I am jarring a dark chocolate semi sweet sauce and the ingredients are semi sweet chocolate, agave syrup, and sea salt. Will this be shelf stable? Is there something I can add or do to make it more shelf stable?
Any suggestions or ideas are most appreciated.
Get the water activity checked, then you will know.
Thank you Ruth. Do you know the most economical way to get that done? Where would water be found in those ingredients?
You can get the product tested at most State Agriculture Colleges, or buy your own meter. It isn't a matter of water in the recipe, but available moisture for the bacteria and mold to live on.
I would strongly guess that it will have a long shelf life. As Ruth said, one way to know for sure is to test the water activity and if that's low enough, no microbes will be able to grow in your sauce. Some more thoughts:
The only ingredient you add that really contains water is the agave syrup, so I expect the final product to be at least similarly long lasting than the agave syrup you use, at least in terms of 'spoilage' (the water activity tells you nothing about product deterioration through oxidation or sugar crystallization). The salt you add also helps to increase shelf life. I doubt that you need to add more things to make it stable. More crucial might be the way you process it (Do you heat or cook it during processing? Is it kept in airtight jars?).
Thank you for your comments. I was with the same thinking that the shelf life should be along the same line as the agave I was using.
I am melting the chocolate and then putting it in airtight jars. I saw something about heating the jars in an oven for a certain amount of time to really clean them. Is that suggested? Also if I am putting hot chocolate/agave mixture into a jar and sealing immediately, won't condensation occur?
Thank you for your advice and suggestions.