Looking for a fun and easy chocolate dessert experience? Make chocolate fondue!
My friend Garrett taught me how to make this years ago. It's a great way to make dessert more interactive. Everyone gets to choose their own "dip-able"—whether it's strawberries, bananas, or marshmallows, and it's incredibly easy to make. Only needs three ingredients—chocolate, cream, and a pinch of salt.
You can add extra flavors to the chocolate too, like some peppermint extract for peppermint chocolate fondue, or cinnamon and chili for a Mexican spin, or Amaretto or Bailey's Irish cream for a more grown up version.
And if it's just the two of you, chocolate fondue is a great way to end a romantic meal at home. The dip-ables can be prepped in advance, and the chocolate sauce comes together in just a few minutes.
Do You Need a Fondue Pot for Chocolate Fondue?
It does help to have a fondue pot, to keep the chocolate warm while everyone is dipping into the pot. That said, if you don't have that set-up, you could easily use a regular pot. Just put an oven mitt on the table and place the hot pot of melted chocolate on top of it to start dipping. Return it to the stove and stir in a little more hot cream if it starts to stiffen too much.
What to Dip in Chocolate Fondue
Fruit is the obvious place to start—strawberries, bananas, chunks of pineapple, dried apricots, pears. Or you can go long on the sweet vector and dip brownies, pound cake, marshmallows, or even ladyfingers.
Watch This Chocolate Fondue Recipe
Even More Chocolate Fondue Dipper Ideas
- Nilla wafers, Oreos, animal crackers, or other cookies
- Mini biscotti
- Graham crackers
- Rice Krispies treats
- Orange or tangerine wedges
- Kiwi fruit slices
- Slices of peaches, plums, apricots
- Dried fruits, like figs, pineapple, or mangos
- Cubes of cake (cut and let sit out a few hours so it sticks on the skewers better)
Personalize Your Chocolate Fondue
- Instead of Kirsch, add 1 to 2 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream, Grand Marnier, Amaretto, or Kahlua.
- No booze? A few tablespoons of Torani flavoring syrups (the kind used for coffee or Italian sodas) can add a nice dimension of flavor as well.
- Add a 1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon and ancho chili pepper for a Mexican hot chocolate spin.
- A good pinch of espresso powder can do wonders!
- Add orange zest to create a slightly fruity chocolate.
- Add peppermint extract for peppermint chocolate fondue. Start with 1/4 teaspoon and increase according to taste.
- White chocolate is always a nice change, and spiked with a little liquor or citrus zest becomes heavenly.
- Steeping aromatics in the cream for an hour beforehand can add a nice subtle flavor. A bruised lemongrass stalk for white chocolate, or a bag of Earl Grey tea for dark chocolate are particularly stylish and contemporary.
How to Keep Chocolate Fondue Warm
If you don't have a fondue pot, you can use a tea candle, which produces less heat than canned Sterno fuel.
You can use Sterno, but remember that it can burn very hot, so keep an eye on it. When it gets too hot, turn it off or partially cover the can with the lid. If needed, add a little more cream to the chocolate fondue and put the Sterno back on for a minute or two to warm up again.
Another option is a small crockpot or a clean candle warmer.
Buying a Fondue Pot
There are essentially three types of fondue pots: metal, ceramic, and electric.
- Metal fondue pots usually come in stainless steel or enameled cast iron. They are the sturdiest and can go directly from the stovetop to your table without having to transfer. They are usually a bit heavy and run larger than other options.
- Ceramic fondue pots are great for holding the heat and easy to clean. They run in both smaller and larger sizes. They can be microwave safe. Some models, such as Emil Henry Flame ceramic, can be heated on the stovetop, too.
- Electric fondue pots are safer and heat up the fastest, since they don't require an actual flame. They are easy to adjust, but run more expensive than other options. And keep in mind you'll need an outlet handy to plug the pot in.
- Oh yes! And let us not forget the chocolate fondue fountain which is a fun addition to any party. Don't let the name fool you, since you can use it for nacho cheese as well.
Look for used fondue pots in thrift or vintage stores. We've seen fun fondue pot options (with forks and all!) at reasonable prices at our local Goodwill.
Preparing Chocolate Fondue in Advance
You can make the chocolate fondue up to a day or two ahead. Let the mixture cool, then refrigerate. When you're ready to enjoy it, warm the chocolate mixture gently in the microwave (on medium power in 30-second bursts, stirring after each) until smooth and warm. Or put the chocolate mix in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water and warm it that way.
You can re-warm it directly in your fondue pot, but the other options give you more control.
More Impressive Desserts for Parties
- Chocolate Peppermint Swiss Roll
- Berry Tart
- Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
- Old Fashioned Peach Pie
- Chocolate Layer Cake
For the dipping fondue chocolate:
1 cup (8 ounces) heavy cream
12 ounces milk or dark chocolate (chips or roughly chopped bar)
Banana pieces cut into 1-inch chunks
Heat the cream:
Heat the cream with a pinch of salt over medium heat in a small saucepan until tiny bubbles show and begins to lightly and slowly simmer.
Remove from heat and add the chocolate:
Remove from heat, add the chocolate, and whisk until smooth and fully incorporated.
Transfer the chocolate mix to a fondue pot heated at low or with a low flame, or serve straight from the pot.
Arrange the dip-ables 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 dip-ables into the hot melted 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.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 3g||4%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||9%|
|Total Carbohydrate 3g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||1%|
|Total Sugars 3g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|