So with my dessert co. I have been trying to produce a shelf stable chocolate/fudge sauce. I had an original recipe I had sent, that got OKed for shelf stability with a very safe Ph level and water activity. My problem now, is I will make the sauce, strain it, and do the hot fill method to jar my sauces. I find once my sauce has cooled and I open the jar, it is very grainy. At first I suspected it was sugar crystallizing but after a few more tests, and looking on the internet I am thinking it is that I add bittersweet 60% chocolate to the mix.
In my sauce I use: water, sugar, cocoa powder, kosher salt, vanilla extract, and bittersweet chocolate.
I am OK with removing the bittersweet chocolate and getting it re tested, I just was wondering if you all had any advice or thoughts if it made sense what was causing this graininess was in fact adding the bittersweet chocolate.
Also I have been searching high and low for how hot I can heat cocoa powder to and can't find any answers if anyone happened to know that as well.
Also on a side note with the sauce, I have to heat it to around 210 degrees to jar them safely, the sauce isn't lumpy when I heat it and I even strain it before jarring.
Will cutting out the bittersweet chocolate help fix my problem?