What is Chocolate Bloom?

At Gygi, we get a lot of questions about chocolate. How to temper chocolate, how to store chocolate, but more often than not: What happened to my chocolate?

For the next few days, we’ll take you through Gygi’s Chocolate 101 course to try to help all of the chocolate lovers out there better understand the fickle treat they love so much.

Chocolate Bloom:

What is chocolate bloom?

There are two of bloom when it comes to chocolate. Fat bloom and sugar bloom.

Fat bloom is simply the cocoa butter separating itself from the cocoa solids and making its way to the surface of the chocolate. The result is a whitish-gray color on the chocolate. Fat bloom occurs when the chocolate has been through drastic changes in temperature. For example, if when melting your chocolate you get it too hot, when it sets it will most likely bloom. Another example would be when you place your chocolate in the refrigerator, freezer or even a cool garage to set. This will also cause your chocolate to bloom. Our friends at Peter’s Chocolate shared this with us:

“Fat bloom results from inadequate tempering or temperature abuse of well-tempered chocolate. It produces a visible film on the surface, ranging from a dull white to a severe white discoloration, and soft or crumbling interior textures. Fat bloom is generally the result of excessive heat attacking the cocoa butter crystals. Mixing of compound coating and real chocolate can also lead to fat bloom, as the two fats are not compatible.

While fat bloom has a negative effect on the appearance, the product remains perfectly safe to eat and can be retempered to reach the desired appearance.”

Sugar bloom is a result of dampness or condensation. Like the cocoa butter in fat bloom, the sugar separates itself and makes its way to the surface. You’ll see that the chocolate looks grainy. Peter’s Chocolate said this about sugar bloom:

“Sugar bloom is a hard white surface film resulting from exposure to moisture. It is formed by the dissolution and subsequent crystallization of sugar on the chocolate’s surface. It generally appears as droplets of sugar crystals on the surface of the product.

If sugar bloom is slight, the product may be salvageable if all bloom is removed. If sugar bloom is moderate to severe, the product should most likely be discarded.”

Why does chocolate bloom?

From not being stored properly and from being exposed to drastic temperatures.

Can I still use chocolate if it has bloomed?

Yes. If you are melting chocolate and notice that your chocolate has bloomed, then it is still okay to use. Simply pour it into your bowl to melt, and the cocoa butter or sugar will mix right back in making the bloom disappear. If you notice the bloom on the chocolate that you have already used to dip or mold, then just know it’s still okay to eat, it just doesn’t look too pretty.

Does bloom affect the taste of chocolate?

No. The chocolate will still taste delicious. Bloom does not indicate that the chocolate is bad.

What kind of chocolate blooms?

Both compound coatings and couverture chocolate will bloom if you haven’t taken the steps to prevent it.

What is the safest way to melt chocolate so that it won’t bloom?

For compound coatings, read this. For couverture chocolate that requires tempering, read this or this.

How quick can you see bloom?

Sometimes it takes hours for bloom to be visible on chocolate. It can even bloom overnight. So you’ll dip your chocolates, let them set and they look fine. But when you wake up the next morning they have white bloom all over them. The only way to fix it would be to melt the chocolate down again. The best thing to do is just prevent bloom.

How can I prevent my chocolate from blooming?

Preventing chocolate bloom is not as hard as you might think. By watching the temperature of the chocolate when melting it, and letting it set in a room that is about 65 degrees F will prevent bloom on your chocolate. Proper storage is also key.

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Here’s a chunk of chocolate that I had at my house:

I melted it down using the microwave:

When it was melted, I took it from the microwave and placed it in the freezer for about 30 minutes. After I took it out of the freezer, I let it sit at room temperature for a few hours. This was the result:

(I ran my finger on the chocolate so that you could better see the bloom).

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The picture at the top of this post is an image of some Dark Chocolate Snaps that weren’t stored properly. They are covered in bloom.

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Do you have a question about bloom? ASK US! We are more than happy to help you. And chances are, if you have a question, you aren’t the only one.

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  • Reply
    Dawn Dearman
    February 16, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I was wondering when I mold my chocolate and I let it cool at room temperature it looks like there is blooming but, if I cool it in the freezer for a few minutes it comes out looking great… Can you tell me why this is?

    • Reply
      February 17, 2012 at 11:54 am

      It sounds like your chocolate isn’t blooming but streaking. Streaking happens when the chocolate gets too hot in the melting process. You never want to take the chocolate over 110 degrees F, but it melts way before that so if you are using a compound coating, then 87-88 degrees F is perfect. Be sure you are using a candy thermometer to watch the temperature of the melted chocolate. Check out our post on melting compound coatings, that will be helpful to you.
      As for putting your chocolate in the freezer, it can take as long as 24-48 hours for you to see the bloom on your chocolate. So you probably aren’t seeing it right away. Let me know if you need any other help!

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