Chocolate Tips and Terms
Tips for Storing Your Chocolates
"Store them?" you ask, "I'm just going to eat them!" Yes, but if you need to store your chocolates, there are a few things you should know:
- DON'T REFRIGERATE! Chocolates absorb odors very easily. Also, excessive moisture in the fridge can cause sugar bloom, meaning the sugar rises to the surface, causing discoloration.
- Chocolates need a cool, dry place away from sunlight and strong odors. When chocolates are kept at a consistent temperature less than 70°F with humidity less than 55%, the cocoa solids and cocoa butter emulsion will stay stable for months. Solid milk chocolates will last nine months and dark chocolates will last for a year. Filled chocolates, such as truffles, will last about four months.
- If you need to keep chocolates for a longer period of time, we recommend freezing them in an airtight container. When you're ready to eat them, allow them to thaw inside the container before enjoying. Opening the container before they thaw will expose them to the air and cause them to bloom and/or perspire.
- Always eat chocolate at room temperature, especially truffles.
All-Natural - our chocolates are all-natural; no preservatives, no additives, no extenders - no junk, no kidding!
Allergens - our products may contain traces of peanuts, tree nuts, and milk products.
Baking Chocolates - milk, bittersweet, semi-sweet, and white chocolate sold in one-pound blocks for baking
Bitter/Unsweetened Chocolate - chocolate liquid cooled and molded into blocks
Bloom - a whitish-gray discoloration due to a temperature or humidity change
Buttercream - flavored mixture of butter, sugar, and eggs
Caramel - fresh Vermont cream, butter, sugar, and vanilla, slow cooked in copper kettles until it's thick and creamy
Chocolate Liquid/Liquor - the basic raw material of all chocolate products, it comes from ground nibs (nibs are the "meat" of the cocoa bean); also known as cocoa mass
Cocoa Beans - the source of all chocolate, cocoa beans are found in the pods (fruit) of the cocoa tree, an evergreen that grows primarily in the region twenty degrees north and south of the equator
Cocoa Butter - the yellowish-white vegetable fat that is removed from chocolate liquid under high pressure
Cocoa Powder - a general term for the portion of chocolate liquid that remains after most of the cocoa butter has been removed
Couverture - (pronounced koo-vehr-TYOOR) - a glossy, coating chocolate
Dark Chocolate - made by combining chocolate liquid, cocoa butter, and sweetener
Dutched Cocoa - cocoa powder which has been treated with alkali to neutralize the natural acids; it is darker in color and slightly different in flavor from regular cocoa
Feuilletine - a delicate, light, European cookie crunch
Ganache - (pronounced gahn-AHSH) - a blend of the finest Belgian chocolate, fresh Vermont cream, sweet butter, and inspired natural flavorings
Gianduja - (pronounced john-doo-yah) - a combination of hazelnut paste and milk chocolate couverture
Gluten - a protein found in wheat
Kosher - Jewish dietary laws pertaining to the preparation and handling of food products; most Lake Champlain Chocolates are Kosher
Milk Chocolate - made by combining chocolate liquid, extra cocoa butter, milk or cream, and sweetener
Nibs - the "meat" of the cocoa bean
Pistoles - milk, dark, or white chocolate chips specially formulated for tempering
Pralines - a blend of milk chocolate and hazelnut paste, also known as gianduja (pronounced john-doo-yah)
Semisweet and Sweet Chocolate - made by combining chocolate liquid with varying amounts of sweetener and added cocoa butter
Temper - the visible appearance of chocolate, which varies by cooking method; properly tempered chocolate will have a high-gloss sheen and clean snap when broken; the trick to tempering is to control the temperature of the melted chocolate very precisely, first cooling it and then reheating slightly
Truffles - velvety-smooth, incredibly flavorful ganache centers enrobed in chocolate
Unsweetened/Bitter Chocolate - chocolate liquid cooled and molded into blocks
Vegan - a term used to describe food that's free of any dairy or animal products; our dark chocolate products are vegan, but may contain traces of milk chocolate and milk proteins
White Chocolate - made by combining sugar, cocoa butter, milk solids, lecithin, and vanilla; not a true chocolate as it contains no chocolate liquor