Custom Molded Chocolate – Beginner’s Course Part 9
Once your candy is finished and out of the mold, unless you intend to devour the entire batch immediately, proper storage techniques need to be followed to maintain freshness and eye appeal. Some quick tips for this include:
All candy must have time to return to room temperature before packaging, especially if you used the refrigerator or freezer method of set-up. The coolness of the chocolate, when placed in a plastic bag, will create “sweating”, called condensation. Trapping your piece of chocolate inside a package with all this moisture only leads to the final result is wet, damp mushy chocolate.
All products which are not 100% dipped such as pretzel rods, 1/2 dipped fruit wedges, drizzled cookies or crackers etc. must be in a sealed container or a sealed plastic bag to keep out the air. Otherwise the tip which is not dipped will absorb the humidity in the air. Final result is your whole pretzel rod will end up being stale.
If you intend to package all of your products in a bulk box (everything in one big container), it is advisable to layer the products with wax paper between the rows. This will prevent the chocolates from sticking together. Small paper candy cups can be utilized if you wish to have smaller, more bite size uniform pieces.
Do not ever place your storage container anywhere near a heat source. This means not in a window (the sun shines in), not on a table over top of baseboard heater vents, not near the stove or oven when it is turned on, etc.. Many a person has lost their hard work because they did not think of something as simple as the sun does get hot too. All that extra heat will be the destruction of all your hard work.
And finally, this is a common mistake by many a newcomer who works with chocolate, A good quality chocolate should never be refrigerated for storage. Even lesser quality chocolates are not happy with the refrigeration process.
Confectionery chocolates, when it has been subjected to extreme temperature changes after completion, has a tendency to “bloom” This is just a chemical process where the cocoa butter and fats in your candy has broken down, raised to the surface of your piece and then re-solidifies. This entire process in no way affects the flavor of your candy. What it does do is affect the looks.
Have you ever picked up a piece of chocolate candy and it looks kind of grey-ish white? Most people immediately think the candy is old. This has absolutely nothing to do with the age of the chocolate. It is this chemical reaction where this particular piece of candy has been subjected to an extreme temperature change. The funny part is if the candy got too hot to quickly or to cold to quickly, both scenarios can lead to bloom on chocolate.
Chocolate loves regular room temperatures around 68 to 72 degrees. Keep it out of wind, drafts, humidity and moisture and your candy will stay as beautiful as the way it looked when you made it.
In wet, hot, damp environments, a quick tip that will help extend the life of your chocolate by reducing the humidity level in your storage container – get a loaf of bread. Place one or two slices in the container with your candy. The bread will actually act like a sponge and absorb the humidity, thus leaving your candy safe. Change the bread as needed to keep your homemade goods safe and delicious.