How to Store Chocolates

January 29th, 2016

Usually, chocolates don’t last beyond a day as they are gobbled up soon enough. But some of us may want to preserve chocolates for many days and months. Chocolate like any other perishable food item must be kept in special conditions to keep fresh.

Here are some ideas to store chocolates for some time.

  • Avoid refrigeration as much as you can. The main problem is that chocolate will easily absorb the odour of all types of food stored in the refrigerator. So don’t be surprised if the chocolate stored in the fridge smells of meat curry or Roquefort cheese. Moisture in the fridge may also lead to ‘sugar bloom’. It implies that sugar rises to the surface and causes discolouration of chocolate. Bu the effect is only cosmetic and does not affect flavour, so don’t be too worried.
  • Store in dry, cool place. The emulsions of cocoa butter and cocoa solids will stay in good condition for several months if you keep chocolate in consistent temperature below 70 degree F and humidity lower than 55%.
  • Keep them sealed in an air-tight container. The first reason is that cocoa butter picks up any odour around it like garlic, mint, coffee, etc. Second reason is that oxygen in air causes oxidation of chocolate that produces not so palatable flavours.
  • Dark place: Keep chocolates away from light. This includes not only sunlight but also artificial light. Light causes bad flavour to develop, just akin to oxygen. Both factors are anathema either you get chocolates by post or from market and stored.
  • Longevity of chocolate will improve: Milk chocolate will last for a year while dark chocolate will stay for two years. White chocolate is more perishable and lasts for only four months. Another less lasting chocolate are filled chocolates like truffles.
  • Sometimes refrigeration is an option: In the heat of summer, not everyone has air conditioning at home. But before putting chocolate in fridge, first wrap it tightly to prevent odours and seal it in an air tight container. When it is time to eat the chocolate, take it out of the fridge and allow it to remain at room temperature for sometime before unwrapping the cover. This way chocolate can be stored for 3 to 6 months.
  •  For longer storage: If you want chocolate to last from 6 months to one year, your best bet is the freezer. Pack chocolate just like keeping in fridge. After 2 hours inside the fridge, transfer it to the freezer. This is done so as to prevent temperature shock and retain texture. To take the chocolate out, follow the procedure in reverse. Remove chocolate from freezer, transfer to fridge and keep for 24 hours. After this time lapse, transfer chocolates outside fridge and allow it to thaw till room temperature before unwrapping them finally. A good tip is to always eat chocolates at room temperature, particularly truffles.
  • Extremes of temperature: The crystalline structure of the chocolates may be disturbed when you store chocolates at too cold temperatures. It may cause bloom or affect texture or both. Great care is taken by chocolate makers to combine cocoa solids and cocoa butter. This can be undone by extremes of temperature.
  •  Chocolates seldom go bad: Microbes require water to survive and chocolates contain very less moisture. So, they cannot make anyone sick.

One can get chocolates delivered to a loved one and include the above mentioned tips to help store and preserve them. Chocolates can be enjoyed for a long time if proper care is taken.