Storing Chocolate

Storing Chocolate

All chocolate of whatever kind should be stored in a cool, dry place at a temperature of about 60 degrees F. If chocolate becomes warm, the cocoa butter rises to the surface and a grayish film or "bloom" appears. This does not harm the chocolate insofar as its cooking qualities are concerned, but it does affect its eating quality. With the fat on the surface, the remaining chocolate below becomes crumbly. Well-wrapped, properly stored chocolate should keep for a year. Cocoa will also keep well for a year under similar temperature conditions if in a tightly covered container. All chocolate contains an appreciable amount of fats and carbohydrates. It is therefore a good source of quick energy. It is also an excellent source of calories. Weight watchers should therefore remember that:

1 ounce bitter chocolate contains 144 calories
1 ounce semisweet chocolate contains about 147 calories
1 ounce sweet chocolate contains about 155 calories
Milk chocolate has somewhat fewer calories than sweet despite its milk or cream.

One square of cooking chocolate equals one ounce and four tablespoons of cocoa equal one ounce. When substituting cocoa for chocolate, however, bear in mind that extra fat must be added: one ounce of chocolate equals three tablespoons cocoa plus one half tablespoon butter.

Cake or bar chocolate may be used melted, grated or shaved. For culinary purposes it is most frequently melted. All chocolate burns easily, however, so great care should be taken when exposing it to heat.

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