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Bloomed Chocolate: Is It Ruined?

By Cook's Illustrated Published January 2016

Can bloomed chocolate still be used in cooking applications?

Improper storage of chocolate can cause a superficial white film, called a bloom, to develop. There are two types: Cocoa butter bloom occurs when the chocolate softens so much that the cocoa butter crystals melt and molecules of fat migrate to the surface where they form new crystals. Sugar bloom happens when water condenses on the chocolate and dissolves some of its sugar. When that water evaporates, a fine layer of sugar crystals is left behind.

When we compared batches of dark chocolate truffles and chocolate chunk cookies made with bloomed chocolate with samples made with properly stored chocolate, tasters found no differences. But when we dipped cookies in melted bloomed chocolate, we found that the chocolate took longer to set up and the bloom reappeared. That’s because chocolate maintains its characteristic snap and sheen only when its fat molecules are properly aligned. The bottom line: Bloomed chocolate is fine for baking—just don’t use it for dipping.

NOT FINE FOR DIPPING: The white film on melted bloomed chocolate is still there.

FINE FOR BAKING: In baking recipes, the bloom on chocolate isn’t noticeable.