Warm, silken chocolate, flowing and cascading like a river over rounded tiers. Chunks of fruit dipped into the chocolate and eaten with abandon. Sounds like a great dream, huh ? It’s no dream. That scenario is being played out at wedding receptions and gatherings of all types, worldwide. A relatively new phenomenon, Chocolate Fountains have arrived on the culinary landscape in a big way.
So, what is a chocolate fountain ? Essentially, it is a mechanical fountain designed for use as a Fondue( to melt ). Chocolate flows continuously from a reservoir in the bottom of the fountain, over round tiers, or ‘levels’, then back into the reservoir again. Most chocolate fountains are constructed of stainless steel and last for approximately ten years. They have a heating element inside which is used to keep the chocolate warm, enabling it to flow smoothly over the tiers. Usually, Block- Chocolate is melted before being placed in the reservoir of the fountain, because the low- wattage heating element in the fountain would take a long time to melt the chocolate.
A special type of chocolate is recommended for use in chocolate fountains. This is called Coverture Chocolate, which is chocolate containing extra cocoa butter ( 32 % – 39 % ). The higher the percentage of cocoa butter in the chocolate, the creamier the consistency. The extra cocoa butter also adds a smooth, mellow flavor and helps to make the melted chocolate flow easily. Usually, a small ( 24 – 27 inch ) chocolate fountain would use about ten pounds of Coverture Chocolate, to feed approximately 100 people. Although Milk Chocolate is the most commonly used chocolate in chocolate fountains, the use of dark and white chocolates is also practiced.
How do You eat the chocolate ? Fruit, Marshmallows, Pretzels and virtually anything that would taste good coated with chocolate are usually skewered and dipped into the flowing chocolate. Try to avoid dipping crumbly foods into the chocolate. Some of the more popular items used for dipping into chocolate fountains are..Strawberries, Pretzels, Biscotti, Grapes, Cherries, Marshmallows and Pineapple. When renting a chocolate fountain, sometimes the rental company provides the food (If they have a food license), or, depending on the location, sometimes the Banquet Hall or Caterer will provide the food.
Chocolate fountains are sturdy products, small models weigh approximately 40 pounds, while many large models weigh over 100 pounds. Because of Insects and weather variants, use of chocolate fountains outdoors is not recommended. Most chocolate fountains use a standard, three- prong, grounded, 120 volt outlet.
Whether it be a wedding, Bar or Bat Mitzvah, Birthday party, Anniversary party or Corporate event, if there is a chocolate fountain present, guests will be amazed and delighted.