Picture the scene - there’s a knock at the door. It’s the delivery person. He has the box of delicious Moo Free chocolate that you ordered. You boil the kettle, find scissors for the box, sit down for the first time all day and tear open the chocolate.
Oh, but what is this? Your chocolate is not right! It smells OK but it looks weird! Rather than lovely creamy chocolatey brown, it’s all white or grey, maybe sort of streaky and unappetising.
Your chocolate has blooms!
If you took a bite before you noticed, don’t panic! Bloomed chocolate is perfectly safe to eat and it hasn’t gone off.
That’s blooming sad!
Chocolate bloom is the biggest cause of customer complaints for chocolatiers and costs the chocolate industry millions of pounds every year. There are two types of blooming – sugar bloom and fat bloom. Chances are that if your chocolate arrived in hot weather then it has the latter.
Fat bloom tends to form in greyish streaks and can look a bit greasy. Most commonly, this happens when chocolate is exposed to warm temperatures, which causes the cocoa butter in the chocolate to soften. When the chocolate melts, the cocoa butter separates from the other ingredients in the chocolate and rises to the surface, where it then re-solidifies and creates a lighter coloured “bloom”. Due to the separation of the cocoa fat from other ingredients, the chocolate changes colour and texture. Chocolate needs to be stored at a consistent temperature – sudden temperature changes can cause all sorts of problems including bloom. This is one of the reasons that your Moo Free delivery may be delayed in hot weather. Aside from the possibility that you may just receive a chocolatey puddle, there is always the risk of blooming. If you store your chocolate in the fridge and take it out on a hot day, you are also likely to set off this reaction. The shock from cold to hot will create a fat bloom.
The other type of bloom is sugar bloom which, although less disgusting-sounding than fat bloom, affects the appearance of the chocolate in a similar way. Sugar bloom is usually a dry, white, spotted coating. Sugar bloom happens when chocolate comes into contact with moisture. That’s because sugar crystals attract moisture but when they encounter it, they dissolve. The moisture dissolves the sugar on the chocolate’s surface and then, as the moisture evaporates, the sugar re-solidifies creating crystals on the chocolate’s surface. That’s why the choc will look a bit powdery. Sugar bloom will change the texture of the chocolate. It will become grainy and can again be caused by inconsistent temperature creating condensation or storing the chocolate in a humid environment.
What can I do with my blooming chocolate?
Sadly, there is no way to fix your bloomed chocolate. Whether the blooming is sugar or fat, the process is not reversible. So you’re left with this weird-looking chocolate. You can always try eating it – it might not be quite the same texture but it’s still chocolate. Secondly, you can cook with it – that’s no problem and it will be just as good. However, if you don’t fancy that (understandable – a lot of people don’t like weird-looking food!) then just return it to your choc supplier.
If you have received bloomed chocolate directly from Moo Free, just call our customer services and we’ll be glad to help.