Chocolate is one of the most popular dessert ingredients as well as a type of candy. The average American will consume about two pounds of chocolate a year. Chocolate is grown commercially in West Africa and the Ivory Coast: hot areas where chocolate is likely to melt. What to do? Learn how to prevent your chocolate from turning into liquid before you consume it or use it for baking and cooking your own chocolately delights!
Store your chocolate in a dark place. The first step to preserving your chocolate's structural integrity is to keep it out of the sunlight and away from excessive heat. Light is often associated with heat and energy which melts chocolate quicker. Putting your chocolate in a cupboard or cabinet should suffice as a dark place for storage.
Keep it below 70 degrees. Studies have shown that most chocolate melts between the temperatures of 75 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Storing your chocolate at a temperature below this will help to ensure that it does not melt.
Refrigerate your chocolate. Place your chocolate in the refrigerator and keep it away from pungent odors that will invade your chocolate. Using a few layers of plastic wrap will help protect your chocolate from excessive aroma and insulate it from heat. Plastic wrap will also slow the evaporation process.
Place your chocolate on ice. If you are planning to melt your chocolate later for a recipe, then freezing it in a protective container or packaging is recommended. You may also place your chocolate bars or other chocolate materials in a plastic seal bag and put it in a cooler on some ice in case you are going out for a trip and don't want to stop to get your chocolate snack. Keeping your chocolate in a Ziploc bag will help prevent water from invading your stash.
Buy "melt-proof" chocolate. Since World War II scientists have been trying to make a chocolate that would not melt. Troops who were fighting in warm places could eat it quickly without worrying about it melting or evaporating. Requirements for taste by the overseeing general were that it, "taste slightly better than a boiled potato." This has since become a task that has been taken up for the benefit of civilians as well. Although major strides have been made since that time experiments first were conducted, "melt-proof" chocolate, which can often withstand temperatures of well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, often suffers from a lack of taste in tests conducted.
Keeping your chocolate cool will also help to avoid "bloom." Bloom is when the cocoa butter in chocolate separates because it is too warm.
Some brands of chocolate differ in the temperature at which it begins to melt; storing your chocolate well below the melting temperature will ensure that you keep all different brands from melting.