A friend is renting a chocolate fondue fountain for her wedding, the news of which sparked off my new born interest in the phenomena that is the 'chocolate fondue fountain'. I was told that a chocolate fondue fountain can be an eye catching, mouth watering central feature for all sorts of social occasions, parties and events. This got me thinking, 'Why wait till the wedding?' So I hired a chocolate fondue fountain for a night and invited a few friends around to test it and see what all the fuss was about. We got the chocolate fondue fountain out of the box easy enough and it revealed itself to be a stainless steel structure with three tiers, with an overall height of about 15 inches top to bottom. It looked harmless enough, and was easy to set up so we proceeded to plug it in.
Power was provided by the usual three-pin socket. So, now for the science: the chocolate goes into the basin, gets heated there and then carried to the top of the fountain via a rotating internal shaft. My internet research later revealed the shaft to be a form of Archimedes screw.
However, there are other ways of getting the chocolate to the top of the fountain, namely a pump (the most common method). The box for our chocolate fondue fountain said that a screw had been chosen over a pump because the screw eliminates the possibility of blockages associated with some pumps, so the fountain will always flow smoothly. My research did reveal, however, a general preference for auger-style pumps amongst the more pricey chocolate fondue fountains. A big surprise was that any melting chocolate will do; you don't have to use special chocolate fondue fountain chocolate.
We had armed ourselves with 900g just to get started, although we got so stuck in that this did not last long and someone had to be requisitioned to the all night garage for more just after 1.00am. Our experience has confirmed the universal truth amongst chocolate fondue fountain aficionados that when it comes to chocolate, the more the merrier, since you need a fair amount to get a good flow and a respectable looking fountain. We were having a party after all. Some bright spark suggested adding a dash of vegetable oil to the mix to make the chocolate flow easier, and the tests were conclusive that this did work to loosen up the flow.
A party being a party, someone usually gets carried away and our someone decided to add alcohol. Bad move. And things had been going so smoothly. Our river of running chocolate turned into clotted lump of muck faster than a round of tequila slammers. You live and learn. Final verdict Visual impact: 10/10 Popularity: 10/10 Ease of set up and operation: 9/10 Versatility: 9/10 We tried putting various things into the falling curtain of chocolate, including marshmallows, pineapple, strawberries, and cake and all of them tasted wonderful.
So go hire a chocolate fondue fountain, or better still go right in to a shop and buy one. There are bargains to be had out there, and it is the opinion of this reviewer that if a chocolate fondue fountain comes to dinner, you won't be disappointed.
© Stephen Turner 2006. Stephen has set up http://www.fountainchocolatefondue.com where you'll find chocolate fondue fountain information, advice, articles, discussion and specially chosen links.This article may be reproduced provided this resource box is displayed below the article.