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I regularly buy Ghirardelli double chocolate chips. Most of the time they have a complex and delicious flavor. But sometimes the texture is harder and they have lost the complex/delicious flavor.

I don't want to use them for baking. Is there anything you can do to restore chocolate? For instance, I'm wondering if I could warm them up to near the melting point to restore the flavor?

I suspect they are ruined when they are exposed to high temperatures - as when I've had a high quality chocolate bar (or chips) melt - a similar thing happens. Cold temperatures (below freezing) also seem to be bad.

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    How long are you storing the chocolate for? Also, are you sure the chocolate you are getting is genuine, there's a market in counterfeit brands. – GdD May 15 '18 at 8:14
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    This often happens with newly purchased chocolate chips from the grocery store. It also seems to happen more in the summer. Microwaving didn't work. It's possible also that Ghirardelli has quality control issues, but I think it is more likely that they get exposed to heat during transport that is perfectly fine for regular groceries (other than produce and frozen items) - but is bad for chocolate. It is also possible that they were exposed to air for several days or longer. In my experience, that also greatly weakens the flavor. – Aaron Kreider May 15 '18 at 19:09
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    Too lazy to write a proper answer, but here's an interesting link which might explain what happens. Chocolate is actually very complex: chocolatetemperingmachines.com/pages/… – JohnEye May 15 '18 at 21:40
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It sounds like Chocolate bloom

My guess would be that when you observe this after cold storage, it is sugar bloom due to condensation cycling in your freezer & likely fat bloom when exposed to heat, though it could be both.

The chocolate should be salvageable by melting in a double boiler.

Further Explained from wikwpedia:

"Chocolate bloom is either of two types of whitish coating that can appear on the surface of chocolate: sugar bloom... and fat bloom"

"Sugar bloom is caused by moisture. Condensation on to the surface of the chocolate or moisture in the chocolate coating causes the sugar to absorb the moisture and dissolve. When the moisture evaporates, the sugar forms larger crystals, leaving a dusty layer. It is caused by:

  • Storage of chocolates in damp conditions
  • Use of hygroscopic ingredients (low grade or brown sugars)
  • High-temperature storage conditions of chocolate-covered confectionery, where the centers have a high relative humidity and the water vapor given off is trapped in the wrappings

Fat bloom in chocolate is due to the cocoa butter which has separated toward the surface.2It is caused by:

  • Poor (incorrect or incomplete) tempering of the chocolate
  • Incorrect cooling methods, including covering cold centers
  • Warm storage conditions
  • The addition to chocolate of fats incompatible with cocoa butter

Chocolate Bloom

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