How to Melt Chocolate for a Fountain

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Melting chocolate for chocolate fountains is a straightforward process.
Melting chocolate for chocolate fountains is a straightforward process. (Image: stock.xchng)

Chocolate fountains have become a popular way to serve dessert to a large number of chocolate lovers. You can rent chocolate fountains from specialty shops or even buy your own. Some places will set up the fountain for you, including filling it with melted chocolate, but you may have to or want to melt the chocolate yourself. Couverture chocolate, which is a high-quality chocolate, will melt easily and flow most easily through the fountain. Chocolate will burn easily above 115 degrees F, so melt your chocolate at a low temperature to help it melt evenly without ruining its quality.

Things You'll Need

  • Appropriate amount of couverture chocolate for your fountain size
  • Bowl
  • Pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Vegetable oil (if required for your specific fountain)

Chop the chocolate into small pieces. The smaller the pieces, the faster they will melt.

Fill pot with enough water to come within an inch of the bottom of the bowl as it sits on top of the pot. Make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water.

Bring the water to just a simmer and place the bowl on top of the pot.

Add the chocolate to the bowl and stir constantly with the wooden spoon to help it melt smoothly and evenly. Make sure none of the water from the pot comes into the bowl, which might happen through condensation.

After about half the chocolate is melted, stir in the amount of vegetable oil that the instructions require. Generally, you'll need 1/2 cup vegetable oil for every 5 lbs. chocolate. The vegetable oil will help keep the chocolate fluid.

Melt all of the chocolate, stirring continuously. Make sure the water stays at a simmer and never comes to a boil. Also make sure there is always water in the pot, because it might evaporate quickly. Once all of the chocolate is melted, it is ready for the fountain.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always check with the chocolate fountain's instructions or with the fountain rental company for any special directions that you should follow when setting up and using the fountain. You should ask about recommended amounts of chocolate and additional ingredients you'll need. You can also melt your chocolate in a microwave. Larger amounts such as those needed for chocolate fountains might have to be melted in batches. Place your chopped chocolate and vegetable oil into a bowl or microwave-proof bag. Microwave it for 2 minutes. Stir the chocolate with a spatula or spoon, or knead the bag while wearing oven mitts to help the chocolate melt evenly. Microwave the chocolate for 30 seconds to 1 minute at a time, stirring after each interval, until it is fully melted. You can melt chocolate for fountains directly in the fountain itself. This usually requires just placing the chocolate into the fountain's holding pan and letting it melt. However, this process takes time and can often take over an hour to melt the necessary amount of chocolate for the fountain to run properly.

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