Less than 24 hours after emailing Lake Champlain Chocolates to inquire about why the chocolate bar I purchased last week was a bit gray (see here) I received the wonderful and informative email below. This is definitely a brand/bar that I will try again! Email me if you’d like a taste. I’ll be bouncing off the walls if I eat the whole thing, and I need my neighbors to like me on Halloween.
Thank you for your email, and for your wonderful compliments on our chocolate! I know you said you did not need a refund, but I would be happy to send you a new (full-sized) hazelnut praline bar, or any other chocolate bar you would like, if you would prefer a different type (you can see them all here:http://www.lakechamplainchocolates.com/bars-hot-chocolate/signature-chocolate-bars/ ). I would hate for you to not taste our chocolate at its best!
In terms of what you saw on your chocolate, it is called “bloom,” and it can happen for two different reasons. Chocolate is created by adding cocoa cake (the dark, chocolaty stuff extracted from the cocoa nibs) to cocoa butter (the creamy stuff, also extracted from nibs, that can also be used in cosmetics.) To this mixture, we also add sugar, and any other flavor ingredients (such as hazelnut paste, for the square in question). The white powdery substance that can form on the top of chocolate (bloom) occurs when the sugar or fat starts to separate from the rest of the chocolate. This is usually caused by improper storing. For example, if you store chocolate in your fridge, the fluctuations in humidity can often cause bloom. expired domains . When chocolate gets very old, it also begins to bloom.
In addition, because of the way the fat is incorporated into the chocolate, and because nuts have a high amount of their own fat, nutty chocolates tend to bloom more, and dark chocolate with nuts most of all (since there is less fat in dark chocolate to balance out the nuts’ own fat). It is for this reason, for instance, that we don’t offer dark chocolate macadamia nut clusters, since they simply would bloom too quickly, and macadamia nuts have a highly variable fat content. Almonds, on the other hand, have a less variable fat content, which is why we can offer dark chocolate almond clusters and dark chocolate with almonds:http://www.lakechamplainchocolates.com/almond-caramel-chocolate.html
I hope this answers your question, but please feel free to email with anything further. I hope to see you in our factory for our tour the next time you are in the area!