When your chocolate has a whitish tint to it – you think it’s old and throw it out right? Well age has nothing to do with it; blooming does. What is bloom, you ask? In simple terms – it’s the fat (or sugar) rising to the top of the chocolate. There are two culprits at play – temperature and humidity.
Though bloom may very well happen in production (or on the store shelves), when you have a piece of chocolate at home and it blooms – it is typically the result of where and how it was stored.
The next question you probably have is (we pride ourselves on reading minds): Can you refrigerate or freeze chocolate? The short answer is yes. But in order to prevent sugar or fat separation – you must take steps when cooling your chocolate. If you purchased chocolate and left it in your car – or your bag on a very warm and sunny day – you may be quick to throw it in the refrigerator before eating. While doing so won’t make your chocolate toxic – it will make it bloom. Drastic temperature changes are a quick way to get that whitish film on top of your chocolate. The best solution (provided your chocolate didn’t melt into a gooey soup) is to simply get the softened chocolate to room temperature (preferably in a room that’s about 70 degrees or less). Once you have done so – if you still wish to refrigerate it to firm it up – do so in a sealed bag (or it’s original packaging) for just a few minutes – then put it back to room temperature without removing the bag unless you plan on eating it right away.
If you are hoping to freeze the chocolate to extend it’s life or to resist temptation – freeze it in an airtight bag. When you take it out – do not remove the bag until it has reached room temperature. Condensation will separate the sugars in the chocolate and they will dissolve along the top – causing the same whitish tint.
If these steps still don’t prevent the bloom – it’s entirely up to your preference as to whether or not you eat it. Though the texture may change – there is nothing at all bad about eating bloomed chocolate.