Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tip #207: Say “Buh-Bye” to Chocolate Bloom!

Simply put, chocolate is awesome. Consistently voted as most everyone’s favorite indulgence, it rarely fails to delight our customers. However, chocolate doesn’t always cooperate in the production of confections. Joe Sofia with Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate identifies one of the most common problems encountered with chocolate: bloom!

It can appear as spots, streaks, or a homogenous film, and can range from a dull white to a severe white discoloration, it’s bloom! The most common source is fat bloom, which is literally cocoa butter fat that has migrated to the chocolate's surface and recrystallized. While fat bloom has a negative effect on appearance, the product remains perfectly safe to eat. Pure chocolate that contains fat bloom can be remelted and retempered to reach the desired appearance. Unfortunately, finished confections that have fat bloom are more difficult to repair, since they contain fillings or inclusions and cannot be remelted.

Fat bloom can develop for a few different reasons. Excess heat (from sunshine or warm temperatures) can cause perfectly good chocolate to bloom. The heat melts some or all of the cocoa butter, and when it recrystallizes it lacks the proper stable cocoa butter crystal nuclei and cooling for proper recrystallization. The best way to avoid fat bloom is to  keep your chocolates away from heat!

Another source of fat bloom is poorly tempered chocolate. The use of a tempermeter, or other means of optimizing your tempering step, will maximize bloom resistance in your chocolates. Both under-tempered and over-tempered chocolates will bloom faster than well-tempered ones.

A third source of fat bloom is the mixing of incompatible fats. If you use compound coatings, which are usually palm kernel oil based, these should not be mixed with cocoa butter based chocolate. The incompatibility of these fats can lead to inefficient crystallization and eventual fat bloom.

Sugar bloom is a different type of bloom, resulting from exposure to moisture. It is formed by the dissolution and subsequent crystallization of sugar on the chocolate’s surface. It generally appears as droplets of sugar crystals on the surface of the product. If sugar bloom is moderate to severe, most likely the product will contain coarse sugar crystals and should be discarded. Sugar bloom can be avoided by keeping your refrigerated or frozen chocolates packaged and sealed until they equilibrate to ambient temperature.

Register now for RCI’s Chocolate Boot Camp® to learn more about chocolate tempering, trouble shooting and more.

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