So, you’ve treated yourself to a box of luxury handmade chocolates and rather than devour them all at once — as tempting as that may be — you want to make them last.
What’s the best way to store your chocolates to preserve their delicious taste and texture?
How Long Can Chocolate last?
The good news is that it’s safe to eat chocolate even when it is past its “best before” date.
The bad news? If chocolate is not stored correctly, it may develop a white coating called “bloom”. This happens when chocolate is exposed to the air and the fat crystallises on the top. Eating chocolate in this state will do you no harm, but its quality and freshness will be compromised, making it much less enjoyable.
If you’ve splurged on some luxury handmade chocolates, you want to enjoy them at their best, right?
All The Pod Chocolates have “best before” guidance. How long chocolate lasts depends on the way it has been made and the ingredients used. For example, dark chocolate generally lasts longer than milk chocolate.
Likewise, storage instructions vary depending on the type of chocolate. Dairy cream truffles should be stored in a refrigerator inside a freezer bag or container, whereas fondant cream-filled chocolates need to be stored at room temperature to keep them fresh.
The Best Ways to Store Chocolate
- Store at the Correct Temperature — most chocolates are best stored at room temperature. They should not be allowed to get too hot or too cold. If chocolate is moved rapidly between hot and cold temperatures or exposed to humidity, it can develop sugar bloom which creates an unpleasant grainy texture. Most of The Pod’s chocolates should be stored at room temperature. However, some types of chocolate need refrigerating, for example, our vegan truffles, sugar-free truffles and dairy cream truffles.
- Use an Airtight Container — chocolate often develops bloom if exposed to the air for a long time. Keeping it in an airtight container will also protect it from strong smells, dampness and humidity.
- Pay Attention to the Best Before Date — these can vary significantly between different types of chocolate. Some should be eaten within as little as three weeks while others will remain fresh (if stored correctly) for up to 18 months. To enjoy your luxury handmade chocolates at their best, consume them within the recommended time. No matter how carefully you store chocolate, it will begin to diminish in quality after its best before date.
- Avoid Exposure to Light — prolonged exposure to light — sunlight or artificial — can affect the taste and texture of chocolate. White and milk chocolate are particularly vulnerable to the effects of light due to their low cacao content. An airtight container is the best way to keep your precious chocolate treats safe from harm.
For more detailed guidance on how to store your Pod chocolates, visit our Storage Information page.
How to Tell if Chocolate Has Gone Bad
Have you left it too late? Careful storage cannot reverse the effect of exposure to light, heat, cold or dampness. If you spot any of the following signs, your chocolate is probably no longer at its best:
- It Has an Unusual Odour — many foods develop an unusual scent when they are past their best and chocolate is no different. Fresh chocolate has a rich cocoa scent. If yours smells more savoury than sweet, it might have been left too long.
- A White or Grey Coating — chocolate may develop a white bloom if it is incorrectly stored and exposed to the air for too long. This doesn’t affect the flavour but it looks less appealing and you may taste a difference in the texture.
- A Grainy or Bitter Texture — this is often a sign of sugar bloom which is caused by exposure to humidity or being moved between extremes of hot and cold.
- An Odd Taste — if chocolate is left near to strong smelling foods it can absorb these odours which affects its taste. Refrigerating chocolate that should be stored at room temperature can also mask some of its more subtle flavours. Although the chocolate has not gone bad, it has diminished in quality and will be much less enjoyable to eat.
- It’s Past Its Best Before Date — No matter how carefully stored, chocolate will be less fresh and lower quality the further past its best before date it is.
- Fresh Filled Truffles — For fresh filled truffles in particular, moisture on outside and cracking are warning signs they are past their best before date... and may even have mould growing inside.
If you’ve neglected your chocolate treats and they’re no longer in a luxury condition, it’s time to order some more! And now you know exactly how to store your luxury handmade chocolates to keep them fresh.
The Pod Chocolates are handmade and can be delivered to your door. Choose from sugar-free chocolates, vegan chocolates, chocolate bars, truffles and gift selections. Our chocolate is grown sustainably and we use environmentally sustainable packaging. Look after your chocolates by following our storage advice.