Sunday, December 26, 2010

Chocolate Fountain Ideas and Tips

We got together with Jon's family on the 26th for a family Christmas gathering.  The group was made up of four teenagers so I wanted something that would be fun for them -- not as in "Children's Table" fun, but almost grown up fun.  I bought a very inexpensive chocolate fountain at the cooking store and saw their faces light up with smiles at the thought!
How decadent, fun and unusual!
I was skeptical -- but very pleased with the results!  VERY PLEASED.

I looked into renting a model.  But, the more I learned, the more I realized that renting a professional model for 10 people was a bit over-the-top.  I found this model at Kitchen Collection at the Concord Mall for $30.  It worked perfectly and only used 24 oz of chocolate.  (Professional Models use much, much more chocolate).  As it was -- the 24 oz of chocolate was more than plenty.  We could have had 50 people and had enough chocolate.
Here is the fountain in operation.  It smelled heavenly.  We used Lindt milk chocolate and it was heavenly.  Depending on the quality of the chocolate, various amounts of oil need to be added to keep the chocolate in a liquid state.  For our 24 oz, we needed 3/4 cup of oil.
Ashley and Allie took care of the whole operation.  They washed the model, set it up, melted the chocolate, filled the fountain and created trays of "dippers".
This model instructed us to melt the chocolate and then add it to the fountain.  We had to follow the rules about keeping all parts and any tools completely dry -- or else the chocolate would seize.
We heated up the unit 3 - 5 minutes ahead of time and then added the liquid gold!

It immediately pumped through the fountain and looked beautiful.

Here are the dippers we offered and their responses:

Good:
Cookies
Tiny cubes of Rice Krispie Treats

Better:
Orange slices
Kiwi slices
Starfruit

Best:
Marshmallows
Gummy Bears

Other dippers that we didn't offer, but may in the future:
Pretzels, French Bread cubes, ice cream balls (forgot these in the freezer, oops!) Strawberries, blueberries, pound cake,

Things to Note:

  • The fountain needed to be on a level surface -- this was not a problem for us.  It had adjustable feet if needed.  
  • The fountain was messy.  Or more accurately, the fountain users were messy.  Most of us dripped chocolate either on ourselves or on the floor.  This could be resolved  by keeping a stack of plates or napkins by the fountain along with a note to warn chocolate lovers.  It wasn't a big deal -- just something to plan for. 
  • Keep some kind of food picks (the fondue kind, not toothpicks) handy so that fountain users can poke their foods and keep them secured during dipping.
  • We placed the fountain on a counter which was a "high counter".  I would suggest keeping it at a high height and not a low table.  This made for easy access.
  • The fountain is out in the open and might not be the best plan during flu season for obvious reasons.

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