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Storing chocolate in a "Chocolate" Cooler
August 12, 2005
1:28 pm
Sebastian
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Seneca - while i agree that condensation is a concern, that's why i originally indicated that freezing is a great preservation method if properly sealed and rewarmed. Fundamentally, I have to disagree with you however. Cryopreservation is a proven technique, and even halts many of the crystallization changes that occur over time with cocoa butter (ccb will transtion to more stable polymorphs over time at ambient temperatures). If there's significant free moisture present (there's a difference between total moisture and free moisture...) - it's almost always very very low (packaging is done shortly after cooling, and the room in which that is done has to be low in relative humidity to prevent immediate condensation on the product - if you package in a high RH environment, you essentially package in moisture, which is a recipe for disaster). If there's free moisture present, it will be far more detrimental to the product in it's liquid or vapor form than in a solid form. Sort of a long way of saying 1) typically there's very very low free moisture present in packaged chocolate 2) if there's a little bit that does end up being frozen, it's likely to be better than leaving it in another form. Now, i'm talking about pure chocolate only. Once you start to consider combination products such as truffles made with cream or sugar syrups, that's an entirely different issue..

LNI - the white bloom you're seeing could be due to many things. If it's a surface only issue (ie if you can wipe it off with your finger and it doesn't feel greasy) it's called sugar bloom, and is a result of surface sugar dissolving in condensation, then being redeposited when that condensation evaporates. Perhaps the producers cooling tunnel was too cold or their RH too high. Perhaps it happend during transport. If it greasy to the touch, it was either improperly tempered to begin with, or exposed to warmer than ideal temperatures, and some of the tempered cocoa butter has melted and you have fat bloom. As mentioned above, ccb changes over time, even when tempered. Usually it's for the better, but it's an equilibriuim. At any given time, even in bars that are 'perfectly' tempered, there's a good deal of ccb that isn't 'tempered'. As long as the untempered portion is balanced with the tempered portion, you'll have a fine looking product. However, if it's slightly off, it may look fine for a long time, but as those changes occur, it may begin to show signs of bloom. That could also be what you're seeing.

August 12, 2005
1:46 pm
ellie
london, United Kingdom
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Complete answer! They also say that "fat" bloom doesn't affect the taste, but i find it does. If it happens - like recently i've brought home M.Cluizel "los Ancones" from my usual next door place, only to find it bloomed - i'd try to reuse it in some other way. Was terribly annoyed - it's probably due to hot weather we r having, cos the shop has generally v. quick turnover and running out of best stock in a flash. Don't even know what to do in such case, if i'm to make sure it's good, next time i buy the choc from the place and shell i complaine?
On the short to medium term domestic storing - i use also zip bags, tightly packed with bars in their packaging - foil is perfect, if it's sealed. Don't have any foil-sealing thing at home. Strong zip bags normaly good for preventing moisture variations.

August 12, 2005
2:12 pm
Sebastian
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Would i complain if i had just bought an expensive bar of chocolate that was bloomed? Absolutely. Fat bloom will affect taste, in my opinion - fat is a phenomenal flavor carrier, and how fat melts affects how flavor is released. If the CCB is bloomed (ie, essentially lower melting point) you're going to get a different flavor release, not to mention a different textural perception. Is it going to be a worse flavor experience? there's no answer to that, better/worse is very subjective. But it will be different.

August 12, 2005
2:27 pm
ellie
london, United Kingdom
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Thank you, Sebastian, for support - will do. That "los Ancones" was definitely so much worse, with all my love and forgiveness cud not eat it, gone to cooking.

August 12, 2005
2:47 pm
Sebastian
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I understand completely. If you ever find yourself in a similiar situation where you just don't know what to do with your fine chocolate, I'm considering setting up an abused chocolate shelter. You could send them to me, where they'll recieve proper care and nuturing attention to nurse them back to full health...

8-)

August 12, 2005
3:13 pm
ellie
london, United Kingdom
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Do tell,please, what would you do? Would tempering resuscitate it?

August 12, 2005
3:21 pm
Sebastian
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Certainly. If what you're seeing is fat bloom, you can always 'fix' it by retempering and remoulding. Retempering a single 50 or 100g bar can be tricky though, as it's a fairly small amount. If you're not fairly experienced with tempering, i'd suggest you get yourself a big ol' block of the cheapest chocolate you can find and learn on that first.

I do fear our fine moderators are going to find we're straying a bit off topic before long, however...

August 12, 2005
4:13 pm
seneca
USA
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Perhaps a bit off topic, but a good thread! :-) Not to add too much more, I'd just agree that in my experience fat bloom can definitely affect taste. If you bring a bar of bloomed chocolate back to any nice specialty retailer, they should really replace it for you, whether the bloom occured in the supply chain or at the shop.

http://bittersweetcafe.blogspot.com http://www.bittersweetcafe.com
August 12, 2005
5:35 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Here's some more information on bloom:

http://www.seventypercent.com/.....erms=bloom

Fat bloom does indeed affect flavor because the manner in which the fat is distributed throughout the chocolate will influence overall flavor and mouthfeel. However, as previously mentioned by Sebastian and in the above thread, tempering can fix that.

I've tried sugar bloomed and fat bloomed chocolate, both of which were not that great by themselves. What I've done with those bars was throw them in recipes for muffins, cookies, etc., or anything that basically requires heat. As most people have commented (in this thread and others), they also have used the bloomed chocolate in recipes - in much the same manner as I have - and of course, the chocolate works well in these applications because of the re-heating of the chocolate and subsequent re-dispersal of the fat and sugar.

I've received bloomed chocolate in the past and expressed my disappointment to the retailers whereupon I was compensated credit or replacement bars. Receiving bloomed chocolate is like buying a car without wheels. The car may have all its necessary internal parts, but without wheels it's just another lawn ornament in the deep South. It can't deliver you or anything anywhere. A bloomed chocolate can't deliver good flavor, and after all, that's the main reason we buy chocolate.

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