A warm cascade of melted chocolate that never ends? Love ’em or hate ’em, chocolate fountains are usually a crowd-pleaser. As a centerpiece, they’re the image of decadence. Skewer just about anything from fruit to cake pieces and suddenly everything is chocolate-covered. We’re not mad about that.

Things You'll Need

Choosing Chocolate

You can use white, milk, or dark chocolate, but couverture chocolate, chocolatiers’ favorite coating, is the gold standard. It’s made with extra cocoa butter, which gives it a glossy finish. But if the guest of honor prefers Hershey’s Kisses, so be it. These can work with the fountain well enough as long as you add some oil.

Preparing Chocolate for a Chocolate Fountain

Couverture has between 36 and 39 percent cocoa butter, and it feels smooth and silky in the mouth. This type of chocolate only needs to be slowly melted in a double boiler before adding it to the fountain.

Chocolate bars and chips for eating and baking have between 25 and 33 percent cocoa butter, and these require additional fat to give them a similar feel to couverture. While melting, mix in one cup of neutral-flavored vegetable oil to every five pounds of chocolate.

Using and Cleaning the Chocolate Fountain

Place the melted chocolate into the reservoir of the fountain and turn the machine on. Voilà: The chocolate cycles through the fountain all night long. Replacing the chocolate inside the fountain isn’t necessary as long as it maintains the same sheen and color.

Cleanup should be pretty simple. Depending on the model, most of the parts can be put into the dishwasher and dried, but the electric base should be soaked with hot water and rinsed before drying and reusing.