Can You Freeze Chocolate?
You’re here because you have too much chocolate on your hand (yup, that’s possible!). Maybe you got a bunch of boxed chocolates for your birthday or another occasion. Or your favorite brand of chocolate has been on sale, and you’ve bought way more than you can use or eat before it deteriorates.
Even though chocolate has a rather long shelf life, it’s definitely possible to have more than you can handle. That begs the question: can you freeze chocolate?
Like with most foods, the easiest way to preserve chocolate for the long term is to freeze it. And because good chocolate doesn’t contain water, it freezes well. In most cases, if freezing was done properly, you will find it difficult to tell frozen and thawed chocolate from the fresh one. It both looks and tastes pretty much the same, so if you want to preserve it for the long term, this method is definitely the way to go.
When it comes to commercially-bought boxed chocolates, bonbons, and chocolate-based candies, freezing isn’t always the way to go. Icing and filling sometimes don’t freeze well because of the ingredients used. Plus usually, the label doesn’t say anything about putting the product in the freezer. You’re on your own, basically.
Because of that, freezing a whole unopened package seems a bit risky. Unless, of course, you’ve already frozen such chocolates before. It’s probably better to open it up and test out freezing a couple of chocolates or candies for a couple of days. If that works out well, you can freeze the rest without worrying that they will be ruined.
The process is super simple, but it requires a bit more than just chucking the chocolate bar or box into the freezer. Here’s how to go about it:
- Package or wrap the chocolate tightly. When it comes to unopened chocolate bars, you can freeze them as-is, or put into a freezer-bag for added safety. If it’s an opened one, cover it with aluminum wrap (use the one the chocolate comes in), and put into a freezer bag. For boxed chocolates, freeze them in their original packaging if unopened, or in a freezer bag otherwise. In either case, remove as much air as you can from the bag before sealing it.
- Put the prepared package into the fridge for a few hours. This step is important. Bringing the temperature down slowly will diminish the risk of damaging the chocolate by the crystallization process that’s responsible for chocolate bloom (JP). Basically, you don’t want the sugar and fat (cocoa butter) that are in the chocolate to “rise” to the surface..
- After a few hours stick the package in the freezer. It’s ready to be stored there for the long term. If you find it useful, add a label with name and date of freezing.
The whole process takes between a couple of seconds and a few minutes, so there are no excuses for not following through.
Unless it’s a thick and super firm chocolate bar, there’s no need to divide a whole bar into portions for freezing. You can still break it apart and grab a couple of cubes when it’s frozen.
When it comes to defrosting chocolate, the refrigerator is the way to go. The whole process can take anywhere from a couple of hours to half a day, depending on the thickness of the bar or the size of the chocolates. Using a microwave doesn’t make much sense here because microwaves (basically) warm up water in food, and as we know, chocolate contains little to none.
Once you thaw the chocolate, you can store it either at room temperature (if it isn’t too warm for that), or leave it in the fridge.
If you need the chocolate for melting, you can probably get away with throwing it right into the water bath, but it’s still better if you thaw it beforehand.