Have you ever seen chocolate covered in a hazy white coating or spotty white dots?
This is called chocolate bloom. Although it may affect the look and the taste of chocolate, it is harmless. Bloomed chocolate is still safe to eat or use in baking.
What does Chocolate Bloom look like?
Chocolate bloom comes in two varieties: fat bloom or sugar bloom. Fat bloom might appear to be chalky, with lighter brown and grey streaks. Sugar bloom might look like spotty white dots or a hazy white coating. Sometimes the chocolate just loses its glossy shine.
Fat bloom and sugar bloom can occur at the same time, though telling them apart isn’t often easy. For the average fine chocolate lover, it really doesn’t matter which is which, but for chocolatiers who make their living handcrafting fine chocolates, it matters a great deal!
Despite some similarities in appearance, fat bloom and sugar bloom are caused by different things.
Fat bloom is caused by temperature
If solid chocolate or bonbons are exposed to warm temperatures, the cocoa butter in the chocolate can melt and separate from the rest of the ingredients and can settle on the surface of the chocolate as a hazy, white coating. This is why we recommend keeping chocolate cool, and the slow warming of chocolate to room temperature after freezing. Read more in our blog What's The Best Way To Store Chocolate.
Fat bloom can be also caused by nuts
Sometimes fat bloom can be caused by the oils from nuts migrating outward into the surface of the chocolate. This is more common in dark chocolate than milk chocolate because the milk fats in milk chocolate lessen the impact of oil migration. Adding a bit of butter, coconut oil, or cocoa butter can reduce the appearance of fat bloom in nut barks and other chocolate products containing nuts or nutty centres.
Sugar bloom is caused by moisture
If chocolate is made in a humid room or stored in a humid environment (like a refrigerator) the sugar in the chocolate can suck up the moisture, dissolve, then reform or crystallize into larger crystals which show up on the surface of the chocolate as white, speckles, or spots. If you are storing your chocolate in a cooler, freezer, or fridge, it helps to wrap it in tissue paper or include paper towel in the bag or container to absorb moisture.
How can chocolate bloom be avoided?
Chocolate bloom can be avoided by controlling the local temperature and humidity in the place where the chocolate is made or stored. That could be your kitchen, your pantry, your fridge, or your freezer, or even a chocolate shop. The best way to avoid chocolate bloom is by storing chocolate in sealed bag or container in a consistently cool and dry place (adding a paper towel or tissue paper helps absorb humidity).
Is bloomed chocolate still safe to eat or use in baking?
Yes, chocolate that has bloomed can still be eaten or used for baking. Don't throw it out! You can melt the bloomed chocolate down, you can chop it up into pieces to use in recipes, or you can just go ahead and eat it as a delicious treat.
Melt bloomed solid chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and stir it well to bring the sugar or fat back into the solution. Then you can use it in recipes like chocolate fondue, fudge, truffles or chocolate-dipped strawberries.
You can also chop bloomed chocolate into pieces and use it in chocolate bark, hot chocolate, baked goods, or S'mores Dip.
Our Recipe Blog has many more recipe ideas!