Reader Alicia reminds me that I forgot to talk about sugar bloom in yesterday’s post on chocolate bloom, where I flapped my fingers for some half a dozen paragraphs on the subject of fat bloom alone. Thanks for the assist, Alicia!
Sugar bloom is similar to fat bloom in that it creates an unsightly grey crystalline film on the surface of a chocolate bar. It’s familiar to anyone who’s ever refrigerated or even frozen chocolate for any period of time. Sugar bloom happens when droplets of water come into contact with the surface of a piece of chocolate. When that happens, the sugar near the droplet dissolves into the water, becoming syrup. In time the water evaporates, however, leaving tiny sugar crystals behind.
The problem is exacerbated when chocolate is repeatedly chilled and warmed. So for instance if you have a large chocolate bar in the refrigerator or freezer and you occasionally take it out to chip a bit off, you get condensation on the chocolate bar when it meets the warm, humid air.
When you put the chocolate back into the fridge, the syrup-evaporation-crystallization thing happens…over and over and over. Pretty soon a large proportion of the sugar is drawn out, and your expensive bar of chocolate starts to take on the mouthfeel of sidewalk chalk. The same thing happens if you have a habit of leaving the refrigerator or freezer door open for a long period of time.
Thanks again Alicia!