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All about chocolate and why it “blooms”

DSCN0291One of my students asked about chocolate: which is best to use: chips or bar or why does it sometimes have a whitish or speckled cast on it.

Here’s the deal:

It depends! If you’re making chocolate chip cookies and want to have some visible “chips” then use chips since they can hold their shape in baked goods, etc.  (Do know though when you melt chocolate chips, they melt completely).  And always use real chocolate chips, not chocolate flavored.

Bar chocolate is usually higher quality – no extra fats or stuff like some chocolate chips have. Which means you get pure chocolate goodness and it will melt like silk.

I like to use bar chocolate when I’m making a chocolate sauce, like the one above.

Unsweetened/bitter chocolate  contains primarily cocoa/cacao solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions.

Sweet chocolates:  A combination of cocoa/cacao solids, cocoa butter or other fat, and sugar. Bittersweet and semisweet are made by adding varying amounts of sugar, vanilla, and often lecithin. The higher the cocoa/cacao content, the fuller bodied and less sweet the chocolate.

Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that additionally contains a milk product.

White chocolate contains cocoa butter, sugar, and milk, but no cocoa solids. (So is it a “real” chocolate?!).


Blooming Chocolate! What is that whitish coating or speckling on my chocolate?

There are two types of bloom: fat and sugar

Fat bloom is caused when chocolate is exposed to very warm temperatures and then allowed to reset. The cocoa butter melts and separates, then rises to the surface creating an off-white “bloom.” Fat bloom can also be the result of chocolate not tempered properly.

Sugar/speckled bloom

Chocolates have a speckled appearance, rather than an even layer of white.  It is caused by an excess of moisture that actually causes the sugar in the chocolate to crystallize.

Store in cool place

The best way to avoid fat and sugar bloom is by storing your chocolates in a cool place

Can I eat it?

Chocolate that has bloomed is still safe to eat and still safe to bake with.  I use bloomed chocolate in baked goods – once it melts it goes back to its original texture and you’re good to go.



What about baking with it?
Sure. I use bloomed chocolate in baked goods – once it melts it goes back to its original texture and you’re good to go.

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