Chocolate Glossary

Chocolate Glossary – Commonly Used Chocolate Terminology

Chocolate Bloom

There are two types of bloom:

Fat Bloom
This type of bloom occurs when the fat in the coating, or center, migrates to the surface of the solidified coating. Once it reaches the surface, it re-solidifies giving off a grayish appearance.

Sugar/Moisture Bloom
This type of bloom occurs when the surface of a coating gets moisture on it. The sugars in the coating dissolve in the moisture. As the moisture evaporates, the sugar crystallizes on the surface of the solid coating.

What causes bloom?

Fat bloom can be caused by several factors:

Temperature fluctuations can cause the fat to start to melt, the liquid fat moves easily to the surface.

Improper cooling can also cause bloom. As the coating solidifies slowly, portions of the fat stay in the liquid form longer and have the time to move to the surface.

Not properly melting the coating before you use it can contribute to fat bloom.

Sugar bloom is caused by moisture on the surface of the coating. Allowing the coating to get very cold as it sets and then putting it into a warm environment can cause condensation to form on the surface.

Improper storage can lead to both types of bloom.

To identify whether your product has fat bloom or sugar bloom you can warm the surface of the coating by gently rubbing your finger across it, or using a warm hair dryer. When the surface is heated, if the grayish appearance goes away, you have fat bloom. If the grayish appearance does not go away, it is sugar bloom.

Does bloom ruin the product?

Fat bloom does not look nice, but it does not harm the eating quality of the product.

Sugar bloom does not harm the eating quality of the product, but adding water to the coating can affect the viscosity of the coating which may make it difficult to work with.

How do you get rid of bloom?

You can get rid of fat bloom by re-melting the product, reforming it, and then using proper application and cooling temperatures.

Sugar bloom is harder to get rid of because you need to eliminate the excess moisture from the product.


Tempering (chocolate with cocoa butter only)
A process of delicately heating, cooling and reheating melted chocolate so that it will solidify in a stable crystal form. Proper tempering, when followed by proper cooling, provides shine and good eating properties. The temperatures involved are between 85° and 105°, and need to be precise as different cocoa butters behave differently when they melt. A well – tempered chocolate will break cleanly, and be free of graininess.


A unit of measurement of liquid chocolate pertaining to its ability to flow


Chocolate Liquor
This is the thick, dark brown liquid that results from pressing roasted cocoa beans. It is the true chocolate “essence”.


Cocoa Bean
The fruit of the cacao tree that is harvested to make chocolate. The inner nib is used to produce chocolate liquor.


Cocoa Butter
A vegetable fat found in the inner nib of the cocoa bean. Its distinctive melting quality is what gives chocolate its unique texture.


Cocoa Powder
The dried portion of the nib of the cocoa bean that is left after the liquor has been extracted. There are two types of powder: a milder Dutch processed product or a more bitter, dark version.


A thin, rich coating made with real chocolate and cream that is heated, cooled slightly and poured over a cake. When it cools, it becomes a hard shell.


A term used when melted chocolate becomes lumpy and stiff. It occurs when too much liquid comes into contact with chocolate during heating or when the chocolate itself is overheated.