Chocolate = a Bunch of Stuff Mixed Together
Chocolate candy is a combination of ingredients that are processed together. They include pure chocolate from cacao beans, cocoa butter, cocoa solids, and sugar.
Chocolate Is Good for You? Yes, But...
Pure chocolate comes from cacao beans, making chocolate candy — in part — a plant food. Like many plant foods, chocolate can be good for your health. Researchers believe chocolate can be good for your heart and circulatory system (arteries and veins).
But you should eat only a small amount of chocolate because it's high in calories. Choose a dark chocolate that has been minimally processed to get the maximum health benefits.
How Do We Make Chocolate "Bloom"?
When chocolate heats and cools, some of the fat pushes out past the solid particles and forms into white crystals. This causes the light spots and streaks, which are known as chocolate bloom.
Chocolate experts say it's fine to eat chocolate that has bloomed. But to keep your chocolate from blooming, keep it in a cool, dry place at 60-75º F.
What you need:
- Chocolate candy (dark works best)
- A source of heat, such as a sunny windowsill
What to do:
- Heat your chocolate on a sunny windowsill, or in a microwave or low oven, until it starts to melt. (Chocolate melts fast. Get an adult's help if using an oven or microwave.) To check if it's melted, poke it.
- Let the chocolate cool overnight in the refrigerator.
- Melt again and refrigerate again.
- Repeat until you see light brown spots or streaks.
© Loralee Leavitt. Used with permission.
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Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: January 2011