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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
There are 2 things to consider if you are planning to setup a chocolate fountain outdoors:
The small fountain weighs approximately 40 pounds, the medium fountain weighs approximately 95 pounds and the large fountain weighs approximately 105 pounds.
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.
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.