of tempering, the chocolate is brought to different temperatures depending on the type of chocolate.
- When tempering, time is also key, as it takes time for the cocoa butter fat crystals to melt and form.
- Last but not least, movement is important, as it makes sure that all the chocolate is mixed evenly. It also helps the tempering process to go quicker.
2. Storage temperature
Unsuitable storage temperature is a fairly common problem. Chocolate is a very heat-sensitive ingredient, so storing chocolate at the right temperature is critical to having a perfectly solid chocolate bark when you serve it.
Our chefs recommend storing chocolate bark at a cool room temperature of around 12 to 20 degrees Celsius. In addition, make sure to keep your chocolate bark tightly closed in an airtight container, separated from other foodstuffs that contain strong odors such as meat and cheese. After all, chocolate is also sensitive to odors and flavors in its surroundings. It easily absorbs the odors and flavors of objects nearby.
Read more: Business Must-Know: How to Send Chocolate Without Melting
Additional Tips for Making Delicious Chocolate Bark
After knowing how to store chocolate bark the right way, it’s time for us to share some tips on how to make chocolate barks. While chocolate barks are very simple to make, there are still a few things that you need to pay attention to:
- When you are tempering your chocolate, make sure to avoid getting it in contact with water and steam. Especially, if you use the bain-marie method to melt your chocolate, or the ice water bath method to temper your chocolate. Always have a tissue or kitchen towel at hand, and make sure that your utensils and work surfaces are dry.
- Before pouring your tempered chocolate on a baking tray, make sure to line your baking tray with parchment paper. This makes it easier to remove the chocolate from the tray later. Pour your chocolate and even it out until it’s ½ cm thick.
- To get a chocolate bark with a longer shelf life, use dried fruits instead of fresh fruits. The lower moisture content will keep it last longer. This can include dried oranges, dried strawberries, dried apples, dried apricots, dried bananas, and many more. You can put slices of the dried fruit directly on the tray or chop them into smaller pieces first.