Living in a country like Australia whose weather fluctuates wildly between extreme heat or monsoon, chocolate lovers are always faced with the tricky dilemma of how to keep their chocolate fresh and at its mouth wateringly best. The obvious answer is to eat it as soon as you get it. But for those with more self control, who find themselves needing to store their chocolate for a particular length of time I have outlined below a few useful tips that will enable you to prolong your chocolate effectively.
1. Where possible keep the chocolate in a cool, dry place. The ideal storage location is around about 65 degrees Fahrenheit and 50% humidity. Although a range of approximately 10% in either direction will not have any adverse effect. A normal air conditioned room should provide adequate protection.
2. Under no circumstances should you ever store your chocolate near a major heat source or in direct sunlight. The light will fade the colour and the elevated temperature will cause tackiness and melting. Really this should be a no brainer but it is amazing the number of people who seem oblivious to the risks of doing so.
3. Chocolate readily absorbs other flavours and odours. So avoid storing it near anything with a strong smell like chemicals, plastic, cleaning solvents, perfumes or air freshener. Those who have ever eaten a chocolate that has been stuck in a plastic bag for a month you will attest to the reasons why!
4. Chocolate may be frozen for up to six months. If frozen outside of its original packaging, the chocolates should be wrapped double in air-tight sealed plastic freezer bags or cling film. When thawing the chocolates should remain in the bags or cling film until, and only until, they return to room temperature. This will keep moisture from condensing on the chocolate.
5. Never let moisture get directly onto the chocolate. High humidity or moisture may cause a white haze or spots, known as 'bloom' on the surface of the chocolate. As well as not looking especially appetising the chocolate taste can become somewhat rancid over time.
6. To reduce the risk of 'blooming' avoid transferring your chocolate from extremes in temperature. In other words do not move it from a warm place to a cool place to a warm place again on a regular basis. This will merely accentuate the process of blooming.