What is the proper way to store chocolate?
Do you offer factory tours to the public?
Are there any additives or preservatives in Guittard chocolates?
Are your chocolates kosher?
Do your chocolate products contain nuts?
Are your chocolates made in a peanut-free environment?
Are your chocolate products gluten-free?
Are your dark chocolates (i.e. semisweet, bittersweet) dairy-free?
Is an emulsifier, such as soya lecithin, an animal product?
Is there caffeine in white chocolate?
Should Guittard syrups be refrigerated after opening?
What is the shelf-life of your chocolate products?
What is "bloom" on chocolate, and is it still possible to use the chocolate?
What do the percentages on packages of chocolate mean?
What are the cacao percentages in Guittard's milk chocolate and semisweet baking chips?
Do Guittard chocolates work well in chocolate fountains?
Which chocolates are best for melting and dipping, like for truffles or pretzels?
Which Guittard chocolates are best for moulding?
I need help working with chocolate in a particular application. Can you help?
Q: What is the proper way to store chocolate?
A: Chocolate is best stored at cool room temperatures (60-70°F), well wrapped to keep moisture out, and away from highly scented foods or aromatic products that might be absorbed by the chocolate. Chocolate is a stable product that does not require refrigeration. Ideally, it should not be refrigerated as this will change the appearance of the chocolate. Specifically, the condensation that forms when it is taken from the refrigerator will cause sugar bloom on the chocolate’s surface. (top of page)
Q: Do you offer factory tours to the public?
A: Guittard does not offer any factory tours to the public at this time. (top of page)
Q: Are there any additives or preservatives in Guittard chocolates?
A: No, pure chocolate needs no additives or preservatives, so we do not use any. (top of page)
Q: Are your chocolates kosher?
A: Yes, all of our chocolates are kosher. (top of page)
Q: Do your chocolate products contain nuts?
A: While our facility is peanut-free, almonds
are used in some chocolate products made at Guittard. Click here to view our comprehensive statement about the use of
almonds at Guittard. (top of page)
Q: Are your chocolates made in a peanut-free environment?
A: Yes, Guittard Chocolate Company is peanut-free. (top of page)
Q: Are your chocolate products gluten-free?
A: Our products and our processing are gluten free. (top of page)
Q: Are your dark chocolates (i.e. semisweet, bittersweet) dairy-free?
A: Although milk is not an added ingredient in our dark chocolates, they are processed on equipment that is also used to process milk chocolate. (top of page)
Q: Is an emulsifier, such as soya lecithin, an animal product?
A: The emulsiers in our products are derived from only vegetable sources. (top of page)
Q: Is there caffeine in white chocolate?
A: Analytically, there is no caffeine in white chocolate. Caffeine is water-soluble and is not carried with the cocoa butter that is used in making white chocolate. (top of page)
Q: Should Guittard syrups be refrigerated after opening?
A: No, they do not require refrigeration. They store better at room temperature than in the refrigerator, even with a wide range of room temperatures. The syrups are best consumed within 12 months of purchase. (top of page)
Q: What is the shelf-life of your chocolate products?
A: The shelf life of chocolates depends on the conditions under which they are stored. The usual shelf life of milk chocolates is nine to twelve months. The shelf life of dark chocolates is generally twelve to eighteen months. For best results, store chocolates in a place that is dry, 68ºF and free of any other odors. (top of page)
Q: What is "bloom" on chocolate, and is it still possible to use the chocolate?
A: "Bloom" is cocoa butter from within the chocolate that rises to the surface when the chocolate is exposed to warm temperatures and then cooled. While unappetizing to look at, it is completely safe and will disappear when the chocolate is melted. (top of page)
Q: What do the percentages on packages of chocolate mean?
A: When you see a number such as 64% Cacao on a dark chocolate bar, this means that 64% of what is in that bar comes from the cocoa bean as chocolate liquor and added cocoa butter. The remaining 36% is mainly sugar. The higher the percentage on the package, the more chocolate there is in the product. (top of page)
Q: What are the cacao percentages in Guittard's milk chocolate and semisweet baking chips?
A: The milk chocolate and semisweet baking chips are 30% minimum cacao and 43% minimum cacao respectively.
(top of page)
Q: Do Guittard chocolate products work well in chocolate fountains?
A: Yes, all Guittard chocolates can work. There are a number of fountains available now, costing from $40 to as much as $3,000 with a lot of variety, which makes it difficult to offer the perfect solution for all machines. That said, from what we've been told, E. Guittard couverture chocolates are tops for both workability and flavor. Heated to 115°F and added to a pre-heated fountain, these chocolates work well as is no oil is needed. Fountains can run for 3 hours, or as many as 6-7 hours, at a time, provided ventilation holes remain open at all times. Guittard high grade A'peels and Melt 'n Mold chocolate compounds can also be used in chocolate fountains. They seem to need about a cup of added oil (any oil) per 5 pounds of chocolate. However, some fountain customers can use A'peels and Melt 'n Mold without adding oil. Baking chips are made to hold their shape in baking applications, such as cookies, so they have a higher viscosity and are therefore less appropriate for use in chocolate fountains. However, they can work. They seem to need about 1 cup of oil (any oil) added per 5 pounds to flow better. (top of page)
Q: Which chocolates are best for melting and dipping, like for truffles or pretzels?
A: Baking chips are formulated with just the right amount of cocoa butter to make a nice shape and a nice finished cookie but not enough to flow easily for candy making. That's why we make other chocolates for that purpose, such as couverture chocolate. Please see "How to Temper Chocolate" in the Chocolate Chemistry section of our web site, under Learn. You can find our 1 lb E. Guittard Couverture Chocolate Wafers in select stores or online at www.eguittard.com. If, after reading about tempering, you don't think you're ready for that, you may want to try our A'peels products. They can be found online at www.chocosphere.com. The handling is easier but some attention to temperature of melting is still required. With gentle heat, as over a double boiler with below-simmering water, melt them to 110°F and then coat the items and cool them under a fan in a cool room 60°-70°F. A microwave oven can also be used for melting the A'peels products when handled in a microwave proof container on half power with 30 second intervals of heating and stirring. (top of page)
Q: Which Guittard chocolates are best for moulding?
A: We recommend E. Guittard couverture chocolate wafers for moulding applications. It’s necessary to temper chocolate before moulding it. If you’d like assistance with this, please refer to our page on Tempering. E. Guittard chocolate wafers are sold at gourmet markets, specialty food stores and online (eguittard.com) in a variety of types (semisweet, bittersweet, milk, white) in 1 lb boxes. (top of page)
Q: I need help working with chocolate in a particular application. Can you help?
A: Yes, we can. Please refer to Previous Q & As or Ask the Chef. (top of page)