Â A chocolate fountain is a truly naughty but ever so nice experience.Â It makes for a show stopping dessert display that is great for dinner parties and social events. So tempt yourself and discover more about chocolate fountains by reading this article.
What is a Chocolate Fountain?
A chocolate fountain is a cascading flow of melted chocolate to be enjoyed as part of a chocolate fondue. The chocolate fountain is an amazing piece of equipment that enables an eye catching display of chocolate and fruit pieces, marshmallows or anything else that can be dipped into the chocolate.
For catering professionals and commercial kitchens the chocolate fountain is made from stainless steel forming the layered tiers that drop the chocolate. The layers are built on a sturdy base that contains a pump system. The average height is 40 — 80cm.Â Although it is possible to find larger devices up to 1.25 meters tall. However these are not as popular as they may require up to 20 kilograms of chocolate.Â Small and medium size chocolate fountains are more popular as they are better for small to medium sized catering events and parties. At larger gatherings there may be several chocolate fountains sometimes in different sizes and even with different colours of chocolate.
History of the Chocolate Fountain
The chocolate fountain was first created by Ben Brisman in 1991 and built by a Canadian company called Design and Realisation. They did not start to become popular until the mid 1990’s when they started to be displayed at trade shows in the USA.
The big swing in popularity started in 2001 when Jay Harlan introduced the chocolate fountain to the US Hotel and Resort Industry. His company called Buffet Enhancements International made some improvements to Brisman’s design and began manufacturing the fountains.
By 2003 Chinese manufacturers had caught on with this growing trend, and started producing chocolate fountains. They made further modifications that enabled easier cleaning and operation. Since then the popularity has grown even more and you can even find small chocolate fountains for home use. The chocolate fountain is now a popular part of birthday parties, weddings and special events.
Chocolate for Fountains
It is important to get the right chocolate for use in the chocolate fountain.Â Melting normal chocolate is not sufficient as it will not flow well enough. Getting the right viscosity is essential and usually the chocolate needs to be more fluid and contain more cocoa butter or oil than general commercial chocolate. In the early days of chocolate fountains, the chocolate would often be mixed with vegetable oil but this would affect the taste.
Melted dark chocolate works well in chocolate fountains as it contains less sugar and is usually made with 70% cocoa butter. A cheaper alternative is couverture chocolate which is a type of chocolate syrup generally used as a chocolate coating. Belgian couverture chocolate is an ideal option for the fountain. As the chocolate fountain requires a large amount of chocolate it is worth making small scale experiments before making a final choice.Â However the popularity of the chocolate fountain for chocolate fondue has grown so much that you can now purchase chocolate that is specially designed for the fountains.
Many chocolate fountains for the commercial kitchen include a gentle heating element which makes the whole process much easier and provides more options in the type of chocolate that can be used. An internal heating element also ensures the chocolate fountain can be on display for a longer period of time.
Naughty but Ever So Nice
The growth in the popularity of the chocolate fountain could be because it enables all the five senses to be stimulated. Firstly it looks good and you can make a really creative display around it, with strawberries, oranges, grapes and other colourful fruits. Marshmallows and other items that can be dipped for example biscuits. You can also colour white chocolate into different colours so it can be a feast for the eyes and all the senses.
Secondly it stimulates the sense hearing, the sound of the chocolate flowing and dripping can be amazing when you have the right consistency. The third sense of smell is stimulated by the aroma of the chocolate and fruits surrounding it. The sense of touch is activated by selecting your fruit, putting it on the stick and then dipping it into the wonderful chocolate.Â Last but for sure not least the taste glands are stimulated by the delicious tastes you can create by dipping into the chocolate with your selected fruits and sweets.
The chocolate fountain is naughty because chocolate is high in calories and it is difficult to gauge how much chocolate you actually consume when you keep going and dipping into it. But the calorie count of an average intake is probably equal to a large slice of chocolate cake 250 — 300 calories.
A Perfect Finale
The chocolate fountain makes a perfect grand finale and dessert as it provides an opportunity to creative a stunning display.Â It is a conversation piece and also a great social activity. It really brings people together and it is lots of fun also to select your dipping item coat it in chocolate and taste it. It is no surprise that the demand for chocolate fountains at weddings, parties and events is growing all the time.
It is an ideal piece of equipment for commercial kitchens, restaurants, caterers and event venues to acquire and as a business investment it will generate a lot of income. Commercial chocolate fountains are built to last and will serve many happy guests for many years to come.