How to make chocolate fondue flow smoothly in a fountain

Temper chocolate so that it runs smoothly in a fountain

After attending hundreds of weddings, we finally discovered several “tricks” to make fountain chocolate flow smoothly and look great. These work whether you are using a homemade type chocolate fountain or a larger commercial fountain at a catering event.

The first thing you should do is have the right kind of chocolate. Although it’s said in a pinch that you can use chocolate chips, they don’t really work any better. Chocolate made for fountains will have a lower melting temperature and will flow smoothly. In a pinch, I recommend using the chocolate “almond bark” found in most grocery stores in the baking section. To use this type of chocolate you must add a little more oil than normal, but it will work well and the taste is quite good.

Second, the way the chocolate is melted is essential so that it does not burn. We started the melting process using the microwave at 50% power for about 2 minutes. Stop and stir. Repeat for another 2 minutes. We hardly ever exceed 50% power. It’s too much for chocolate. Also, white chocolate tends to burn more easily than milk or dark chocolate. The chocolate must be completely melted without lumps before adding it to the machine. A little oil (about ¼ cup) is then added at the end of the melting process.

Third, use a paper towel to apply cooking oil to all levels and the bowl. It only helps with the viscosity of the chocolate flowing down the sides of the machine. Mix the chocolate / oil mixture well and then for the entire bowl in the preheated pan (the fountain must be preheated!). Turn on the unit and let it flow for approx. 2 minutes.

Finally, turn the auger off for about a minute, allowing the melted chocolate to settle inside the machine and “burp” the air. This trick will make a big difference! If a burp doesn’t, burp again. It also helps to make sure the “feet” of the machine are level. You may need to adjust one or more feet to get flow right after you have done all of the above steps.

It almost goes without saying that you should invest in a quality font. We have tested several of the retail “home” models, and after a few events, the engines would stall or the auger pins would break. They are designed for occasional use (like once a year), not for caterers! Even the lowest priced professional models are great to start with, as they are designed for more intensive use. If you use a machine frequently, stainless steel is the way to go.

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