Living in a hot country like Australia, chocolate lovers are always faced with the tricky task of keeping their chocolate fresh and at its best. The obvious answer is to eat it as soon as you get it. But for those who find themselves needing to store their chocolate for any length of time here are a few useful tips that will enable them to do so effectively.
1. Where possible keep the chocolate in a cool, dry place. The ideal storage location is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit and 50% humidity. A range of approximately 10% in either direction will not have any adverse effect. The normal air conditioned room provides adequate protection.
2. Do not store your chocolate near heat or in direct sunlight. The light will fade the color and the elevated temperature will cause tackiness and melting.
3. Chocolate readily absorbs other flavors and odors. So avoid storing near anything with a strong smell like chemicals, plastic, cleaning solvents, perfumes, air freshener, etc.
4. Chocolate may be frozen for up to six months. If frozen outside of its original packaging, the chocolates should be wrapped double in air-tight sealed plastic freezer bags or cling film. When thawing the chocolates should remain in the bags or cling film until they return to room temperature. This will keep moisture from condensing on the chocolate.
5. Never let moisture get onto the chocolate. High humidity or moisture may cause a white haze or spots, known as 'bloom' on the surface of the chocolate. As well as not looking especially appetising the chocolate taste can become somewhat rancid over time.
6. To reduce the risk of 'blooming' avoid transferring your chocolate from extremes in temperature. In other words do not move it from a warm place to a cool place to a warm place again on a regular basis. This will merely accentuate the process.