Canning/Chocolate Question- Help!
Hello fellow Hounds!
I have a quick question for all you talented canners out there.
I've manged to make a beautiful Chocolate Peanut sundae Sauce and intend to give jars of it away as christmas gifts. Can I Can chocolate like I normally do my preserves? (In the boiling water?) and how long would I need to heat it to keep it shelf stable??
Thanks in Advance!
P.S. I should probaly mention that there's half and half in the sauce... would that make a difference in how it's canned?
I 'googled' this an found a fascinating discussion that seemed to centre around the issue of PH balance in the sauce and referred to an Epicurious recipe that can be canned. But it did sound like the downside of getting it wrong is botulism so I don't feel secure giving you advice. Maybe you could check out the links yourself and figure out if your recipe is on the right side of this debate? I just typed in 'canning chocolate sauce' and it was the first link that came up...
I researched this a few years ago for a similar reason, and concluded that it was best to can the sauce like normal, and then tell my recipients to keep it in the fridge or freezer (it lasts for a long time in the freezer, and defrosts easily).
No, water bath processing would not make the product shelf stable. It would make the top seal and you'd get that satisfying little "ping" when the vacuum pulled the top down tight, but the chocolate sauce doesn't have the high acid or sugar content necessary to qualify it for the water bath canning method.
You would have to use the pressure canning method. I have no idea how you would determine the time for processing your sauce or even if it would survive being heated for long enough to be "canned" successfully under pressure. It might separate or become otherwise less attractive than it is now. Professionally processed sauces are the result of long trial and error through product development and also commercial processes which are different than home canning methods.
You're probably best off giving your gifts as perishable products that require refrigeration and are clearly marked as such.