Chocolate Bloom…….Oh No!!

 

While working with chocolate (couverture), I consider bloom to be the most unfavorable, undesired, frustrating & demotivating result & I’m sure most of you who work with chocolate would agree with me.

Bloom is the whitish streaks that appear on the surface of a chocolate.

There can be 2 kinds of Bloom:

  1. Fat Bloom is when cocoa butter from a chocolate surfaces & forms white streaks on it.

Reasons that can cause fat bloom:

  • Incorrect tempered chocolate: When the chocolate is not melted up to 45-50°c, pre crystallized to 26-29°c or heated back to 28-32°c, which are the right working temperatures.
  • Working temperature fluctuations.
  • Fillings with very high fat content : This bloom will take some time to surface.
  • Setting or cocoa butter crystallization is not uniform : This happens when the couverture is set too slowly.
  • Temperature fluctuations during storage.

 

  1. Sugar Bloom is the white specky appearance on the chocolate.

It is seen more in milk, white & lower percentage dark chocolate, as the sugar percentage in them is high.

If the chocolate is stored in a very cold or a humid environment or even if it goes through large temperature fluctuations without proper precautions, the sugar in & on the surface of the chocolate may melt/dissolve due to condensation. The dissolved sugar can then recrystallize due to evaporation causing bloom.

 

I’m sure you are curious to know how to avoid such situations. These are my recommendations how to avoid bloom:

  1. Proper tempering.
  2. Controlled working room temperatures & humidity – Ideal working room temperature should be between 18-21°c.
  3. Proper storage temperatures & humidity. Store at 16-18°c with a relative humidity of 60-65% in a relatively dark place with protection against foreign odours.

Storage : If you to choose to store your creations (Pralines, bars & chocolate confections) for a longer period of time here are some suggestions : 

To freeze them, make sure you seal them airtight, chill for 24 hrs at 5°c & then move the product to freezer at -18°c.

To defrost them, Place product in a cooler at 5°c for about 24 hours before taking it to room temp. Let it sit at room temp for 3 hours before opening the packing.

I’ve seen professionals from operations/pastry shops across continents, shy away from using couverture for the above reasons & settle with using coating/compound. The extra effort in handling the chocolate is well worth to achieve good results.

Well Tempered Chocolate
Well Tempered Chocolate

Note : Everywhere in this post chocolate has been used as a replacement for couverture for a better & easier understanding .