This post contains affiliate links.
Chocolate Bark is a crowd favorite during the holidays. You’ve probably received it as a gift from a friend or family member. You may have even made it to give to others in a gift basket. I usually have a collection of goodies and treats on my kitchen counter by Christmas time and if you’re anything like me, you might be wondering how long chocolate bark will stay fresh. Keep reading this article to find out.
Homemade chocolate Bark will stay fresh for up to 5 days in an airtight container at a cool room temperature. In order to keep the quality of the chocolate, it is not recommended to store it in the fridge or freezer. If you do store it with either of these methods, it could affect the taste and texture of the chocolate bark. If you decide to do so, it will last 2 to 3 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge and it will last up to 6 months in a freezer-safe bag in the freezer.
To learn more about storing homemade chocolate bark and how you can tell it has gone bad, continue reading.
How do you store homemade chocolate bark?
To keep the quality of homemade chocolate bark, the best way to store it is in an airtight container at a cool room temperature. Use a plastic or glass container with a lid that fits the container tightly. With this method, it will stay fresh for up to 5 days.
Storing chocolate bark in the fridge or freezer is not recommended because it could affect the quality of the taste and texture. If you do decide to store it in the fridge, make sure you use an airtight container. The chocolate bark will be edible for 2 to 3 weeks with this method.
To keep the chocolate bark for up to 6 months at the best quality, store it in the freezer in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food that is stored constantly at 0 degrees Fahrenheit will always be safe. Make sure you check the quality of the chocolate bark before you serve it to others or eat it.
Does chocolate bark expire?
Chocolate bark will be the best quality for at least 5 days in a cool room in an airtight container. Food science blogger, Julie Mal says it depends on the ingredients in the chocolate bark such as dried fruit, nuts, and peppermint candy. Dried fruit keeps for a long time as long as it’s in a dry place.
If it’s stored in a moist place, the fruit could get moist causing it to go bad quicker. If the chocolate bark has nuts in it, the nuts could oxidize if it is exposed to air. It’s best to keep chocolate bark with nuts in an airtight container. Peppermint candy can last for a long time, up to 12 months.
Can you freeze homemade chocolate bark?
You can freeze homemade chocolate bark. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you can freeze any food as long as it stays at 0 degrees Fahrenheit constantly. Freezing chocolate bark at this temperature keeps it safe by slowing down the movement of the molecules which causes microbes to go into a dormant phase. It also inactivates any bacteria, yeast, and mold that may be present.
Freezing keeps food safe by preventing the growth of microorganisms that cause food spoilage and food-borne illness. Some foods don’t freeze well and it depends on what kind of ingredients you use in the chocolate bark. Keep in mind once you thaw the chocolate, microbes can become active and they will grow at the same rate as fresh food.
Although you can safely freeze homemade chocolate bark, that doesn’t mean you will be happy with the quality after you have defrosted it. Freezer burn can cause dry spots, but it doesn’t make the chocolate unsafe. It’s caused by air coming in contact with the chocolate and will cause greyish-brown or white spots. Cutaway freezer burnt spots, but sometimes the quality of freezer burnt food can be poor so it’s best to throw it away.
The freshness and quality of the chocolate at the time of freezing will also affect the freshness of the chocolate when it thaws. If you freeze the chocolate when it’s fresh, the chances are higher that it will defrost with better quality. Freeze the chocolate you won’t use right away sooner than later.
Can you get sick from eating old chocolate?
Although it is a possibility, you are unlikely to get sick from expired chocolate. This is especially true if it hasn’t been long since its expiration date and it has been stored in a cool, dry place. Chocolate can oxidize causing a whitish appearance on the outside, but the chocolate won’t be unsafe unless it’s been a prolonged period of time. The chocolate’s taste and texture could be less appealing if it has expired.
How Can You Tell if Chocolate Bark Has Gone Bad?
You can tell if chocolate bark has gone bad by the appearance, texture, and smell. The best way is to first smell the chocolate and then taste it. If the chocolate has condensation, has an odor, or is freezer burnt, it’s best to throw it out. If the chocolate looks fine but has an off-putting taste, stop eating it and discard it.
What Does Peppermint Bark Taste Like?
Peppermint bark should taste like it has the right balance of chocolate and peppermint. The chocolate itself has a smooth and creamy texture. The taste will be different depending on if you use peppermint extract and candy cans or walnuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, and dried fruit. If you use peppermint extract and candy canes, the peppermint should be subtle and blend well with the chocolate, but it should not be overpowering. If you use nuts and dried fruit, it should have the right balance of sweet, salty, and crunchy.