Chef Fran Costigan

A Bloom and A Bath

I used a lot of chocolate ( at least 100 pounds and maybe more) when I was writing Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts, Running Press.  I wanted to inventory the bags of chocolate in my pantry one morning. Among the treasures, I found two bags of “bloomed” chocolate. This just means that the chocolate is mottled with a dusty whitish or beige coating. There is nothing wrong or “old” with bloomed chocolate–– it’s just a cosmetic thing.

photo of bloomed chocolate

In order to use the bloomed 85% chocolate, I melted it slowly over a water bath, which is a nothing more than a homemade double boiler. Here’s how to safely melt chocolate.

Pour a few inches of water into a saucepan and heat the water to the lowest simmer. Set a heatproof bowl on the pan, making sure the bottom of the bowl sits above the water. Chop the chocolate and put it into the bowl. Place the bowl on the saucepan.

Wait until the chocolate has melted halfway to the center and start stirring with a silicone spatula. Remove the bowl from the heat when the chocolate is nearly, but not completely melted and stir gently until the chocolate is fully melted.

  chocolate in water bath

Sure enough the bloom was gone and now I had lots of nice dark melted chocolate.  I poured the melted  chocolate onto a parchment- lined quarter sheet pan, and rotated the pan until the chocolate was spread evenly. The sheet pan went into the freezer briefly to allow the chocolate to set. I broke the cold chocolate into shards and placed then in an airtight container, where they will stay fresh and bloom-free  in the freezer for up to 3 months. Serve them on puddings, cakes, ice cream, etc, or just nibble.

I treated some bloomed 55% chocolate the same way, except I poured a thicker layer and mixed in a lot of  raisins. (It was now 6:30am, and I was thinking oatmeal with raisins.) What I got was a chunk of Raisinettes that I cut into pieces and froze. Full disclosure. There are very few pieces left.

This is a treats version of eating down the fridge. Use what you have.  Waste not; want not.

Chocolate with Rasins

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7 thoughts on “A Bloom and A Bath

  1. Sharon @BigCityVegan

    Hi Fran,

    I love your blog!! This is a great tip. I always thought that bloom meant the chocolate had seen better days and best be on it’s way in to the trash, not my stomach. Like you said, what a waste that would be, a culinary crime!

    I signed up to your newsletter so I will be sure not to miss a thing.

    1. Fran Post author

      Hi Sharon,
      I’ve attended some of your presentations about social media and blogging and you’ve been so generous with advice, but it did take me a long time still to get this published. Now I’m pyched to share more tips!I’m so glad you like the post and hope you enjoy the newsletter too!

    2. Fran Post author

      Hey Sharon,
      I thought I’d replied but you know I’m new to blogging!! So if this is a duplicate, well, learning curve.
      Hope to see you soon!!
      Fran

  2. Emily Nolan Joseph

    Hi Fran! I’m so happy to see your blog, especially since you’ll be talking about chocolate most of the time! :) Hope you get the chance to check out my blog, too. I would love to share one of your recipes for a guest post if you are up for it!
    XO
    Emily
    My Kind of Life

  3. Bhupinder @BhuDeo

    Hello Fran!

    Tina (@LuckyInFrance) tweeted a link to your blog and it mentioned chocolate! That was enough of a reason for me to visit your blog. I never heard the term “bloomed” chocolate. So, I guess I learned something new today! Your pictures of chocolate look yummy!

    Have a good weekend!

    Bhupinder
    @BhuDeo

  4. Fran Post author

    I’m sorry to have taken so long to answer you. I’m new to blogging. I’m glad you learned something new. You were not alone – learning about bloomed chocolate. Thanks for your comment!

    Fran

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