Delicate chocolate cakes. Creamy chocolate candies. Chocolate ranks among the most favorite flavors in the country—and everyone knows it brightens a bad mood instantly! Learn the basic chocolate facts here.
- Storing Chocolate The key words are cool, dry and low humidity! Storage temperature should be between 60° and 78°F, with relative humidity at less than 50%. It’s all right to refrigerate chocolate, but wrap it tightly so that it won’t absorb odors. Chocolate becomes hard and brittle when cold, so allow it to come to room temperature before using.
- Bloom Chocolate has a high content of cocoa butter. When stored at temperatures that fluctuate from hot to cold, chocolate can develop “bloom”—a gray film caused by the cocoa butter rising to the surface. This dulls the rich brown chocolate color but it does not affect the taste. When the chocolate melts, it regains its attractive color.
- Melting Chocolate and “Seizing” Even the smallest drop of moisture from a wet spoon or steam from a double boiler can cause melted chocolate to become lumpy. If this occurs, all is not lost. Stir in 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening for every 3 ounces of chocolate. Butter and margarine cannot be used as they contain water. Stir continuously until the consistency is smooth and even.