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A chocolate fondue fountain is a flowing version of the fondue melt, where pieces of complementary ingredients can be placed underneath and drizzled or completely coated in the warm melted chocolate. Typically a chocolate fondue fountain is used on a dessert table at a special event such as a wedding or other celebratory party, though home versions of the fountain are available in some countries for creating family desserts.
Traditional fondue usually involves heating or melting an ingredient in a small pot for dipping. Chocolate often is used, with pieces of fruit, cakes, pretzels, and other ingredients served alongside.
Many varieties of chocolate fountains may be found, though most have the appearance of a large vase or urn with multiple open spouts. Some spouts have levers for controlling the flow, and others have melted chocolate cascading from the top, with moats at the base catching the overflow for re-circulating to the top and flowing in a continuous loop. Fountains can be metal or plastic, and they vary in cost in size.
Ingredients for making a mix suitable for use in a chocolate fondue fountain may include chocolate, whipped cream, evaporated milk, flavored liqueurs, and sugars. Dark, white, or milk chocolate can be used, and flavor extracts such as vanilla or mint can be added. Caramel and peanut butter or other melting sauces can be used as well.
Strawberries, bananas, and cherries are popular fruits for use with fondue, though pineapple, kiwi, and assorted berries may be used. Baked goods such as cookies and cakes are generally popular for catching the flow from a chocolate fondue fountain. Dense pastries and cakes such as angel food and pound cake often work well. Marshmallows can be simple dips alone or layered with graham crackers or other ingredients. Nuts and pretzels can be served as salty accompaniments for chocolate, and ice creams and frothy drinks also may be provided for mixing with the warm chocolate.
When ingredients are dipped in a fondue pot, long fork-like spears often are used for piercing the food and keeping it far enough away from splattering when dipped. With a chocolate fondue fountain, it is possible to simply hold a plate, cup, or bowl of ingredients beneath the spouts of flowing chocolate. Typically, the chocolate will be warm but not so hot that it will burn, though care should be used. Chocolate lovers may conceive of countless ways to catch the rich flow.