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Chocolate

Buying

The idea of chocolate going to waste, while some may think it crazy, at peak times of the year many households are inundated with choccie goodies. At Easter, Christmas and Halloween things can get a little out of hand.

Storing

Most milk chocolate has a shelf life of about 1 year. Most dark chocolate has a shelf life of about 2 years. White chocolate may only keep for about 4 months. It is best to store chocolate in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight and any moisture.

Freezing

It’s best not to keep chocolate in the fridge or freezer but if you have to do so, make sure it’s kept air-tight (perhaps in a zip-lock bag) to avoid ‘sugar bloom’ which is caused by moisture. Bring the chocolate to freezing as slowly as possible and thaw it as slowly as possible in order to minimise condensation and changes to texture.

Freezer life

Up to 1 year

Using up

Rocky road (chocolate biscuit cake) is one easy way to use up a mish mash of chocolate pieces. Plus, there’s no real need to follow a recipe. Just melt whatever chocolate you have with approximately half its weight in butter and a good dollop of golden syrup. Combine this mix with broken biscuits, nuts, dried fruits, breakfast cereal, even opened packets of pretzels! Spoon into a tin lined with greaseproof paper. Flatten the mixture. Refrigerate until it has set and cut into squares of chocolate biscuit cake.

Other ways to use up bits of chocolate include: homemade hot chocolate (scald milk and pour over the chocolate pieces in a mug), make good old rice crispy buns or cornflake cakes, melt on pancakes, enjoy a chocolate fondue, or use the pieces as chocolate chunks in homemade cookies. The great thing about cookie dough is that it can be frozen. If you’re all chocced out, whip up a batch of cookie dough and freeze it for up to 6 months.

Good to know!

It is perfectly acceptable to re-gift chocolate as long as it’s not past its best before date.

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