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Chocolate Fountain Questions and Answers

We have provided answers to some of the frequently asked questions related to chocolate fountains. If you do not find the answer you are looking for below, feel free to contact us at any time. We will be more than happy to assist you.

 

  • What is a "Chocolate Fountain"?

The chocolate fountain is a mechanical fountain specially designed for use as a "Fondue". Chocolate cascades off of round tiers while guests dip fruit, pretzels, marshmallows and other accompaniments into the warm flowing chocolate. Chocolate fountains have become very popular at wedding receptions, birthday parties, anniversary parties, corporate events, Bar Mitzvahs, restaurant buffets, and many other types of events.

 

  • How does the chocolate fountain work?

The base of the chocolate fountain consists of a reservoir that will hold approximately 20 pounds of chocolate (depending on the model). This chocolate is kept warm by the use of an internal heating element. When the fountain is turned on, an auger, which is located in the center of the fountain, lifts the chocolate to the top of the fountain. Once to the top, the chocolate then cascades down the fountain, completely covering the multiple round tiers. The chocolate then returns into the reservoir where the process starts all over again.

 

  • What is an "Auger" and how does it differ from a "Pump"?

An auger is a one piece, rotating, screw-type device that moves the chocolate to the top of the fountain through a cylinder. Some other brands of chocolate fountain use a pump to get the chocolate to the top of the fountain. Pumps consist of many internal components and small passages, that require close tolerances in order to work properly. The problem with pumps are that when these passages get blocked, the pump will no longer operate and it requires complete disassembly and thorough cleaning before normal operation can resume. The chocolate fountain, with its one piece auger, eliminates the possibility of clogging and greatly reduces cleanup time.

 

  • What is the chocolate fountain made of?

The chocolate fountain is manufactured from commercial grade stainless steel. All components have been rigorously tested to ensure years of trouble free operation. Most special event caterers and banquet facilities using the chocolate fountain on a daily basis can expect to see an average life span of approximately 10 years.

 

  • What type of chocolate does the fountain use?

The chocolate fountain will operate with most any brand of "coverture" chocolate. Coverture chocolate is a high quality chocolate that contains extra cocoa butter (32-39%). The higher percentage of cocoa butter, combined with the processing, gives the chocolate a creamy mellow flavor and allows the chocolate to flow through the fountain more elegantly.

 

  • How do I melt the chocolate?

Basically, there are 3 options for melting the chocolate. The chocolate can be melted with a double boiler, in a microwave oven, or in the fountain itself. Of these 3 options, the most efficient is to use a double boiler. A double boiler will decrease the amount of time needed to melt the chocolate and greatly reduce the chance of burning the chocolate. While the base of the fountain does contain a heating element and you can melt the chocolate directly in the fountain itself, doing so will take considerably longer. In addition, melting the chocolate in the fountain or a microwave oven, each require the chocolate be stirred more frequently, to reduce the chance of burning.

 

  • What foods can you dip in the chocolate fountain?

Most any food item that goes well with chocolate can be used with the chocolate fountain. The most popular items are; strawberries, pineapple, cherries, grapes, pretzels, marshmallows, biscotti, piroulines, vienna fingers and caramel squares. Just keep in mind that any crumbly-type food that may fall into the chocolate fountain will cause the chocolate to get lumpy. Although this will not harm the fountain, it does affect the appearance of the chocolate as it is cascading over the tiers.

 

  • Who normally provides the foods to dip in the fountain?

This varies with each individual company. If you are a caterer, restaurant, or banquet facility, you probably already offer most of these items in your normal menu and would welcome the additional income from sales of these items. However, if you are interested in offering only chocolate fountain rental and you do not have the resources (and in some cases the licensing) to offer the foods for dipping, there are several options. Most caterers and banquet facilities will gladly allow outside vendors to provide chocolate fountain rental to their customers, if you allow them to provide the fruits and other foods to dip in the fountain. Also, most local produce markets offer fruit platters that can be ordered in advance and picked up on the day of the event.

 

  • How do I clean the chocolate fountain?

The best option is to clean the chocolate fountain immediately after use while the chocolate is still in a liquid state. The chocolate fountain consists of 4 main components and each can be easily cleaned as follows:

  1. The Base, contains the heating element, electrical switches and motor. At the end of an event, you will scoop or pour any remaining chocolate out of the base. After removing excess chocolate, the base can be washed with warm water and a towel. (CAUTION! The base must never be submersed in water or place in a dishwasher. Permanent damage to the fountain, or serious personal injury may result.)

  2. The Tower, slides on to 4 pins protruding from the top of the base and supports the tiers. The tower can be submersed in hot soapy water, or placed in a dishwasher to be cleaned. Depending on the size of the dishwasher, you can either clean the tower as one unit, or the tiers are easily removed with the supplied Allen wrench.

  3. The Auger, fits inside the center of the tower, is the item that lifts the chocolate to the top of the fountain. The auger can be submersed in hot soapy water, or placed in a dishwasher to be cleaned.

  4. The Crown, sits on top of the tower and is merely a decorative item. The crown can be submersed in hot soapy water, or placed in a dishwasher to be cleaned.

     

  • How do I clean the fountain if the chocolate has already hardened?

If you can not clean the chocolate fountain immediately after use and the chocolate begins to harden, you will need to take a couple of extra steps to clean the fountain. First, remove the tower, auger and crown from the base. Plug the base in and turn the base on "Heat Only". As for the tower, auger and crown, the easiest solution is to place them on a cookie tray, or aluminum foil, and place them in an oven until the chocolate begins to melt. You can also melt the hardened chocolate by using a hair dryer, or heat gun. However, this can take longer, depending on the size of the heat gun. Once the chocolate begins to melt, you can clean each of the items as mentioned above.

 

  • Can the chocolate fountain be used outdoors?

There are 2 things to consider if you are planning to setup a chocolate fountain outdoors:

  1. Maintaining a warm temperature of chocolate is critical for continued smooth operation of the chocolate fountain. Depending on the time of the year and the general climate, this could be difficult to accomplish in an outdoor setting.

  2. Because of the chocolate’s sweet aroma, little flying creatures are very likely to be attracted to the chocolate fountain. This makes for an unappealing presentation.

     

  • How much does the chocolate fountain weigh?

The small fountain weighs approximately 40 pounds, the medium fountain weighs approximately 95 pounds and the large fountain weighs approximately 105 pounds.

 

  • What are the power requirements for the chocolate fountain?

Each chocolate fountain made for sale in the US operates on a standard three prong, grounded, 120 volt outlet. Models are available for use in Europe and other countries which operate on 220 volts.

 

  • How much does the chocolate fountain cost?

You might be surprised at just how affordable our chocolate fountains are. To view the entire line of chocolate fountains, as well as pricing for each model, simply click HERE.