Everyone has different tastes when it comes to chocolate. Your best friend may love white chocolate, while you are more of a dark chocolate fan. No matter what type of chocolate treat you are craving today, make sure you are getting the good stuff!
Good chocolate should contain cocoa, cocoa solids, and cocoa butter. If the primary ingredient in your treat is milk or sugar, the quality of the chocolate will not be as great. Good chocolate has a higher percentage of cocoa (or cacao, depending on the labels), which means more of the chocolate bar or truffle is made from actual chocolate.
High-quality chocolate treats will have no preservatives or paraffin wax in them. These additives will make the chocolate last longer on the shelf, but you pay a price in taste. When you visit a chocolate confectionery shop, ask them what chocolate they use. If the chocolatier is not willing to tell you his or her source with pride, keep walking! The chocolate supplier makes a huge difference in making good chocolate or making “just okay” chocolate.
Open up your box of chocolates and take a big whiff! What do you smell? If you smell chocolate, great! If your chocolate doesn’t smell like anything, there is a chance the chocolate has not been made or stored well. If your chocolate smells like something besides chocolate, toss it! Chocolate can take on other smells from foods in your refrigerator or cupboards.
Finding out if you have quality chocolate can be as easy as tasting it. When you put a piece of chocolate or truffle into your mouth, does it melt in your mouth? Does it leave a filmy residue in your mouth? Can you still taste the chocolate as an aftertaste?
If chocolates or caramels melt in your mouth, that indicates that there are little to no preservatives or paraffin wax mixed in with the chocolate. Quality chocolate treats also will not leave a filmy residue in your mouth, which comes from the additives.
Good chocolate does not have a gritty taste in your mouth because confectioners use a lot of cocoa butter to make the chocolate high quality. The taste of good chocolate also lingers in your mouth for a little bit, so you can savor the taste!
At Dorinda’s Chocolates, we pride ourselves in making our chocolate from fresh ingredients and quality chocolate. We use premium Valrhona Chocolate, which uses gourmet cocoa harvested from their own cocoa plantations in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.
The caramels at Dorinda’s Chocolates are a testament to our dedication to making the best treats. We use real honey instead of high fructose corn syrup to make our famous Sea Salt Caramels. Beware: once you try our caramels, there is no going back to lesser caramel delights!
Stop by our stores in Squaw Valley, The Village at NorthStar Ski Resort in Truckee, and our two Reno locations on the Riverwalk and at The Summit. You can see for yourself that our chocolates are a taste above the rest!
You have purchased delicious chocolate treats or made your own chocolate to give to friends and family as gifts. How do you preserve the quality of the chocolate over time? Store your chocolate properly with our helpful tips from your friends at Dorinda’s!
Chocolate absorbs other scents, so make sure to store your chocolate away from anything odorous like onions or strong-smelling herbs. The part of chocolate that is a smell-absorber is the fat of the cocoa butter. The different smells will be absorbed by the chocolate, and when you bite into your chocolate treats you will be tasting all of those other flavors!
Keep your chocolate away from direct sunlight, as the sunlight will warm the chocolate and cause problems. Another enemy of chocolate is moisture, as water can spoil chocolates! Keep your chocolates stored in a cool, dry place out of reach from pets and devious chocolate thieves.
The higher ratio of cacao to milk or cream, the longer the chocolate will last. Dark chocolates can be stored for up to one or two years, while milk chocolate and white chocolate are best if consumed within six months to one year.
Chocolate truffles should be consumed within 7-10 days, since they have delicious fresh ingredients on the inside! If you must store chocolate truffles, store them for no longer than three to four months.
If you are storing baked goods like chocolate chip cookies, the storage rules are a little different. Baked goods will not last as long as chocolates, so share the chocolate baked treats so they don’t spoil or go stale!
Storing chocolate in a hot area will cause the fat to rise to the top of the chocolate, forming a white film layer over the chocolates. Storing chocolate at too cool of a temperature will mess with the sugar in the chocolate and cause blooming.
So what’s the magic number? Our friends at Chocoley suggest storing your chocolate at 55°F to 68°F in an area where there is less than 50% humidity.
Preservatives in large brand chocolates ensure that the chocolate keeps for a very long time. Purchasing artisanal chocolates like Dorinda’s gourmet handcrafted chocolates means purchasing chocolate with little to no preservatives.
Instead of buying in bulk, buy enough chocolate to take care of you for a month at a time. The fresher the chocolate, the more delicious!
Cannot get enough of our Sea Salt Caramels? Add them on to your chocolate subscription so you will always have chocolate treats available in case of a chocolate emergency.
With help from fellow chocoholics at Dorinda’s Handcrafted Chocolates, maintain and protect your chocolate stash at all times.