If you are a chocolate lover, hardly have you ever thought of freezing chocolate. But if you are someone that can live without it, you may be concerned about what to do with chocolate and how to prevent it from going bad.
Freezing food is one of the most popular ways to prolong the shelf life of products. But does freezing work well with chocolate? The answer is yes. You can freeze chocolate for as long as 2 years with the texture and taste not suffering greatly. You simply need to store it in an airtight container and defrost without drastic changes in temperature.
We have taken a deep dive into the topic of freezing chocolate and answered all the questions you may come across regarding this method of preserving chocolate.
Freezing Chocolate – Right or Wrong?
Freezing chocolate is completely fine and does not carry any health risks. The chocolate itself is a product that can last up to a year without requiring too much attention and special conditions.
Freezing chocolate is a good option if there is a lot of it at hand and want to make the most out of what you have.
Frozen chocolate, once defrosted, will not be the same as non-frozen room temperature chocolate. When in the cold, the process called crystallization happens to chocolate, as a result of which the sugar and fat content crystalize, resulting in slight changes in texture.
Freezing chocolate works quite well if you do it correctly.
How to Properly Freeze and Defrost Chocolate
To properly freeze chocolate, it is important to keep it in an airtight container (something like this from Amazon should be perfect) double-wrapped with a plastic wrap. It is important to make sure that the chocolate is not exposed to any moisture and air.
If you are freezing chocolate bars or candy that already come wrapped in plastic, you can plastic wrap those too just to make sure they are moisture-proof and airtight.
If you skip the double-wrapping step and keep the chocolate in the freezer or fridge with other food that has a strong odor, chocolate is likely to take it. Use something like this freezer paper from Amazon for the best results. Cocoa fat easily absorbs other scents. So, keep it tight in that plastic wrap if you want your chocolate smell like nothing but chocolate.
When freezing and defrosting chocolate, it is essential to not shock it with drastic temperature changes.
Before you put the chocolate in the freezer, make sure to leave it in the refrigerator for 24 hours. And vice versa, when defrosting chocolate, do not move it from the cold storage straight to room temperature. Put it in the fridge first, leave for 24 hours and only then use it.
The reason why you shouldn’t drastically change the temperature you are keeping the chocolate in is that it may cause condensation. The chocolate will become blotchy and not suitable for tempering. However, it can still be used for other purposes, such as baking chocolate desserts.
You may skip doing this for chocolate bars that you will probably eat within minutes.
If you have stored the chocolate in a container, leave it there before it reaches room temperature.
What Types of Chocolate Can You Freeze?
There are different types of chocolate, and they all vary in the amount of milk and cocoa solids.
Additionally, some have other ingredients too, such as nuts, caramel, etc. While these components may affect the way chocolate freezes, it is safe to be frozen and the shelf life will be extended.
Some sources state that unopened dark chocolate, like our favorite dark chocolate from Amazon, has a shelf life of 2 years if you keep it away from light and humidity and store it in the corrects temperature.
Two years is quite a long time to keep an item in your pantry and feel excited about eating it two years later.
But if you are unsure that you can maintain good conditions, you can freeze dark chocolate in an airtight container or bag. It is both safe and easy.
Most dark chocolate is naturally vegan since it usually doesn’t contain any dairy, and if you are looking for the absolute best vegan chocolate, look no further than this article.
Milk chocolate contains more milk and fat than dark chocolate. It also contains more sugar. The higher content of fat and sugar make milk chocolate more difficult to preserve in a good shape after freezing and defrosting.
As milk chocolate has more sugar content, it is more prone to condensation and sugar bloom than dark chocolate is. With this being said, consuming frozen and defrosted milk chocolate is not harmful.
Our favorite milk chocolate is Lindt’s extra creamy milk chocolate (we also love their 70% dark chocolate bar).
Chocolate chips keep fine in the freezer. The shelf life of chocolate chips is quite long. The ones made from dark chocolate can last for about 2 years at room temperature.
So, if you freeze them, you can keep them even longer. But the question is, do you really need to keep something in your refrigerator for more than that?
Milk chocolate chips stay at best quality for 12 months. You can freeze them and make their shelf life twice as long.
With that said, we are fans of sem-sweet chocolate chips, like these dairy-free ones from Enjoy Life.
We also have a delicious chocolate chip cookie recipe that we designed without brown sugar (a common ingredient for cookies). Check it out here.
The shelf life of chocolate bars is 1 year if they are kept in the right conditions. You can store them in the refrigerator to maintain their best quality for over 12 months.
If you are concerned about keeping them in the fridge and trust the freezing method more, you can store chocolate bars in the freezer for around a year. They will be safe for consumption for a longer time.
However, if you want your chocolate bars at their best, do not leave them in the cold storage for longer than that.
How Long Does Chocolate Last in the Fridge and in the Freezer?
The shelf life of chocolate is truly impressive.
In a normal room temperature, chocolate stays well for 6 to 9 months. And it does not matter whether the box is opened or not. It is only important to close it tightly every time you take a piece.
If you want to prolong the shelf life of your favorite chocolate, you can either put in the refrigerator or freeze it.
The fridge prolongs the shelf life by making the chocolate last from 8 months to up to a year. And freezing will help you preserve chocolate from 9 to 14 months.
The shelf life of handmade chocolate is usually not long. It lasts for about a month in room temperature if you keep it in a place with no light and humidity.
The refrigerating and freezing methods work with homemade chocolate too. However, 6 months is the longest they can last in the cold storage.
The purer the chocolate the longer is its shelf life. That is why dark chocolate stays fresh for a longer period of time compared to milk or white chocolate. The last two contain additional components that make them more likely to change texture or flavor.
Why Does Chocolate Turn White in the Freezer?
Have you ever taken out chocolate from the fridge and be startled with the white cast all over it? You have probably thought that it has gone bad and not eaten it. The truth is you could have. Chocolate that has developed a white cast is neither inedible nor dangerous.
Here’s why chocolate turns white and the science behind it.
The process of chocolate getting covered with a light-colored coating is called ‘fat bloom’. It happens whenever chocolate is kept in conditions where it shouldn’t.
If you store chocolate in too-high or too-low temperatures, you will witness the chocolate ‘blooming’.
Fat bloom is the process of the fat particles coming up to the surface due to inappropriate temperature. As a result of fat bloom, chocolate is coated with a white cast.
Seeing the chocolate covered by a white film, many people think that it is moldy and throw it away immediately.
However, it is never too late to find out the truth. Chocolate does not mold. It is made of three main components – cacao butter and solids, and sugar. It does not contain any water, and mold needs water to grow.
Thus, if you have ever thrown away chocolate with a white-gray cast all over, do not do it again. So long as it tastes fine, you can eat it.
Does Chocolate Taste Better Frozen?
Some people think that frozen chocolate tastes better than chocolate kept at room temperature.
While there is no scientific proof for this and, in the end, everything comes to personal taste, there are multiple reasons why frozen chocolate may seem tastier.
Firstly, while keeping the chocolate at room temperature and then freezing it in the cold storage is totally different from tempering, it might have the same effect.
If you don’t know what tempering is, it is the process of heating up the chocolate and then letting it chill and re-heating and chilling all over again.
“What’s the point?”, you may be wondering. The process of heating and chilling chocolate to different temperatures gives it the desired hardness and what many people like to call ‘the snap’. The latter is a term used to refer to the sound of breaking or taking a bite of a piece of chocolate.
While freezing chocolate is far from the intricate process of tempering, it has a similar effect. And most people like frozen chocolate as it has the snap.
Here are other reasons why frozen chocolate may taste better to some people:
- Candies that contain little chocolate and a lot of sugar are very often called ‘chocolate’. As sweet food tastes less sweet when frozen, these chocolate candies may taste better if you have just taken them out of the cold storage.
- If you like chocolate that has a waxier texture, you make like frozen chocolate better than room-temperature chocolate.
- Not everyone likes dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa, but it is certainly much healthier. Dark chocolate, when frozen, tastes less bitter just like frozen chocolate candies taste less sweet.
- Some people like frozen chocolate not only because of the taste but because it is less messy. If you live in a place where it’s hot and chocolate melts off right in your hands, then putting it in the freezer or fridge before you eat is a good hack.
- Chocolate tastes different depending on the temperature. People like the experience of eating frozen chocolate as they can let the chocolate melt in the mouth for as long as they wish. Different temperature chocolate provides different experiences for eaters.
Frozen chocolate does not taste the same as room-temperature chocolate. If you want to experiment, taste the same chocolate at different temperatures to see how the taste changes and which one you prefer more.
Is Freezing the Best Way to Store Chocolate?
While freezing chocolate works and there are no health risks involved in doing that, you better not do it if you don’t have to.
If you have lots of chocolate and know that you won’t be eating it in the next few months, freezing is certainly a better choice than throwing the food away. However, chocolate has quite a long shelf life. So, keep that in mind.
Putting chocolate in the freezer is not the best way to store it.
Ideally, chocolate is better preserved in cool temperatures but not cold. Keep your chocolate bars and chips in a cooler spot with no humidity, such as a cupboard or pantry.
The best temperature for storing chocolate is 65 to 70°F.
Light and air also affect the texture and taste of the chocolate. They are especially damaging to milk or white chocolate or any chocolate candy or bar that has a low percentage of cocoa.
As oxygen is damaging to chocolate, you should keep it well-wrapped all of the time.
Another great way to avoid problems with storing chocolate is buying as much as you will be able to eat that day.
Can You Freeze Chocolate Mousse?
Once you learn that you can freeze chocolate, a question arises, can you freeze chocolate mousse?
You can easily freeze chocolate mousse as long as it does not contain any eggs. As mousse is sometimes made with raw eggs, making it face different temperatures may carry health risks, such as food poisoning.
Eggless mousses, however, freeze quite well. To do so, you can divide the mousse into portions by putting it into glasses suitable for the cold storage. Keep in mind that once in the freezer, the mousse will expand in size. So, do not overload the glasses.
Wrap each glass with plastic wrap and put it into an airtight freezer bag for best results. You can freeze the mousse for around 2 months.
To thaw the mousse, leave it in the refrigerator overnight and eat within the following day.
Can You Freeze Chocolate Pudding?
The chocolate leftover pudding should never go to waste. Can you freeze it to prolong its life and consume it later? If done correctly, you can.
The texture of the pudding will change. However, there is nothing more that will prevent you from eating it.
You can store the pudding in the cold storage in portions or as a whole. Make sure you freeze it in an airtight container or wrapped in aluminum foil very tightly.
You can keep the chocolate pudding in the freezer for up to 3 months.
As puddings contain gelatin, they do not freeze all the way through. And this is the best part about freezing puddings. You can take them out of the freezer and enjoy the frosty desert without spending time on defrosting and thawing.