The Chocolate Life

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I have cruised through the many discussions here and have not come across any bits on making chocolates last longer, maybe I haven't dug far enough?. Especially truffles. I want to start making larger batches but don't want to have make them all prior to a craft fair. what's the secret? I will be going to school in January so I'm sure I will learn but tis the season and friends want chocolates, and I want them to last and not have anyone get sick.

Any pointers? Invertase? Milk substitutes?

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There are 2 primary ways to extend shelf life, reduce the water activity, or with cold storage. Common way to reduce water activity is to add a corn/glucose syrup, invert syrup, sorbitol, or glycerol. Each have their advantages and disadvantages, but all are considered to compromise flavor and/or texture, some more than others. Cold storage will work, just be carefull in how you warm up your pieces from the fridge or freezer to prevent sugar bloom from condensation.
I was concerned about bloom if they are put in the fridge or freezer. I was told that if the chocolate is tempered properly it shouldn't bloom? Is that wrong? So when you say be careful in the way you warm is there anything specific I should do? On average what is the safe life span of a truffle? or chocolate? Anyone one used invertase? likes? dislike? Appreciate the info....
Perfect thanks I will check them out. I knew there had to be something here but I am new here and still learning how to navigate this site. Much appreciated :)
Just know as you tinker with life, you tinker with taste and texture. If you don't mind turning artificial or waxy there is a world of science you can inject but I don't recommend it.

We freeze ganache tubs & pre-rolled ganache balls, then when it's time for use we let return to room temp (minus a few degrees) before enrobing/dipping. Once they are enrobed you can no longer freeze without cracking (too much shrinkage) but you can refrigerate them quite well. Sugar blooming will really only occur if you have too much humidity and they begin to sweat. Even then one trick we found was you can pop them with a torch if you catch them early enough.

We strive for a fresh and natural product. Your goals may vary.
Fantastic, thanks. I think I will go with freezing. Makes sense. I really don't want to use chemicals or anything. I prefer fresh and natural all the way. there's enough chemicals and treatments on everything else we eat.
Freezing without cracking is just a matter of freezing rapidly enough... a blast freezer, covering with dry ice powder, or liquid nitrogen are all acceptable means that prevent the formation of large ice crystals that cause so many problems.
Finished truffles can also be frozen slowly without risking bloom as long as you are careful (though I daresay flash-freezing is preferable if you have the means). Jean Pierre Wybauw discusses this in one of his books. First you need to seal the chocolates in airtight plastic of some kind, with as little air inside as possible (vaccuum sealing would do nicely). They can then be placed in the fridge, left for 24hrs, then moved into the freezer. When thawing, you again leave them in the fridge for 24 hrs, and allow them to come to room temp for another 24hrs before unsealing them. It's important not to induce sudden temperature change, and not to expose the surface of the chocolates themselves to a markedly different atmosphere. I've done this a number of times with good results, but you can't freeze them indefinitely without losing some flavor/texture. I generally prefer not to freeze.

As far as composition, I have used invert sugar and glucose to control water activity. I use some of each to get the flavor and texture I like, but you can play around. In my experience, invert sugar is better than glucose at retaining a consistent texture over time (a ganache using just glucose dries out faster than one with inverted sugar), but it lends a sticky texture and is of course sweeter in taste.
All excellent advice, thank you for your input everyone!
You can always add some citric acid to your recipe. 1part to 100. I thought freezing your ganache really changed the texture.

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