If you are a chocolate fanatic and you live in a hot area then you must have definitely asked yourself “can you freeze chocolate,” having noticed that your chocolate was now melting. The answer to that question is yes you can freeze chocolate but once defrosted it will not have the same texture as chocolate that has been stored at room temperature. This is mainly due to the fact that once chocolate is frozen the crystallization process accelerates. So in the case of chocolate the sugars and fats start to crystalize hence when chocolate is defrosted it will have a different texture. Here are a few tips on how you can freeze chocolate the right way.
How to freeze chocolate
If you want to freeze chocolate start by wrapping the chocolate with plastic wrap. This will help to prevent moisture from getting inside. You should double wrap the chocolate just for extra protection. If you are wrapping chocolate bars that already have packaging on them simply add an extra layer of plastic wrap. The reason why chocolate need to be double wrapped is that chocolate contains cocoa which absorbs other scents. So if you place your chocolate without wrapping it then it will definitely absorb the scent of anything that is placed next to it and this is not good. For example if you refrigerate chocolate in the same fridge as meat it will definitely mean that your chocolate will have a slight smell which is similar to meat.
When the chocolate is nicely wrapped place it inside the refrigerator for 24 hours then later transfer it into the freezer. This is because you can’t drastically change the temperatures in which you are storing the chocolate as this will cause condensation. The chocolate becomes blotchy and unsuitable for tempering thus you can only use it for baking chocolate desserts.
NB: chocolate stored in the freezer can last for up to 2 years although the texture will be a bit different.
Types of chocolate that you can freeze
Dark chocolate can be frozen and it has a shelf life of approximately 2 years. If the dark chocolate has not yet been opened then cover it with plastic wrap so that moisture does not enter inside. However, if you had opened it you can always still wrap it or place it in an air tight container.
These are ideal for storing in the freezer. The chocolate chips that are made using dark chocolate can last for about 2 years at room temperature thus if you place them in the freezer they will actually last for more than 2 years as the freezer helps to extend the shelf life of chocolate.
Chocolate bars can last for up to 12 months at room temperature and when placed in the freezer they can last for more than a year. The refrigerator is also a good place to keep your chocolate bars as it helps to retain the flavour and texture of the chocolate bar.
Types of chocolates to avoid freezing
Although milk chocolate can be placed in the freezer it is prone to condensation and sugar bloom as compared to dark chocolate. This is because milk chocolate contains a lot of milk and fat as compared to other types of chocolate like dark chocolate. Therefore, preserving it is quite difficult since once it is frozen then defrosted it tends to lose its original texture. However, eating milk chocolate that has been frozen is not harmful it is just that the texture will be different.
Chocolate based candies and homemade truffles are not suitable for freezing. This is mainly because they contain caramel, fondant and some ganache centres that are not suitable for freezing. Once these ingredients are frozen and thawed they become unpleasant. Therefore it is not advisable to freeze them. However, if you wish to do so you can start by freezing a few chocolate candies to test how they will come out like.
How to defrost chocolate
When defrosting chocolate the best way is to place it in the refrigerator not on the counter. This is because when you take out the chocolate from the freezer you should not introduce it to drastic temperature changes as this causes condensation. Hence the chocolate will become unsuitable for tempering. You should leave the chocolate in the refrigerator for 24 hours it will defrost properly and you can use it any way that you like.
Best way of storing chocolate
Although chocolate can be stored in the freezer this is not the most ideal way of storing chocolate. It should be stored at temperatures that range between 60F to 70F. These temperatures are normally found in your cupboards or pantry’s and that is where you are supposed to store your chocolate. It is important to be aware of the fact that light and air affect the texture and taste of chocolate especially chocolate that is low in cocoa. Therefore when placing it in your cupboards ensure that it is properly wrapped.
Shelf life of chocolate
The shelf life of chocolate differs depending on whether it has been frozen or not. Chocolate that is stored at room temperature can last for about 6 to 9 months. This applies to boxed chocolate as well as chocolate that has been opened. Dark chocolate tends to have a longer shelf life as compared to other types of chocolate because it does not contain milk. Chocolate stored in the fridge can last for about a year and chocolate that is stored in the freezer can last for up to 2 years. Therefore it is always important to store your chocolate in the right place based on when exactly you want to consume it.
Chocolate can be frozen although it tends to lose its texture. It is important to note that even though you can freeze chocolate the best way of storing it is at room temperature. This is because when you freeze and defrost chocolate the sugar and fats found in chocolate crystalize thus causing the texture to change.