Have you ever wondered if you can freeze chocolate? When done properly, freezing chocolate can extend its shelf life and can reduce waste. Learn how to do it.
Perhaps you’ve been doing some spring cleaning and have found a few forgotten or half used bags of chocolate chips in the kitchen cupboard, right on the cusp of expiration. Maybe you were at the store and got a great deal on your favorite chocolate bar, and want to keep them for later. It could be that you live somewhere especially warm and want to prevent the sweet treat from melting in the summer heat. Freezing chocolate could be the answer to all of these problems. But how can you freeze chocolate? Are there any special tricks? Can you eat it frozen? Read on to find out.
How To Freeze Chocolate
If you have ever placed a chocolate bar in the fridge on a hot day, you may have noticed some white marks appear. These are not a sign that the chocolate has gone bad. This ‘fat bloom’ is what happens when the fat is subjected to a quick change in temperature. The fat particles rise to the surface through small cracks resulting in a white, sometimes powdery film. This is completely safe to eat and no harm will come to you.
To freeze chocolate while trying to avoid creating this fat bloom, you need to reduce the temperature semi-gradually so as not to ‘shock’ the chocolate. Follow these ‘fridge-freezer-fridge’ steps for the best results:
- You want to store the chocolate in the fridge in the door compartment, moving it to the colder part of the fridge after a few hours. Leave overnight. Whether the chocolate is open or not, it should be stored in a freezer safe container with a lid.
- Label the container taking note of the date of storage, and the use by date if you are discarding the packaging. Freeze for up to one year.
- When ready to eat, simply defrost in the fridge. Once defrosted, you can either bring it up to room temperature or eat straight away.
- If you are baking, you could use frozen chocolate chips directly from the freezer, especially if making a sauce, cookies, or ganache. The chocolate might be a little streaky. Don’t worry, this is just the ‘fat bloom’.
Will Freezing Chocolate Alter it?
Freezing chocolate can extend its shelf life and reduce food waste, but it will alter the texture of the product. Crystalization can occur and might lead to a grainy texture to your chocolate. If this is an issue for you, freezing chocolate for use in baking, that you plan to melt, or for a decadent homemade cocoa would be a great solution. Freezing chocolate will likely alter its appearance. As already noted, quick changes in temperature can cause white marks to form. Even with careful and gradual chilling and freezing, this can occur.
You can freeze all types of chocolate: dark, semi-sweet, white, bars, chips, filled truffles. For best results, always use the fridge-freezer-fridge method. It’s worth noting that you can also eat chocolate directly from the freezer without thawing, just like you can eat chocolate chip ice cream straight from the freezer.
Other Ways to Store Chocolate
Freezing chocolate is not the only long-life storage option out there. Simply keeping it in the fridge can extend its life, even past the use by date. Always make sure to store opened chocolate in an air tight container to prevent moisture build up and to stop other food odours from penetrating the candy (onion + chocolate = maybe not the best). If you see actual mold, or it tastes or smells strange, don’t chance it. If in doubt, throw it out.
If you don’t want to keep it in the fridge or freezer, always be sure to store chocolate in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.
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