Chocolate Fondue

Please welcome guest author Garrett McCord. ~Elise

Fondue has finally made a comeback, as most culinary fads eventually do, but this time with a bit of spark. Back in the seventies a party wasn’t groovy unless a fondue pot was rolling. Nowadays, fondue fountains and fondue restaurants are all the rage but few people seem to be doing them at home, which is a shame considering how easy (and cheap) it is. Fondue gatherings are also a great chance to be interactive at the table and even those who don’t cook can enjoy the simple play of dipping and eating.

Chocolate fondue in particular is laughably simple. Melted chocolate becomes the base for infinite varieties of dippables. Plus the chocolate can easily be flavored to perk the senses and create astounding flavors and variety. While great for a party, chocolate fondue is also the perfect way to end a romantic meal at home. The set up can be done way in advanced and the only thing you have to do later is turn on a little flame to get your own flame burning.

Using a fondue pot isn’t mandatory, but it does make it easier and adds a certain sense of class. If you are using a regular pot, once the chocolate is melted put an oven mitt down on the table and place the pot on top and begin to dip. The chocolate may cool rather quickly if it is in a regular pot. However if you are using a fondue pot, with a little flame underneath it, the chocolate will keep nice and warm, and melted much longer.

As for what to dip feel free to pick and choose; many people enjoy baked goods such as brownies, pound cake, marshmallows, and the ever lovely ladyfinger. Fresh fruit such as strawberries, pears, or bananas are always romantic and a bit healthier. And as always dried fruit such as apricots or large chunks of candied ginger make for a nice set-up.

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Chocolate Fondue Recipe

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces of dark chocolate (chips or roughly chopped if from a block)
  • 8 ounces of heavy cream
  • A pinch of salt
  • Dippables such as strawberries, banana pieces cut into 1-inch chunks, dried appricots, candied ginger, apple pieces

Method

1 Warm the cream over moderate heat until tiny bubbles show and begins to lightly and slowly boil. Add the chocolate and whisk until smooth and full incorporated.

2 Immediately transfer to a fondue pot heated at low or with a low flame, or serve straight from the pot.

3 Arrange the dippables on a platter or plates around the chocolate pot. Use a fondue fork, bamboo skewer, seafood fork, or salad fork to dip the fruit pieces and other dippables into the hot melted cream chocolate mixture. Eat immediately.

If the fondue begins to feel a little stiff, add a tablespoon of heavy cream and stir. It will help it go a little longer. Eventually, it will cook down though and you may need to start a new pot.

Variations

Add a tablespoon or two of Bailey's Irish Cream to the chocolate. Other liquors such as Grand Marnier, Amaretto, or Kirsch are equally yummy.

Add a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and ancho chili pepper for a nice Mexican Chocolate.

The contents of a vanilla pod or some vanilla extract are always a decadent touch to chocolate.

A good pinch of espresso powder can do wonders!

Orange zest or grapefruit zest is nice way to create a slightly fruity chocolate.

A few tablespoons of Torani flavoring syrups (the kind used for coffee or Italian sodas) can add a nice dimension of flavor as well.

White chocolate is always a nice change, and spiked with a little liquor or citrus zest becomes heavenly.

Steeping the cream for an hour beforehand and while heating it can add a nice subtle flavor, lemongrass for white chocolate or a bag of Earl Grey tea for dark chocolate are particularly stylish and contemporary.

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Links:
Great ideas from Heidi on chocolate fondue from 101 Cookbooks
Milk chocolate fondue with a little lemon rind from Food, Glorious Food
Caramel Toffee fondue from My Life as a Reluctant Housewife

27 Comments

  1. JEP

    Sounds amazingly simple & delicious. Thanks for all the detail & variations…I’d like to add a vanilla bean or espresso. Actually like the fruit idea much better than the baked goods dippers. Great post, Garrett–thanks!

  2. Helen

    Personally, I’m a huge fan of dipping Amaretti Biscuits (although it takes a bit of skill to keep them on the fork!)…

  3. jonathan

    Dried pineapple is also quite tasty.

    Another great thing to dip in the chocolate is…chocolate. I chunk up some chocolate, then dip it in the chocolate, and finally, when done dipping, roll it in shaved chocolate.

    You look at me as though there’s something wrong with that.

    Remember – no double dipping you George Costanzas out there!

  4. Amy

    Wow, this sounds so good. I just had some chocolate peanut butter fondue at a restauarant recently and I would love to try to replicate that too. Although, maybe not, since I know that I couldn’t resist eating the whole thing myself!

  5. Rachelle

    I like to use cinnamon, chile powder, and almond extract for my mexican chocolate fondue… yummy!

    Also, two other great dippers are poundcake and… PRETZELS!

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. Emily

    I love chocolate fondue. Deeply. My only problem is that dairy does not love me. Is there any way to make this dairy-free? I’ve tried just melting plain chocolate, but it’s (obviously) not quite as successful.

    I have never tried it, but soy milk or almond milk might be a viable option. I know others make hot chocolate out of it, which is essentially the same thing as fondue but in different proportions. If you try it out, I hope you’ll post a comment with your results! ~Garrett

  7. anne

    Cool. Back in the late 80’s we found a bunch of 70’s style fondue sets in my friend’s mother’s basement and were amazed. She was a garage sale enthusiast and a pack rat. We then started having lots of fondue parties and when my husband and I got married we had the reception in our backyard and borrowed my friends’ fondue pots etc for the food (chicken, shrimp, beef). It was a blast. We had fondue stations in various spots etc. and guests would go from one place to another to make a selection and we hired older teenagers to work the stations. There was a brief period of 70’s retro at that time.

  8. Elizabeth

    The only time I tried using my fondue pot, I put a sterno can underneath and it burned too hot and burned the chocolate. Any suggestions?

    Sterno, even on low, can burn very hot. Just keep an eye on it. We used a sterno for this recipe and turned it off after only a few minutes since it heated it so well. Later when it stiffened up, we added some cream and put the sterno back on for a minute or two. ~Garrett

    You can also try using a tea candle, which produces less heat than sterno. ~Elise

  9. Linda

    Hi Elise,
    Yummy photo! Too bad strawberries aren’t in season here yet. I live for chocolate but I also like to make carmel fondue. I do not have a fondue pot instead; I use two small crock-pots that the crocks can be removed. Once the fondues are warmed to desired consistency, I can turn them off. Crocks keep the fondues warm for about an hour or so. I use two long skewers taped together mid-way as disposable fondue forks

    -Linda in Washington state.

    Emily, I found this dairy-free fudge recipe:

    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup vanilla rice, almond, or soymilk
    1 1/4 cup white sugar
    1/4 cup margarine
    1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract (add it last)

    Directions:
    Put milk alternative and sugar in a sauce pan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Extra caution must be used with soymilk which tends to curdle. Bring to a boil for 7 minutes. (Keep an eye on the pan at all times and stir frequently). Remove from heat and add margarine, chocolate, and vanilla. Stir until margarine and chocolate melt and mixture is smooth and creamy.

  10. katy

    That looks just wonderful! I can’t believe no one has suggested dipping graham crackers yet — can you get any more delicious?!?

    PS — I’m happy you’re not an anti-white chocolate person! I think white chocolate fondue is just as good as dark, thank you very much!

  11. Jenna

    Looks great!
    Putting pieces of Toblerone in chocolate fondue tastes great and the specks of nougat melt into honey like droplets on the fruit.

  12. Antonia

    What a delicious-looking fondue! I couldn’t agree more that this is the perfect end to a romantic meal – served with strawberries, this would make a great treat for Valentine’s Day! Thank you for the link to my fondue recipe which has led me to discover this and your blog too.

  13. Jessi

    Jonathan,

    Wow…finally a like-minded soul out there! I think a chocolate fondue would be good to finish with Mississippi Mud Cake…drooling…

    Thanks for the simple recipe for this one Garrett. :)

  14. Rumana

    I don’t know about you guys but some cheese dipped in chocolate sounds totally awesome to me. =D

  15. Ulrik Kold

    I just happened to translate your excellent intro to Chocolate Fondue into Danish and posted it on my own blog (about life, culture, food, my wife, and my life). I hope you don’t mind.

    You can read it at: http://hoeyerkold.dk/2008/02/29/chokoladefondue-den-danske-udgave/

  16. Sheryl

    My husband gave me a chocolate fondue fountain and the directions call for chocolate and oil. I found it to be a little too oily but it needs to be thin for the fountain to work. Has anyone ever used cream in a fountain before?

  17. Winnie Pamittan

    I tried it and everyone loved it! Thanks for the simple yet fabulous recipe! :)

  18. Frances

    I just opened my new Bodum fondue pot today and my grandson suggested chocolate fondue for dessert. We used strawberries, blackberries, bananas, Granny Smith apples and sugar wafers. We used Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate which we melted in heated heavy cream. It was just delicious and so much fun. The beauty of the Bodum pot is that it has a glass insert which you place into the stainless steel pot which is half filled with water. This prevents the chocolate from burning or sticking. We are going to serve this again for dessert after Thanksgiving dinner but will take some of the suggestions listed here. Can’t wait to add some caramel syrup to the chocolate.

  19. Tracey

    I was wondering if these recipes with cream, condensed milk, or butter will work in a chocolate fountain, where the mixture must get “stirred” by flowing around in the fountain.

    Has anyone tried this?

  20. Morris

    I found that cream and a little milk work very good as it softens the chocolate so it can flow through the fountain better. I find this a much better alternative then adding oil (although it will flow a bit better with oil…)
    The bailey’s cream is a great idea!

  21. Mel

    I tried making chocolate fondue last weekend. I bought some dark cooking chocolate and warmed it (put the choc in a bowl and the bowl in a pot of warm water). I then added a little milk and the whole thing turned into one solid lump!
    what did I do wrong?

    Mel, chocolate is very finicky. I suggest following the recipe as written otherwise you won’t get a desired result. ~Garrett

  22. Kristi Carlsen

    How do I remove burnt chocolate from the bottom of the pot? I tried soaking for days but it won’t come off.

    Elbow grease and soap, though it sounds like you may have scorched the pot itself, too. ~Garrett

  23. Sandra

    I’m looking for no dairy since my friend can’t have any dairy. We want to make Choc. Fondue with fruit dipping this evening. Please advise about no dairy. Thanks so much.

    This recipe is designed to use dairy. You can try using soy or almond milk but I haven’t tried it so I cannot say what the results will be. ~Garrett

  24. dennis kilmnick

    I’m very confused most of these receipes do not tell you how much of anything you put into the fondue for 10 people. The simply reeipe of 12 oz chocolate and 8 oz of heavy cream is for how many people?

    It depends. It could feed a little to 20 people or lots for four. I would suggest though that this can feed between 6-10 people just fine. ~Garrett

  25. Denise

    I tried a chocolate fondue for a party last week, basically the same recipe – it was wonderful, but halfway through the evening I lost that gorgeous thick creamy texture and got something looking curdled and lumpy. It still tasted yummy (and people did keep eating it!) but I wondered how to prevent this in future? Was it liquid from the fruit, or did it actually burn? It didn’t taste burnt.

    Lots of reasons this happens. Chocolate and milk burning. Water from dippables getting into the chocolate. Loss of water from the milk. The thing is is that chocolate fondue left for a while starts looking offputting. No real way around it. ~Garrett

  26. Debbie

    Will this serve 5? Two 14 year old boys, one 10 year old boy, one 10 year old girl and one 29 year old (again) mom?

    I imagine so. ~Garrett

  27. teo

    A simply but so delicious recipe!

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