Who doesn’t love a steaming cup of hot chocolate?
The creamy, rich drink made of chocolate, milk, and sugar can be mixed with vanilla or other fun extracts to create the most delicious beverage.
Unlike hot cocoa drink which is made of cocoa powder, hot chocolate is made of real chocolate. Finely chopped or shaved chocolate is melted to make a thick and creamy drink to treat your sophisticated palate.
According to Healthline, cocoa contains rich anti-oxidants, and its consumption has several health benefits such as better blood pressure and cholesterol levels, lower risk of heart and stroke, etc.
If you are a fitness enthusiast, you can get more benefits from your hot chocolate drink by using dark chocolate.
How Long Does Hot Chocolate Last? Does Hot Chocolate Go Bad?
Sadly, like all other products in the pantry, hot chocolate has a limited shelf life. It will go bad when you store it for a longer time than you should.
The texture of chocolate tends to remain the same, even after it has gone bad. So it may not be easy to determine if it has gone wrong.
Read on to know how long hot chocolate lasts.
If we are talking of a hot beverage already prepared with melted chocolate chips, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to three days.
A fresh drink made of powdered cocoa, on the other hand, will stay safe for consumption for up to five days in the refrigerator.
As for the chocolate bar or cocoa powder, the best before date on the cover will indicate its life span. You can relish the fresh taste and full flavor within this time.
Although it can still be fit for consumption six months after the best before date, the quality of your drink will not be the same.
Generally, hot chocolate lasts for a year, but other factors can determine how long it will last.
You can extend its shelf life by following proper storage techniques such as storing it under suitable temperature and airtight conditions.
Once you have opened the cover, you need to take precautions so that the chocolate bar or powder does not get oxidized.
Using a wet spoon to scoop out your chocolate powder will increase its chances of going bad. Always use a clean knife to avoid any contamination.
Wrap your chocolate bar tightly and store it in an airtight container after each use before you place it in the fridge.
And when you take it out, allow it to warm to room temperature before unwrapping it.
How to Tell if Hot Chocolate is Bad?
You can do your best to preserve and prolong the shelf life of your hot chocolate. But it will eventually go bad after some time.
Here are the signs you can look out for to tell if it has gone bad.
Hot chocolate will no longer taste like hot chocolate! If it tastes weird or unbearably bitter, it is a sign that your hot chocolate has gone bad. A spoilt chocolate bar will taste rancid.
Loss of fragrant smell
When hot chocolate is in good condition, it will have a fresh and fragrant cocoa smell. However, if it goes bad, it will lose its aroma. It will no longer taste fresh or have a delightful flavor.
The rich brown fades into a lighter color. White or grey hue may look unappetizing and indicate chocolate fat bloom. These are signs of hot chocolate getting spoilt.
Formation of lumps
Due to contact with moisture, cocoa powder can turn lumpy. Do not use hot chocolate if it is lumpy as it signals contamination, which can lead to poisoning.
After the best before date, you can still consume chocolate. But if it has gone through temperature changes, it may be unfit for consumption.
When chocolate melts and cools, condensation forms, which may pave the way for bacterial contamination.
You should stop consuming hot chocolate if you notice the above signs, as it may be injurious to your health.
Hot chocolate is delicious, healthy, and fun. You can enjoy it by using cocoa powder or shredded pieces of your favorite chocolate bar.
You can adjust the sweetness or bitterness of the chocolate too.
Whether it is a cocoa powder or shaved chocolate bar, a hot drink out of these wonder beans has plenty of health benefits.
If your hot chocolate is well past its best by date and you are worried that it will go bad, you can find plenty of exciting recipes on the internet that you can try.
Using hot chocolate within six months from its best before date will ensure that you get the maximum taste out of your drink without risking your health.