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What is Bloomed Chocolate?
Blog / Cooking and Baking / What is Bloomed Chocolate?

What is Bloomed Chocolate?

Have you ever unwrapped a chocolate bar only to find a whitish, powdery layer coating its surface?

No need to fret. Your favourite sweet treat hasn't gone off.

What you're witnessing is a natural process known as 'chocolate bloom'. But what exactly is chocolate bloom, and what causes it?

More importantly, is bloomed chocolate safe to eat, and can you prevent it?

In this post, we're diving into the fascinating world of bloomed chocolate, clearing up any misconceptions, and sharing some top tips on how to keep your chocolate in pristine condition.

What is Bloomed Chocolate?

Bloomed chocolate is chocolate that has developed a white, greyish coating on its surface.

This happens when the fat or sugar in the chocolate separates and rises to the surface, creating a crystalline structure that appears as a powdery or streaky layer.

While bloomed chocolate may not look as appetising, it's perfectly safe to eat, though the texture may be slightly different.

Related Post: What Makes Chocolate Go White?

What is Sugar Bloom on Chocolate?

Sugar bloom on chocolate is a phenomenon that occurs when the surface of the chocolate is exposed to moisture.

This moisture causes the sugar in the chocolate to dissolve.

When the moisture evaporates, the sugar remains on the surface, crystallising and forming a grainy, whitish coating.

This typically happens when chocolate is stored in a damp environment or when it undergoes significant temperature changes that cause condensation to form on its surface.

Sugar-bloomed chocolate may feel gritty to the touch, and the taste may be slightly off due to the altered sugar structure, but it's still safe to eat.

Related Post: Types of Chocolate.

What is Fat Bloom on Chocolate?

Fat bloom on chocolate occurs when the cocoa butter in the chocolate separates and rises to the surface, creating a whitish or greyish coating.

This can happen when chocolate is stored at high temperatures, causing the cocoa butter to melt.

When the chocolate cools, and the cocoa butter solidifies again, it can form crystals on the surface, resulting in what we see as fat bloom.

In addition to improper storage temperatures, fat bloom can also be caused by the chocolate coming into contact with other fats that can destabilise its structure.

Although fat-bloomed chocolate may look less appealing, and its texture may be a bit grainy, it's still perfectly safe to eat.

Related Post: What Is Milk Chocolate?

How to Prevent Chocolate Blooming?

Preventing chocolate bloom largely comes down to correct storage.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Store at the Right Temperature: Ideally, chocolate should be stored at a consistent temperature between 15°C and 20°C. It's important to avoid storing chocolate in a place that gets too hot, as this can cause the cocoa butter to melt and result in fat bloom.

  2. Avoid Moisture: To prevent sugar bloom, keep chocolate away from damp or humid areas. Moisture causes sugar in the chocolate to dissolve and then crystallise on the surface.

  3. Seal it Well: Make sure your chocolate is stored in an airtight container or tightly sealed in its original packaging to prevent exposure to moisture or other elements.

  4. Avoid Rapid Temperature Changes: Drastic temperature swings can cause both fat and sugar bloom. If you've stored your chocolate in a cool place and want to bring it to room temperature, do so gradually to avoid condensation.

  5. Use Quickly After Tempering: If you're melting and tempering chocolate for use in confectionery, try to use it reasonably quickly after it's been tempered, as this process stabilises the cocoa butter crystals and helps to prevent fat bloom.

Remember, bloomed chocolate is still safe to eat. It may not have the glossy finish or the smooth texture of perfectly-stored chocolate, but it certainly won't go to waste!

Is Chocolate Bloom Safe to Eat?

Absolutely, chocolate bloom is safe to eat.

While it may not look as appetising — and its texture may be a bit different, with sugar bloom making chocolate feel gritty and fat bloom giving it a slightly crumbly texture — there are no health risks associated with eating bloomed chocolate.

The changes are purely cosmetic and do not indicate that the chocolate has gone bad.

So, if you come across a bloomed chocolate bar, there's no need to throw it away — it's perfectly fine to enjoy!

Can You Still Bake with Bloomed Chocolate?

Yes, you can certainly still bake with bloomed chocolate.

When you melt bloomed chocolate, both the fat and sugar crystals will dissolve back into the mixture, essentially reversing the blooming process.

The taste and texture of the chocolate will be unaffected once it's melted, making bloomed chocolate perfectly fine to use in baked goods, sauces, or any recipe that calls for melted chocolate.

It's a brilliant way to ensure no chocolate goes to waste while still achieving delicious results in your baking!

Can You Fix Bloomed Chocolate?

You can 'fix' bloomed chocolate, although it's important to note that the process primarily affects the appearance and texture rather than making it any safer to eat - because, remember, bloomed chocolate is already safe to eat.

To reverse the chocolate bloom, you'll need to re-temper the chocolate.

Here's a simplified way of doing it:

  1. Chop the bloomed chocolate into small pieces.
  2. Melt around two-thirds of the chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Stir the chocolate gently until it's mostly melted.
  3. Remove the bowl from the heat and add in the remaining third of the chocolate pieces, continuing to stir gently until all the chocolate is melted and smooth.
  4. Check the temperature of the chocolate with a thermometer; ideally, it should be between 31°C and 32°C for dark chocolate, and between 30°C and 31°C for milk or white chocolate.
  5. If the chocolate has reached the correct temperature, it should now be re-tempered and ready to use.

This process encourages the formation of stable cocoa butter crystals, which help prevent fat bloom and give the chocolate a smooth texture and glossy appearance.

If you don't intend to use the chocolate immediately, pour it into a mould or onto a flat surface lined with baking paper, and allow it to set at room temperature in a cool, dry place.

Avoid refrigerating it, as this can lead to a sugar bloom.

While this process can restore the appearance and texture of bloomed chocolate, it's still perfectly fine to consume bloomed chocolate as it is, especially in recipes where the chocolate will be melted.

Fat Bloom vs Sugar Bloom - What’s the Difference?

When dealing with chocolate, two terms you might encounter are 'fat bloom' and 'sugar bloom'.

They refer to the white, dusty or cloudy appearances that sometimes form on the surface of chocolate, and while they may look similar, they have different causes.

  1. Fat Bloom: Fat bloom occurs when the fat in chocolate, in the form of cocoa butter, separates and rises to the surface. This can happen for several reasons, such as when the chocolate is stored at a temperature too high, causing the cocoa butter to melt and then re-solidify on the surface, or when the chocolate is exposed to drastic changes in temperature, causing the cocoa butter crystals to re-form in a different structure. Fat bloom can also be caused by improper tempering of the chocolate, which doesn't allow the cocoa butter to integrate properly. This results in a whitish or greyish coating on the chocolate. While it might not look appetising, fat bloom does not make the chocolate harmful to eat - it simply alters the texture and potentially the taste.

  2. Sugar Bloom: Sugar bloom, on the other hand, happens when the chocolate is exposed to moisture. The sugar in the chocolate absorbs the moisture and dissolves. When this moisture evaporates, it leaves behind sugar crystals on the surface of the chocolate, creating a gritty, white or greyish appearance. This process can happen when chocolate is stored in a damp environment or when it is moved from a cold environment (like a fridge) to a warmer one, causing condensation to form on the chocolate's surface. Like fat bloom, sugar bloom doesn't make the chocolate unsafe to eat, but it does affect the texture and possibly the taste.

Fat bloom is caused by temperature changes and improper tempering, which lead to the separation of cocoa butter, while sugar bloom is caused by moisture leading to the crystallisation of sugar.

Both types of bloom can alter the texture and taste of chocolate, but they do not make it unsafe to eat.

Examples of Bloomed Chocolate

Does Chocolate That Has Bloomed Taste Different?

If you've ever found a bar of chocolate with a whitish coating and wondered if it still tastes the same, you've encountered a phenomenon known as 'blooming'.

This can occur as either a 'fat bloom' caused by changes in temperature affecting the cocoa butter or a 'sugar bloom', resulting from moisture affecting the sugar content.

Now, the question is: does bloomed chocolate taste different?

In short, the fundamental flavour of the chocolate should not change as a result of blooming.

However, the texture will be altered, and this can have an impact on your overall eating experience, which can, in turn, affect the perceived taste.

In the case of fat bloom, the texture may become more crumbly due to the migration and re-solidification of the cocoa butter.

This could potentially affect the way the chocolate melts in your mouth and thus alter your perception of its flavour.

With sugar bloom, the texture can become grainy or gritty due to the sugar crystals on the surface of the chocolate.

This change in texture can also affect your overall taste experience, even if the inherent flavour of the chocolate remains the same.

So, while bloomed chocolate may not taste the same as when it was fresh due to textural changes, the chocolate is still perfectly safe to eat.

If the bloomed chocolate is destined for baking or melting, the bloom will not adversely affect the result, and the chocolate can still be enjoyed in all its glory.

Where Can You Buy Chocolate for Cooking and Baking?

If you’re looking for excellent cooking chocolate, look no further than Whitakers Chocolates’ Easymelt.

With a high cocoa content of 55%, this superior-quality dark chocolate couverture has been specially designed for a myriad of culinary uses.

It’s ideal for melting, dipping, decorating, flavouring and a whole lot more.

What sets Easymelt apart is not just its intense, rich flavour but also its ease of use.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional baker or a home cook dipping your toes in the world of chocolate-based recipes, Easymelt is perfect for enhancing your dishes with a touch of chocolatey indulgence.

It melts smoothly and evenly, ensuring a consistently delicious result every time.

Moreover, Easymelt has been created with dietary requirements in mind.

It’s suitable for those following a vegan diet and is also gluten-free, making it a versatile choice for a wide range of recipes.

This high-quality cooking chocolate is readily available for purchase on the Whitakers Chocolates official website.

It may also be found in specialist food shops and select larger supermarkets.

So whether you’re baking a batch of decadent brownies, creating intricate chocolate decorations, or just making a luxurious hot chocolate, Easymelt is an excellent choice to ensure a superior taste and texture.

Happy cooking!

Related Post: Does chocolate go bad over time?

Some Notes From an Expert Chocolatier

As an experienced chocolatier with Whitakers Chocolates, I can tell you that one of our paramount goals is to ensure that every piece of chocolate we produce and sell reaches our customers in perfect condition.

Over the years, we've accumulated a wealth of knowledge and expertise about the intricate and delicate process of chocolate making.

When it comes to issues like blooming, it's all about understanding the fundamental characteristics of chocolate and how to manipulate them to our advantage.

Chocolate is a remarkably complex substance, and as such, it demands a high level of care, precision, and skill.

In terms of avoiding blooming, temperature control is crucial.

We keep our factory conditions at an optimal level to prevent the separation of cocoa butter, which is the cause of fat bloom.

This involves maintaining a stable temperature throughout the production process, especially during tempering, which is the process of heating and cooling chocolate to specific temperatures to achieve the desired crystal structure of cocoa butter.

Similarly, in our warehouse, we use advanced temperature-control systems to keep the environment consistently cool, but not cold, to prevent any drastic changes in the chocolate's temperature.

This consistency is maintained during the shipping process as well.

Chocolate is especially susceptible to temperature fluctuations, which can lead to both types of blooming.

Moisture control is also vital to prevent sugar bloom.

We ensure our storage areas are dry, and we package our chocolates in a way that protects them from any ambient moisture.

At Whitakers, we're proud of our deep understanding of chocolate, its quirks, its demands, and its delights.

Our expertise, honed over many years, means we are able to deliver chocolates that are not just beautifully crafted but also stored and delivered under the best conditions to maintain their quality.

When you purchase a Whitakers product, you can trust that every measure has been taken to ensure it reaches you in the perfect condition, ready for you to enjoy.

Related Post: What is Ruby Chocolate?

Final Notes On Bloomed Chocolate

Chocolate blooming, whether it's fat or sugar bloom, is a common phenomenon in chocolate that can occur due to fluctuations in temperature or exposure to moisture.

While it alters the appearance and texture of the chocolate, blooming does not render it inedible or unsafe.

The core flavours of bloomed chocolate remain the same, but the change in texture can influence the way those flavours are perceived, potentially leading to a different overall taste experience.

This is largely due to the way the altered texture affects how the chocolate melts in the mouth.

However, it's important to remember that bloomed chocolate is still perfectly suitable for use in baking or cooking.

When melted, the cocoa butter and sugar reincorporate into the mixture, and the bloomed chocolate can lend its full flavour to your culinary creations.

In an expert chocolatier setting like at Whitakers Chocolates, rigorous measures are in place to prevent blooming and to ensure that the chocolate arrives to customers in the best condition.

These include meticulous control of temperatures during production, storage, and transportation, as well as protective packaging to shield from moisture.

Despite the visual impact of blooming, remember that your chocolate hasn't lost its charm completely.

Even if it seems a little less attractive, rest assured that it can still bring joy to your palate or contribute to a delicious dessert/