As a self-confessed chocolate connoisseur to the point where I think holding my head under a chocolate fountain is a great idea! I can only imagine you have a chocolate fountain either ordered or about to order one, and you don’t even know how much chocolate you need for your fountain. Been there, done it and I overordered the chocolate, so now you can learn from my mistakes!
Chocolate fountains were once an extremely lavish display at expensive formal events. Still, because of the market’s modernization, anyone can rent or buy one to add that ultimate, decadent sweet fix to any event! The main drawback to this fantastic spectacle is calculating how much chocolate will be enough to suffice.
How much chocolate is needed for a chocolate fountain? An easy way to figure out how much chocolate is required is to include one pound of chocolate for every 10 guests – or 20 where other desserts or sweet treats are served.
|1 lb of chocolate
|2.5 lbs of chocolate
|5 lbs of chocolate
|10 lbs of chocolate
|20 lbs of chocolate
If you have a sweet tooth like mine, you may think there is no such thing as too much chocolate. This, unfortunately, would be a costly approach to running a fantastic chocolate fountain display at your event, so I have made this guide to help you achieve the best experience.
What Type of Chocolate Is Best For A Chocolate Fountain?
There are a few different options to consider when weighing up on which chocolate to buy for your fountain; I will outline my main thought processes when making this decision below!
Cocoa Butter Chocolate
Good fountain chocolate generally contains a significant amount of cocoa butter. This ensures the chocolate will melt evenly and flow beautifully without the addition of oil to the mix. The best chocolate to achieve this is typically known as ‘couverture,’ a French word that translates to ‘cover,’ as it has a cocoa butter content of about 32 to 39. The naturally high-fat content produces a more silky appearance and better-tasting chocolate.
Ready Prepared Fountain Chocolates
There are now chocolates available on the market that are offered in wafer or pellet form whose formulas are explicitly designed for use in chocolate fountains. Although they are the easiest to use and provide the most stress-free experience, they can be costly.
DIY Chocolate Recipe
Another option is to create your own mix of chocolate! Semi-sweet, milk, or white chocolates can be combined with oil (vegetable or canola or cocoa butter is best) to create a similar texture to specially-formulated fountain chocolates. This may be a more personalized option, but this process can be risky and result in the chocolate having a slippery, gritty texture. This occurs when the sugar and oil aren’t able to mix properly. The ideal proportion for at-home mixes is 55 percent chocolate and 45 percent oil.
Yes, chocolate syrups! The most inexpensive option is using chocolate syrup, also known as a chocolate coating. Chocolate syrup, which is already liquid, offers the desired chocolate flavor without any hassle. However, the downside is that the syrup is thinner than chocolate melting and will not cover the items dipped with the same effectiveness, making it somewhat less desirable.
To Buy or Not to Buy A Chocolate Fountain?
During the 1980s, chocolate fountains became much more accessible to private parties and events, leaving behind the idea that they were only for the super-rich. Over the past 200 years, we have seen nonstop innovation in chocolate products and distribution – our enthusiasm for the sweet stuff has been ever-expanding, and our ancestors would hardly believe how far the product has come. Chocolate Fountains are by far one of the most decadent ways we have invented to enjoy the treat.
Rent or Buy – What to Consider?
The question of renting or purchasing applies to a lot of items when it comes to an event or party, and I hope I can help to answer this conundrum for you!
Renting is probably the best option if your event is a one-off and you don’t believe you’d ever want or desire another flowing chocolatey extravaganza. Renting is also a good option if you are hosting a large event, as it will be cost-effective in the end.
Large commercial fountains that are typically meant for catering rather than personal use, such as a 27” which serves 50-150 people, or 44”, which serves 150-250 people, are fully serviced and sometimes provide a professional to operate and maintain the equipment for you and ensure excellent chocolate melt at all ties. Certain rental companies also provide packages of multiple fountains in one go for very large-scale or commercial events. These are capable of feeding up to 400 guests with 30lbs of chocolate! Some of the most extravagant options include chocolate flowing into cups, which makes the consumption of chocolate much more efficient and personal as opposed to the typical flow over candy or fruit.
Do you think this may be the first of many parties or events where you want to include a chocolate fountain as a centerpiece? Or maybe you like the idea of having the occasional all-out chocolate treat at home? If so – I’m not judging!
No doubt buying a fountain has many advantages. For smaller events especially, for instance, 50 or so guests, a smaller self-service 19″ fountain that can hold around 5lbs of chocolate per hour will be perfect.
The key thing to consider is how many guests the mouth-watering centerpiece will have to serve. The sizes of fountains vary from vendor to vendor, with some businesses offering chocolate centerpieces across the country while others source events locally by city or state.
|People to Serve
Where to Buy and What to Expect
Fountains designed for use by individuals or for smaller gatherings usually range up to 19 inches high and hold up to 6 pounds of melting chocolate. Most of these models at home are dishwasher-safe, making maintenance much easier for the novice user. They’re likely to be constructed of plastic, not the stainless steel food grade of more expensive catering units. These smaller models are readily available in local shops for parties like Michael’s or supermarkets like Walmart as well as online on Amazon.
What Are The Most Irresistible Foods To Dip In My Fountain?
So you’ve decided on your chocolate concoction and whether to rent or buy your fountain. Your event is approaching; what should you consider next?! Of course, the foods you choose to provide to dip in your chocolate are just as important as your favorite sweet stuff’s delicious, non-stop flow. I’ve summarised my best suggestions below.
Though the taste of foods is objective, it is possible to define something that has a powerful or too distinctive a flavor for chocolate, such as vinegary or acidic foods like pickles! Most people don’t like the sharpness of pickles with chocolate.
The other thing to consider is the integrity of the food you choose and if it will withstand the flow of the chocolate. Popular treats such as cakes should be reserved for the more delicate fondue pot. Any crumbs that fall could clog the fountain or alter the meticulously curated texture of the chocolate liquid. Most of the time, foods like candies, fruits, or donuts are suitable to dip into the fountain.
If your event is one where you’re confident that everyone is comfortable with all food items, then take it to another level and serve whatever options you want.
If, however, there are people with an allergy present, you will need to consider a small portion of chocolate reserved for them or remove any food that is likely to cause a reaction and ask for it not to be dipped. One exception is chocolate itself. It’s likely to assume that someone suffering from an allergy to chocolate knows not to eat anything that has been that is dipped in chocolate.
Fruits or nuts, common ingredients in desserts and dip materials, are also known as food allergens. It is a good idea to check with guests ahead of your event whether you need to accommodate allergens.
What Is The Best Way to Keep The Chocolate Flowing?
The party is in full swing, and the guests are having a ball; this is how to enjoy it with them instead of worrying about your chocolate supply running dry!
As I mentioned above, the majority of rental fountains that are commercial or catering supplied are equipped with chocolate specially designed to melt to use, along with an expert to ensure that the fountain is running smoothly. But, this might not apply to every fountain, especially for small ones that do not require the expertise of a specialist to run them, and certainly not for private fountains.
If you choose to rent, iron out these details well ahead of the event and if you choose to buy, have a plan in place for supplying the chocolate and keeping it flowing.
Chocolate wafers or pellets are sold to be used for making fondue or for fountains. It’s perfectly acceptable to simply put the wafers into the fountain, then turn on the heating and mixing function while letting the fountain perform its job.
For homemade recipes, it is recommended to first melt chocolate prior to mixing it with the fountain. This is for two main reasons. The first is that baking chocolate doesn’t always melt equally or as quickly as chocolate with more cocoa butter or fat percentage. That’s why cocoa butter or oil may be required to make it flow smoothly over the fountain. It’s not just that it will make the process run faster, it also helps solve another issue with non-fondue designed chocolates: texture.
A common complaint with homemade chocolate blends with oil is that the consistency becomes slimy or grainy. This occurs when the sugar and the oil do not blend properly. Making the chocolate and mixing it with oil before incorporating them in a double boiler – a vessel in which the water boils and an oven or a bowl over it where steam warms the chocolate – is best. Using a microwave will allow melting and mixing it more evenly and thoroughly is possible and will make the end product not only pleasing to the eye but also appealing to the taste buds as well.
After you have the fountain set in operation, the fountain could require approximately refilling or replenishment every hour or more frequently because of temperature or consumption. For chocolate fountains, it is okay to add unmelted chocolate as long as you keep the chocolate-to-fat ratio, and remember to ensure that the heating feature is activated again. However, it might be easier to melt the chocolate prior to adding it, regardless. Incorporating solid chocolate into fountains can slow the flow of water and result in unpleasant drips or clumps while it waits for the chocolate to be melted and added again.
What Is The Easiest Way To Clean A Chocolate Fountain?
For some chocolate fountains, especially those maintained by a professional, the cleaning is taken care of by the company. For smaller rentals or personal fountains, the cleaning responsibility falls to the person using the fountain.
The process of cleaning chocolate can be a difficult task, particularly melted chocolate that is particularly difficult to remove from fabrics or surfaces after it has dried. It is recommended to tackle the cleaning of your chocolate fountain when the chocolate is still warm and liquid.
If your guests have consumed the maximum amount of chocolate they’re capable of, drain the rest of the chocolate into a container using the help of a rubber spatula. Never pour leftover chocolate into your drain, as it will solidify.
The simple steps on how to clean your chocolate fountain:
- Run the fountain for several minutes filled with soapy, hot water, making sure that there isn’t any trace of chocolate.
- Once you’re sure there aren’t any chocolate remnants, remove each layer of the fountain (basin, auger tube, auger, and tiers) and wash them in soapy water.
- A dishwasher can clean specific models; double check if they’re dishwasher safe.
- Dry every component, and you’re done!
The cleaning process is over and hopefully wasn’t as tedious as you thought. The final step is to follow the instructions of the rental company to return the fountain or put it away safely in your home to be used again.
Maintaining your fountain will allow longevity for business events, gatherings with family and friends, or even just those nights when you fancy a boujee chocolate treat!