Sugar Bloom

What is sugar bloom and how can you prevent it when you're making chocolate candy.

It's heart breaking to find that an entire tray of chocolates cooled too long in the refrigerator.

Whether you are melting, storing, or tempering chocolate, keeping the chocolate in good form, without bloom, can be a little challenging for chocolate candy making.

How To Tell Which Type Of Bloom You Have

Sometimes mistaking this type of bloom for fat bloom is easy, so let's take a closer look to see how sugar bloom vs fat bloom differentiates.

The chocolate photos here show clear bloom. Deciding what type of bloom or what happened, depends on the way it arrived...

...chocolate storage conditions, temper issues, temperature, etc.

picture of chocolate tempered incorrectly shows fat bloom.

The dark chocolate here was a finished product but tempered incorrectly, resulting in fat bloom.

You can tell this by the fish-eye (dots).

Bloom from improper tempering can also have a white haze as well.

milk chocolate stored incorrectly shows fat bloom as a haze.   Age will also create this look.

The milk chocolate photo show the whitish haze on chocolate.

This is a result of age and/or storing chocolate improperly rather than tempering chocolate improperly.

There's more storage tips below.

This is sugar bloom on chocolate that I left in the refrigerator too long.   This type of bloom has a moist texture. Condensation build up from being over cooled.

The bloom in this chocolate photo is covering the entire piece with a "dew" or "condensation." You can see a clear spot (slightly showing) in the lower right corner.

I may have brushed it by accident. But if I was to wipe it, it would smear as a glaze would on the fingers, rather than a fat.

Sugar bloom's familiar appearance in the first stage can be sweat beads or a misty look on the surface are prominent clues.

This form of bloom acts similar to cocoa butter, or chocolate bloom.

So what's the difference between sugar and chocolate bloom?

Fat Bloom vs Sugar Bloom

The difference, is that cocoa butter is a fat and repels moisture, whereas sugar melts while it attracts moisture.

Moisture (usually from refrigeration), settles on the chocolate while the dry sugar naturally absorbs it and rises to the top.

Once the condesation dries, the affected sugar re-crystallizes, leaving a sheen or haze of grittiness.

It can also become sticky and gooey in more extreme cases.

Cocoa powder and other solid ingredients in chocolate are very dry. When introduced to humid environments, those dry compounds will absorb the moisture and begin to separate.

How To Prevent Chocolate Bloom

Picture of chocolate truffle

To prevent this type of bloom, avoid long term intervals in the refrigerator or cooler.

If you have a dedicated cooler for only chocolate, you can set the temperature to come on around 55°F (12.78°C) which should shut down around 45°F (7.2°C).

You will be able to cool the chocolates successfully for about 5 to 7 minutes per quarter inch thick.

Refrigerators are much colder because they need to keep food very cold.

The high temperature for refrigerators is around 38°F (3.3°C). The low temperature for a refrigerator is around 35ºC (1.67ºC).

Obviously refrigerators will cause condensation quicker. So when you remove the chocolate, the warm room temperatures will invoke condensation too.

That's why you only want to leave the chocolates in for about 5 to 10 minutes.

This way the chocolate will not be too cold when introduced to room temperature so it will acclimate much better.

Storing Chocolate

Chocolate can last up to 6 months or so depending on humidity and temperature.

Idea storage is between 60°F (15.5°C) and 68°F (20°C) and around 50 percent humidity.

I found that my basement was the best storage once vacuum packed and kept out of the light.

Air, heat and moisture are major players in sugar bloom, chocolate bloom, and fat bloom.

Once you get this down, your chocolate will last an easy six moths.


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