Bloom Like Magma
What is chocolate bloom, fat bloom or even sugar bloom...,
and what is the whitish on chocolate after taking them from chocolate storage, and can it be controlled?
For most types of chocolate candy making where a solid finish is sought, temperature, humidity, and time have a tremendous effect on chocolate.
The slightest change in temperature, care, & shipping, or the overlooked candies in chocolate storage can show signs of chocolate bloom on the finished chocolate.
When we temper chocolate, we want a "solid," clean finish on the chocolates exterior.
Even when chocolate is in proper temper, bloom can still occur.
It all boils down to care for the final product whether using chocolate candy molds or dipping chocolate. Don't be discouraged.
"A problem is a chance for you to do your best."
Some bloom is that haze, grayish, or white on chocolate stuff you may have seen after chocolate candy making or on a chocolate candy bar you made, bought, kept in storage too long.
It could easily show up after being kept under poor chocolate storage conditions.
So what is going on?
Imagine zooming in as bloom is taking place.
First you see the melded, solid layer of cocoa powder, sugar (sometimes other dry compounds), and probably a cloudy hint of cocoa butter throughout (like a hazy glue holding particles together).
As the introduction of heat breaks the threshold from solid to the melting point. Fissures (cracks) begin to form de-crystallizing the solid layer.
These cracks open to reveal the glow (sheen) of melting cocoa butter (fat).
Ever so slowly, the dry ingredients begin to flow off the repelling molten fat like slag on that of flowing magma.
Once the cooling stage begins, crystals re-form as a whitish haze or even as the yellowish color of cocoa butter begin to surface.
Blooming happens naturally over time with properly tempered chocolate. It is still good to eat those chocolate candy recipes you worked so hard to create, and can have a temporary chalky feel on the tongue when melting in the mouth.
As it melts, the components blend again, giving off that wonderful, distinct taste as it changes.
Preventative research is taking place over at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.
Professor Dérick Rousseau could be "developing a process to minimize and eliminate fat bloom" while paying close attention to "factors that negatively affect its quality and shelf life."
Don't hold your breath on that idea just yet. The big boys (major chocolate players) will most likely get to dip into it first.
Do remember though, that chocolate (real or compound) is very dry, even in liquid state, and the melting point of cocoa butter is low (just under our body temperature).
Therefore while chocolate is solid, any heat (even the slightest) above 70 °F (21 °C), could cause the separation of cocoa butter and dry components (fat bloom).
If chocolate sits long enough, beyond shelf life, it can change to an extremely dry and crumbly texture.
Until science unravels the mystery of how to restrict bloom, we will always deal with the fish eye, grayish, or whitish on chocolate appearance after tempering.
For now, our best attempt to prevent chocolate bloom is proper tempering, and chocolate storage in airtight containers at temperatures around 65-70 °F (18-21 °C) at low humidity.
It's not a "fix all" though..., tempered chocolate is still susceptible to moisture (even liquid centers) absorbed by the sugar, of which, still cause what is referred to as "sugar bloom." Either way, bloom can really mess with chocolate candy gift ideas.
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