- Gary Hamill / Le Café Alain Ducasse
- Stop putting chocolate in the fridge, says three-Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse.
- As well as dozens of restaurants, Ducasse now owns 10 chocolate shops and a chocolate factory in the heart of Paris.
- He told us that chocolate should be kept between 15°C and 18°C (59°F – 64°F) in a dry place.
- The best temperature for consumption is around 20°C (68°F).
- If chocolate is kept in the fridge, water condenses and the chocolate whitens.
I always put my chocolate in the fridge.
I like the snap and crunch that the cold conditions facilitate.
It turns out I’ve been doing it all wrong, though, according to three-Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse who just opened a chocolate shop in London.
After opening more than 40 restaurants across seven countries and three continents, Ducasse decided to get in on the chocolate business.
Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse in London is the chef’s 10th chocolate outpost, including a factory in Paris where the goods are made.
Since I have no Michelin stars, no chocolate shops, and no chocolate factories, I decided to hear him out.
“Storing in the fridge should be avoided,” Monsieur Ducasse, who is one of only two chefs to hold 21 Michelin stars throughout his career, told me.
“Chocolate should be kept between 15°C and 18°C (59°F – 64°F) in a dry place,” he continued.
“The best temperature to enjoy it is approximately 20°C (68°F).
“Ganaches must be eaten within two or three weeks, pralinés within maximum three to four weeks, and bars can be eaten within a few months.”
- Pierre Monetta / Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse
Who knew there were so many rules?
Damien Couliou, Managing Director of Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse in London, explained why room temperature was optimum for chocolate consumption.
“If we go too cold,” Couiliou says, “water condenses and the chocolate whitens.
“If we go too hot (over 20°C), the chocolate melts and becomes soft.”
According to Couiliou, when condensing, water reacts on a microscopic level with the sugar contained in chocolate and crystallises on the surface, whitening the colour.
“The water condensing will not affect the flavour of the chocolate itself,” Couiliou stipulates; “It is more about the visual.”
So there you are – if you want your chocolate to remain the colour you bought it, keep it out of the fridge and in your cupboard, and make sure you consume within a month. That shouldn’t be too tricky.