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SweetandSnappyJen

Storing filled chocolates in the freezer

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Hi folks - I can't believe my luck with this group of chocolatier-ing experts!  What an amazing community of knowledge. And speaking of knowledge, I'm going to toss out another inquiry. I've looked through the threads, and found this one to be very useful. I was wondering if anyone has any more recent experience with freezing their goods. My filled chocolates are generally being sold by the box, and it's the very early stages of my business, so the sales are not yet consistent. I was thinking that it would work to freeze by the box (mainly boxes of 5), putting some filler in the box to compensate for the extra room, then wrapping each box in a Ziploc, sucking the air out of the Ziploc (the old fashioned way, not with a vacuum sealer) and then putting each of those boxes in 2 gallon Ziplocs so that i can just pull one out as needed. I'm trying to avoid the vacuum sealer, and I'd like to figure out a way to do this so that I don't have to pull a whole container out of the freezer just to retrieve a few chocolates. Thanks in advance for the advice!

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I still use the method developed from the thread to which you linked and do more or less what you said you might do. I don't find Ziplocs or similar bags offer a very reliable seal in the freezer. If you can get the air out of the bag, that is an advantage, but reviews of hand-held vacuum sealers (does Ziploc still make one?) have been mixed at best. I got a big impulse sealer (16" wide) and bags to hold the three sizes of boxes I use, and I seal each bag individually with a double seal. I put the bags in the refrigerator for a day, then into the freezer. When I take them out to deliver to vendors or sell directly to customers, I move them from freezer to fridge for a day or so, then deliver them still sealed. Vendors all have coolers into which they put the chocolates for sale, and I provide (free) one box they can leave out on the counter (covered in plastic wrap) to entice customers. I enclose an easily visible note on each box that suggests the buyer let the chocolates come to room temp before cutting open the bag. So far, to the best of my knowledge, this has worked without fail--no spoilage, no sweating from humidity. It's a compromise for sure, but I don't see how real vacuum-sealing would work for my boxes (though if you read Greweling and others, they discuss doing so).

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10 minutes ago, SweetandSnappyJen said:

Thanks, @jimd! Are the bags that you use re-usable?

Not completely sure what you mean. The bags go to the customer (still sealed), so they are not reusable by me. I suppose they can be used again by the buyer, depending how they open them. But these are sous vide bags and have no closure of their own (unlike a Ziploc bag, for example) and therefore would have a limited use without a heat sealer. I also use them to seal ingredients for freezer storage when those ingredients are in containers unsuitable for my vacuum sealer--for instance, kilo containers of fruit purée or nut paste. With the air still in the bag when I seal it, the purées acquire a minimal amount of ice crystals, but far less than if they have no protection. Leftover ganaches I vacuum seal, and they are like freshly made when I take them out of the freezer. The vacuum bags I reuse because they are considerably more expensive than the sous vide bags. Let me know if that's not what you meant.

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Vacuuming seems to be a big task :(  

 

What if one puts the chocolates in Refrigerator in simple dishes? Does it decrease the shelf life or are there other problems? Asking because I just store it outside in plastic containers or in dishes in a refrigerator. I've observed "Sweating due to Humidity" but that usually lasts for few hours only as here the weather is pretty dry.  

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when the chocolates get moisture on them from being cold and coming out of the freezer, the moisture will cause the sugar in the chocolate to dissolve into the water, then when the water has evaporated you'll be left with sugar bloom, a white blotchy coating that looks unappealing and changes the texture on the outside of the chocolate. It isn't a problem to eat (it's just sugar) but it's not a great look when you've work so hard to make your chocolates!

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You can freeze chocolates to stop them ageing. That is the benefit of storing by freezing. I have successfully used this technique for 10+ years without a single fail and it is recommended by commercial chocolatiers:

 

- Put your chocolates in a plastic container. Try and fill the container as full as possible and use a "low" lid height container to minimise the amount of air in the container after it is filled with chocolates. I use a container that is about twice the height of my moulded chocolates.

- Wrap it in gladwrap/plastic wrap. I do several layers. Press out the air as much as possible that the plastic wrap traps.

- Put in the fridge for 24 hours. This stops the chocolates being shocked when put in the freezer

- After 24 hours in the fridge, transfer to freezer.

- When you are ready to defrost, transfer to the fridge for 24 hours

- After 24 hours, take out of the fridge and let them stand for 24 hours at room temperature (still wrapped in gladwrap/plastic wrap)

- After standing at 24 hours, the chocolates can be unwrapped and used as normal

 

I have literally done 1000's of chocolates this way without a problem.

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4 hours ago, prashamk said:

What if I put it in a refrigerator and not freezer? Will it have same problem of "sweating"?

Yes, refrigerators are quite humid environments. Unless you seal the chocolates to keep that humidity out, you will almost certainly get what keychris described above. When I didn't know better, I took chocolates to a July 4 party. They were in (mostly) airtight containers and transported in a cooler. That was a particularly damp, drizzly, warm July day. When I removed them from the containers, it was only seconds before the air hit them and they lost their shine, acquiring a somewhat rough texture. To tell the truth, I don't think the people at the party really noticed all that much, but I certainly did. There aren't any shortcuts (that I know of) in making chocolates--you have to follow the rules--and the science. This is all explained in the books I recently recommended in the bonbon filling thread.

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Lets assume that I keep the chocolates in open in the refrigerator. What would happen if I take out some chocolates and put it in a zip lock bag or an air tight container for a couple of hours (or even longer) to bring the chocolates to room temperature? Will it still generate "Sweat" or not? Also considering that there will not be much air in the zip lock bag or a container, even if the "Sweat" is generated, will it be lower than if placed in open?

 

Please pardon me if I haven't explained my thoughts correctly. English isn't my first language and hence the trouble. 

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9 hours ago, prashamk said:

Lets assume that I keep the chocolates in open in the refrigerator. What would happen if I take out some chocolates and put it in a zip lock bag or an air tight container for a couple of hours (or even longer) to bring the chocolates to room temperature? Will it still generate "Sweat" or not? Also considering that there will not be much air in the zip lock bag or a container, even if the "Sweat" is generated, will it be lower than if placed in open?

 

Please pardon me if I haven't explained my thoughts correctly. English isn't my first language and hence the trouble. 

Yes it will. They need to be in the ziplock/airtight container before they go into the fridge/freezer.

 

 

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17 hours ago, keychris said:

@gap's description is almost word for word exactly how I do it when I need to 😁

 

No better way to build inventory before the hot weather in Melbourne!

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, SweetandSnappyJen said:

Hi - just reviving this topic for a freezer question-- has anyone attempted freezing the actual mold itself, vacuum sealed?  

Can't say that I have - the closest I've ever gotten is forgetting a mold in the freezer that was supposed to be there for 3 minutes to help it release. The chocolates were actually fabulously shiny after the frost disappeared. 

 

IMG_0125.thumb.jpg.f34179ba09e5b9d799bd758d7788115c.jpg

 

 

 

IMG_E0135.thumb.jpg.2fab284baf6f1ea04ffb1c30190296d2.jpg

 

 

You'd have to have an awful lot of molds in order for this process to be useful.  

 

 


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)

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30 minutes ago, SweetandSnappyJen said:

Hi - just reviving this topic for a freezer question-- has anyone attempted freezing the actual mold itself, vacuum sealed?  

 

I’ve frozen the whole mold, but not vacuum sealed, just wrapped in plastic. Works fine. 

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3 hours ago, SweetandSnappyJen said:

Hi - just reviving this topic for a freezer question-- has anyone attempted freezing the actual mold itself, vacuum sealed?  

 

If you care about your molds then don't do this: freezing causes the formation of microfractures in the plastic used for those molds, after some time those microfractures will propagate, causing cracks in the mold.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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