Storing and chocolate rarely goes in the same sentence since when anyone tells us to save chocolates, we always say “don’t be absurd. We are obviously going to eat them all!” We cannot help but agree wholeheartedly. However, there might be a glorious time in your life when people give you boxes and boxes of gourmet chocolates. You can’t just eat them all. You need to relish them and save them for a rainy day. You might have to think about preserving them for over 24 hours! When that time comes, you will find these points the most helpful.
Keep them in dry, odor-free containers
In the heat of Texas summers, you might feel the temptation of storing the boxes of chocolates in the refrigerator, but you must refrain. According to the expert Texas chocolate makers, you should keep your goodies in an air tight box. Whether you want to eat them all by yourself or share them with your friends and family, try to find a reliable airtight Tupperware box for keeping them intact. Moisture in the refrigerator almost always results in sugar bloom. That is when the sugar rises to the chocolate’s surface and causes a white layer. It discolors the chocolate, although it does not affect the flavors or the texture.
Don’t keep them in your fridge
Another reason to never refrigerate your chocolates is that they are superior odor absorbers. In fact, anything containing a large percentage of cocoa can absorb the odors of everything else in the same environment. You do not want your holiday spoil to smell of leftover gravy and cranberry sauce! Always store the airtight containers far away from perfumes, aroma candles, and essential oils. The cocoa butter in chocolates is a type of vegetable fat that is primarily responsible for absorbing the aromas from the close environment.
Find the most reliable air-tight container
Instead of making space in your fridge, store them in a dry and tight container. Ideally, you should keep your chocolates between 65-degrees and 68-degrees Fahrenheit. However, due to the sweltering summer months in Texas, we can allow them to sit in 70-degrees as well, as long as they are out of the direct sunlight. Contrary to popular belief, you can store them on your dining table, kitchen counter, and cabinet, workstation or bedside table as long as you maintain the indoor temperatures within that range.
Keep them away from direct light
Exposing the chocolates to direct light of any kind is terrible for their texture and taste. Sunlight and even harsh fluorescent light or blue light take away the smooth texture and subtle flavors. One of the reasons might be the presence of high levels of flavonoids in the cocoa products. These are plant compounds that are reactive to light. They act as antioxidants, but they also contribute to the subtle flavors of cocoa. Exposing them to light will cause them to react and change in chemical compositions. Unless you want the chocolate to transform into fondue keep them in amber boxes. Any dark containers will do if no dark corner of the room or a light-devoid cabinet is available.
Chocolates have a complex taste and not storing them away from direct sunlight, heat and moisture can compromise the quality direly. Your chocolates will stay edible at any humidity level below 55%. Since they contain an emulsion of cocoa butter and cocoa solids, along with milk fats and proteins, the temperature and humidity are imperative for their proper preservation. Solid dark chocolates usually last longer than their solid milk counterparts. You can keep the dark chocolates for over two years, and milk chocolate for almost a year or more. However, the chocolate truffles and other kinds with semi-molten ganache fillings last only about three to four months. So if you are partial to them, we seriously don’t blame you!
How to preserve chocolates for a short time during the summer?
If the days are incredibly hot and your air conditioning is out of service, only then you should consider putting those chocolates in the fridge. When you do so, ensure that you are not only using air-tight containers, but also plastic food wraps to keep the unwanted odors out. You do not your precious gourmet chocolates smelling like garlic powder or seafood soup when you get to them two weeks later. After you take them out of the fridge, let them sit for an hour or so in the room temperature before taking the cling film off the container. Storing them this way in the refrigerator will keep them edible up to six months depending on the ganache and chocolate type.
How to preserve chocolates for over a year during the summer months?
Since we have already warned about placing your chocolates in the refrigerator, you will think we have lost our marbles when we ask you to put them in the freezer. However, if you want to keep them for over a year, sticking them in the freezer during the hot months will work. Be careful not to put them in the freezer directly. Begin by placing them in an airtight box in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours. After that, move them to the freezer. It will avoid the temperature shock, keep the emulsion intact and preserve all flavors of the chocolate. When taking them out for eating, first remove them from the freezer and place them in the fridge for 24 hours. Let them sit in the room temperature for the next one hour. When it’s summer in Texas, it might even need as less as 30 minutes. Unwrap them and enjoy. They should taste as fresh as the day they came!
Chocolates aren’t just gifts. They are a box full of experiences. If you want to save some for later, no one blames you. However, some chocolates are more delicate than the others like the truffles and the ones with semi-molten centers. Preserving chocolates is as complex science as is making them. Storing chocolates the right way can allow you to enjoy them for about a year after you buy or receive them.