How can I reuse or recycle out of date chocolate?

We’ve had an email from Aimee:

Do you know if there is any use for out of date chocolate?

I guess it depends quite how out of date it is. Chocolate tends to have a “best before” date (rather than a “use by”) and it is often fine to eat for a good while after that. In my experience, cheap chocolate goes off – tastes funny and gets white spots – far quicker than better quality stuff, so if it was nice chocolate to start with, I would definitely try eating it.

If it is past the enjoyably-edible stage though, I’m not sure what I’d do with it. Chocolate-scented soaps or candles aren’t usually made with chocolate – they either use cocoa butter or a chocolate fragrance – so that’s not an option.

I personally wouldn’t want to compost it – it would compost but I’d worry about it attracting undesirable vermin to the heap in the meantime or would be snaffled by our dog who likes routing around in there (and smells delightful after doing so). Other people may compost it though – especially people with sealed bins and less greedy/nosey dogs.

Can you think of any reuses?

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15 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle out of date chocolate?”

  1. Bellen says:

    Cheap chocolate is just that – cheap, made with inferior ingredients and probably won’t be very good in another form. However, more expensive chocolate can be reused. The white spots indicate the chocolate has been exposed to warm/hot temps (usually in shipping or storing in the top of a kitchen cabinet and is the cocoa butter/fat melting out.

    So if not smelling off or rancid – the chocolate can be remelted, very gently in a double boiler and poured into molds, or dropped from a spoon to make chocolate chips, used in icing, poured on ice cream, combined with nuts and/or mini marshmallows to make candy. Without melting, the chocolate can just be chopped and used as chips. Warmed ever so slightly and using a sharp knife or potato peeler make chocolate curls for decorating cakes or ice cream.

    • Alice says:

      Yep, I went on a tour of a chocolate factory in Belgium (yum!) and they said exactly that. If the fat is proper cocoa butter and not a cheap substitute then the white bits just look a bit strange but shouldn’t affect the taste at all.

  2. Melinda says:

    I have used chunks of showing-its-age chocolate as an embedded surprise in chocolate puddings. I put it in when the pudding is hot, and no one is the wiser- or at least if they are, they aren’t complaining.

  3. I might add it to homemade hot chocolate or to my hot chocolate. If you break it into small chunks it might go good inside of crescent rolls. The rolls are good with chocolate chips inside and a bit of butter, why not older chocolate?

    Felicia Follum

  4. Alice says:

    Sounds like it may still be good for making chocolate cornflake cakes and the like

  5. Olia says:

    Grate it and add to hot milk for a yammy drink.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What if it is chocolate from 7 years ago?

  7. Medeea says:

    “Chocolate-scented soaps or candles aren’t usually made with chocolate – they either use cocoa butter or a chocolate fragrance – so that’s not an option.”
    Why is that not an option? Chocolate has just that: sugar and cocoa. In small doses has some butter (if any) and powder milk.
    I think would make very nice smelling candles. That’s what I would use it for.
    If not too old, even soap. Milk and butter? Good for skin!

  8. Tulip says:

    How come you did not eat it in a long time? Just wondering. In my house chocolate disappears fast.

  9. E.A. says:

    I have a lot of Nestles milk chocolate that is a yr. old or so. how can I get it to melt again and be able to pour into candy molds

  10. E.A. says:

    how can I get nestles milk chocolate that is over a yr. old to melt and be able to pour into a candy mold

    • Usall says:

      Hi E.A.
      Wish I’d seen your message last year but I’ve only just seen it so I hope you’ve got your answer by now. Anyway, someone else might find this useful. The best way to melt milk chocolate is to put it in a bowl over a pan of hot water (bain marie) and stir it. When well melted, scoop into your candy mold. Leave in a cool place to harden.

  11. Valeria says:

    Mix it with fresh chocolate and no one will know the difference. It’s not like it spoils, it’s just dries up a bit.

  12. Valeria says:

    Grate it and sprinkle over cereals, smoothies, ice cream.

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