I Was a Bloomin' Idiot
Have you ever seen a piece of chocolate with white spots on it? I used to think that it meant that the chocolate was spoiled. I was actually throwing away perfectly good chocolate. Well, after working at Nestle’s for a while, I learned that the whitish coating is called bloom. I learned quite a bit about sweets while working at Nestle. As a customer service representative, you have to answer a lot of questions about baking and of course chocolate. Nestle’s USA has a breathtaking kitchen where employees could sign up for dessert classes taught by Wolfgang Puck. In fact, the kitchen is always in use for testing new recipes and every morning a dessert cart would be wheeled around the office and employees could taste and evaluate the culinary endeavors. A diet dangerous place to work indeed, but back to the subject of bloom. Bloom can happen a couple of ways. Sugar bloom happens when chocolate is exposed to moisture causing sugar crystals to form on the surface. Fat bloom happens when the chocolate is subjected to warm temperatures which causes the cocoa butter to separate and the fat crystals form on the chocolate. Either way, the problem is purely cosmetic, the chocolate is fine to eat. Whew. Never did I throw away spotty chocolate again. Incidentally, if you have chocolate that has bloom on it, you can still use it for baking cake or cookies. Bloom doesn’t affect the flavor. You can’t use it for dipping because the bloom will reappear but you can eat it as is.