How To Beat The Heat
With the mercury soaring as we enter summer, Callebaut is giving hospitality businesses some tips on how to correctly beat the heat prepare and store chocolate to ensure it lasts through their warmest and busiest period.
To give your chocolates a shiny result that can be maintained during shelf life, it’s important to prepare them correctly. Before storing your products ensure that you leave them to cool, harden and crystallise. This should be done in a fridge with a temperature between 14-18°C and a relative humidity of 60 per cent. For smaller items, half an hour in the fridge is sufficient, however, larger items will take a lot longer. Once the moulded products have contracted sufficiently and are no longer sticking to the mould they are ready for storage.
The first step to maintaining your chocolate’s taste, shine and colour is to find packaging that is suitable for chocolate and store them in either a chocolate fridge, or room that has a consistent temperature between 18-20°C. It’s vital that the storage temperature of the chocolate remains constant as it slows down the white-grey discolouration known as fat bloom that appears naturally on the chocolates’ surface.
It’s important to note that fat bloom can appear faster when working with fat-based fillings for your pralines. The best way to prevent this is by adding five to six per cent cocoa butter to your filling and then pre-crystallising it.
Along with a constant temperature it is also best to store your chocolate in a space that is not too humid or too cold where it will be exposed to condensation, as this can result in sugar bloom. Sugar bloom can also be caused by temperature shocks, so ensure that when you’re moving your chocolate to a new environment that you give it a few hours to climatise before unpacking.
Finally, never store your chocolate near strong-smelling products like coffee, garlic and onion, as chocolate has the tendency to absorb odours.