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CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN ANSWERS

If you are planning a wedding, anniversary party, birthday party, bar mitzvah, or some other type of event, one of the best decisions you can make is to use a chocolate fountain. Designed to look like a tiered cake, the melted chocolate will flow from the top down, flowing smoothly into the reservoir. From there, guests can dip fresh pineapple, kiwi, strawberries, or orange slices along with pound or angel food cake into the hot, mouth-watering chocolate.

The chocolate fountain is made from two basic sections. First, you have the heater base and second the fountain unit. The heater base is what contains the holding basin. When turned on to preheat for about 15 minutes, the chocolate will begin to melt. Then the fountain unit is designed with an auger that takes the melted chocolate pushing it to the top where it begins to flow down the tiers, again falling into the basin where the process starts over again.

The key is to allow the chocolate about 45 minutes to completely, melt after the chocolate fountain has been set up. Again, once the chocolate has melted, the auger, which resembles a large corkscrew, will begin to rotate. As the chocolate reaches the top basin and begins to fill, the overflow effect begins. If you like, you can pre-melt the chocolate to speed things up. In this case, you can use the microwave, soak the plastic package of chocolate chips in a sink of hot water, or use the double-boiler method. Just be sure you stir the chocolate constantly or check it often to avoid burning or crystallizing.

The best part of the chocolate fountain is that you can use any type of chocolate. However, the type that works best is one that has a coating, known as couverture. This particular type of chocolate is better quality, containing as much as 39% cocoa butter. Not only will the chocolate flow better but it also has a much, richer taste. If you use regular white, semi-sweet, sweet, or dark chocolate, that too is fine but you want to add oil. In this case, you would add approximately one cup of canola or vegetable oil for every five pounds of chocolate. Again, the chocolate will flow better, is shinier, and has a creamier taste.

The nice thing about using a chocolate fountain is that once you have it set up, you can run the unit non-stop. All you have to do is add chocolate as needed. In addition to the recommended foods, keep your options open and be creative. For instance, other possibilities include biscotti, cookies, marshmallows, grapes, mint sticks, pretzel sticks, and so on. There are no limitations so beforehand you may need to sample a few things just to make sure the guests will be happy with your selection. It is a tough job but, hey some needs to get it done.

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