Test Kitchen tips: Storing chocolate
If you happen to have a lot of chocolate lying around (and have the self-restraint not to eat it all at once), you might want to consider how to properly store it to keep it in prime shape.
Store your chocolate in a cool, dry place -- we keep ours tucked away in a cabinet in the Test Kitchen. Do not refrigerate or freeze the chocolate, and keep it away from excessive heat. Store the chocolate wrapped tightly in plastic wrap (some experts also recommend wrapping the plastic-wrapped chocolate in foil to further preserve).
Occasionally, chocolate will "bloom," taking on a cloudy, whitish-grey tint or specks. "Fat bloom" can occur if the chocolate is kept in an excessively warm place; "sugar bloom" can occur if the chocolate is kept in a humid environment and takes on moisture. Bloom on chocolate doesn't look so good, but it shouldn't affect the way the chocolate performs in a recipe.
In the right conditions, properly stored chocolate should last for several months. That is, if you don't eat it first.
If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Noelle Carter
Photo credits: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times (top); Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times