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Especially around the holidays, it usually seems more efficient to build up a selection of projects in need of some finishing steps (usually chocolate dipping). What steps should one take to ensure that undipped centers are stored safely for a few days? Would an oven (off, obviously) be a decent place to store things out of the way?

EDIT: Specific examples:

  • Ganache (hand-rolled)
  • Ganache (slabbed)
  • Candied citrus peels
  • Unwrapped caramels
  • etc
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Could you be more specific about what you need to store? Are we talking candied orange peel, pretzels or strawberries here? –  KatieK Dec 19 '12 at 4:00
    
Edited with specific examples –  Computerish Dec 19 '12 at 4:04
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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The best storage depends on the particular confection:

Refrigerate (in a sealed container to not pick up orders or absorb water):

  • Ganache
  • Soft caramel

Cool dry storage, again in an air-tight container to minimize changes in moisture level:

  • Candied citrus peal
  • Nuts - Dry storage
  • Marzipan
  • Raisins and other dry fruits
  • Fondant
  • Hard caramel or toffee

Ovens without pilot lights probably qualify as cool dry storage, and will keep the pets out if you have any, but accidents happen. I would use a cabinet or pantry if you have room.

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I wouldn't use an oven. Even when you clean your oven regularly, some drippings tend to accumulate around the oven in places you can't reach (or to connect to the walls as polymerized oils, practically impossible to strip) and get rancid, stale and burned. Every oven I have encountered has a faint stale+roasted/crisped smell. When you bake something in the oven, its own roasting smell overpowers the oven smell and nothing bad happens. But if you store chocolate or sweets, they can absorb some of the smell. Also, it can happen that somebody trying to do something good in the pre-holiday chaos gets into the kitchen and turns on the oven for preheating without opening it and noticing that there is chocolate inside.

I would store everything in the pantry, or, lacking space, inside a cabinet. If this is unavailable too, on top of a cabinet, or in another room (preferably not very warm - basement or attic would be good, if not humid) would be good. Ganache and chocolate do best in the 15°C - 20°C range, although they can tolerate more or less than that. Of course, packaging them is best, to prevent moisture and dust from ruining them. If you are storing them in a room colder than the kitchen, let them cool to the storage room's temperature before creating an air-tight seal, else moisture from the warm air inside the container can condense on the surface of the centers.

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I would just use a food-storage container for all of those (and separate with wax or parchment paper so they don't stick together).

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