What makes vanilla ice cream rise to the next level of incredibleness? Chocolate syrup. Who’s milk’s best friend? Chocolate syrup. What is the best possible dip for freshly picked strawberries? Chocolate syrup!
Chocolate syrup is the perfect solution for so many sweet treats that it makes sense to always have a supply on hand. And an emergency backup as well.
When it comes to food staples, backup supplies are often kept in the freezer for extended storage, which leads us to our main question of the day: Can you freeze chocolate syrup?
Well, technically yes, you can freeze chocolate syrup. You can freeze just about anything. But not all chocolate syrups will freeze the same, so the outcome is going to be entirely dependent on the original source of your chocolate syrup.
What Happens When You Freeze Chocolate Syrup
There are two types of chocolate syrup that we need to talk about: homemade and store-bought.
If what you’re working with is some Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup, there’s really no reason to freeze it. If it’s stored in your fridge, it will last a good 18 months and maybe even longer, thanks to the preservatives and gums used in the manufacturing process.
If you do decide to put it in your freezer, you might end up with a tar-like consistency that never goes back to its smooth liquid self.
Even if you thaw it out and warm it up, it will probably have a grainy consistency and may get a little lumpy. It’s best to just keep it in your fridge, with a nice clean lid that seals well.
Now on the other hand, if you’ve made yourself a batch of homemade chocolate syrup using all-natural ingredients like cocoa powder, sugar, and maybe a little vanilla extract, then freezing will have an entirely different ending.
Before we move on, it’s important to clarify why you’re thinking about freezing your chocolate syrup. Do you need it to create a chocolate shell over your fruit or ice cream? Or are you trying to store it for future use?
Freezing Homemade Chocolate Syrup for Future Use
If you’ve made a big batch of syrup and want to make sure it doesn’t go bad, you can store it in your fridge for up to a month if it’s well-sealed in an airtight container.
If you need to keep it longer than that, you can freeze or can it. Be warned, it will crystallize in your freezer and have an odd texture when you thaw it. With homemade syrup, this can be fixed by warming it up in a double boiler and adding a little bit of liquid while stirring until you smooth it out to the perfect consistency.
If you have skills with a canner, the chocolate syrup will stay fresh for up to a year if properly canned. You only need a water bath for syrup, not a pressure canner, so this is a great option if you have more space in your pantry than your freezer.
Hardening Chocolate Syrup for Immediate Consumption
If you want to go back to store-bought options, some brands create specialized chocolate syrups that are made to harden, usually involving the word “shell” in the product title.
You don’t actually have to freeze it to get the effect, it will just harden after it’s been poured out onto your treat. Smuckers has a variety pack of Chocolate, Chocolate Fudge, Caramel and Unicorn topping to help you mix it up at will.
If you’d like to make a syrup that hardens over your fruit or ice cream, then you’ll be better of using melting or dipping chocolate than a traditional syrup. It’s very simple:
- Melt your chocolate.
- Add a tiny bit of cream or butter if you want a creamier flavor.
- Dip your treats.
- Cool in the refrigerator.
You don’t actually need to freeze it, as the chocolate will harden upon cooling, but go brittle if frozen.
You can also mix your chocolate with a bit of coconut oil, as that will harden when it cools as well and give a tiny hint of coconut flavor to your shell.
Chocolate Syrup vs. Chocolate Sauce
Chocolate syrup and chocolate sauce are two very different things, so before you put anything in your freezer, it’s a good idea to know what you actually have on your hands.
Chocolate syrup is typically a mixture of unsweetened cocoa powder, sugar (or corn syrup) and water, perhaps with a bit of vanilla extract in the mix.
Chocolate sauce, on the other hand, usually starts with bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, blended with dairy or oils to make it creamier and thicker.
Either might have additives for flavor, such as liquors or complementary syrups.
We’ve already talked about what happens when you freeze chocolate syrup. Freezing chocolate sauce is a different story.
You can absolutely freeze chocolate sauce, as long as you do so carefully. Freeze it in an airtight container with plastic wrap on the surface to protect it from crystallizing.
When you’re ready to use it, let it thaw in your fridge first, and then warm it up in a double boiler. Mix it well to get it back to the right consistency and have patience!
Chocolate Syrup vs. The “Other” Syrups
Chocolate isn’t the only game in town when it comes to syrups.
Simple syrup is used in drinks, most often. It’s essentially just sugar dissolved in water, in equal parts. It’s best stored in the fridge, but you can also keep it in the freezer.
Don’t be surprised if it doesn’t freeze completely, though. The high sugar content makes that difficult, but it will still keep longer without spoiling.
Maple syrup is one of the most common syrups in the world, and is especially famous in Canada. Many connoisseurs will actually argue that keeping it in your freezer maintains the best flavor, but it won’t freeze solid because of the high sugar content.
Pure maple syrup, if kept in an airtight container, will last nearly forever without bacteria growing on it, whether it’s in your fridge, freezer or cupboard.
Fruit syrups are nearly the opposite. Even though they have quite a bit of sugar, they will go bad fairly quickly. You can keep it in your fridge for a few days, or you can freeze it for several months. It will freeze solidly and thaw almost exactly as it went in.
To make your own, you simply need the fruit of your choice, sugar, and water. Exact measurements will vary depending on the type of fruit, so you’ll have to search the internet for your specific preference. A general rule is 1 cup of fruit to 1/3 cup of water plus 2/3 cup of sugar.
Remove the seeds, stems and peeling from your fruit and bring it to a boil with your sugar and water. Once your fruit is cooked, mash it up well and continue to simmer until it turns syrupy. You can strain it for a nice smooth, thin syrup or blend it for a thicker syrup.
Finally, store-bought corn syrups, pancake syrups, and caramel syrups are very shelf-stable, similar to their store-bought chocolate syrup cousins. They’re made using a variety of preservatives and gums which, in addition to the sky-high sugar content, keeps them safe for consumption for a very long time.
It’s always best to read the instructions on the packaging, but you can usually store store-bought syrups in your cupboards or your fridge. They are not likely to freeze well.
How Long Does Fudge Last?
Depending on the quality of your fudge, it may last anywhere from one week to a month. Ironically, the better the quality – meaning the fewer preservatives – the shorter the lifespan will be. Homemade fudge with high-quality ingredients should be eaten within a week of making it.
If you’ve purchased it from the store and it has a collection of preservatives in the ingredients list, it will last quite a bit longer.
For best-case results on all your fudge, keep it in an airtight container in your fridge. You can freeze fudge but, again, depending on the quality, it may thaw with some interesting consistency changes.
Does Caramel Syrup Go Bad?
Eventually, yes, almost all food items will go bad over time once they’re exposed to air and moisture. Caramel will last a long time if stored in the refrigerator though, being safe to eat even after years of proper storage.
The texture and consistency may change beyond your desire to eat it though. If there’s no visible mold or bad odors, and a bit of separation doesn’t bother you, it should be just fine to eat.
Is Chocolate Syrup Bad for You?
There is no definitive answer to the question because too much of anything can be bad for you. If you were to eat copious amounts of store-bought processed chocolate syrup every day, then yes, it is going to have a negative effect on your health.
However, pure chocolate itself is actually incredibly high in antioxidants, so eating a good quality syrup in moderation is not the worst thing you could snack on.