Chocolate fountain: operating principle and features

Шоколадный фонтан: принцип работы и особенности

A wedding, party or children's party becomes unforgettable if there is a chocolate fountain in the hall. This device produces a cascading stream of melted chocolate into which guests can dip pieces of fruit and sweets. Sounds tempting! But before you buy a device for your home or business, you need to know the features of its operation, configuration and cleaning.

What is a chocolate fountain and how does it work?

The first machine that ejects a stream of liquid chocolate appeared in 1991. Its creator, Canadian Ben Brisman, presented his invention at the National Restaurant Exhibition in Chicago. Later, the device was improved, simplifying its maintenance and cleaning.

But the original design remained unchanged. The device consists of three main parts - a base, a bowl and a turret with tiers. A heater located inside the base transfers heat, keeping the chocolate mass in a liquid state. The motor starts the movement of the screw conveyor. Continuously rotating, it lifts the melted chocolate upward. There is a tower from which a stream of chocolate flows down the tiers. Then it returns to the bowl, where it warms up again and rises.

The raw material for the machine is a high-quality product, pre-melted in a microwave oven. To do this, place the treat in a bowl and put it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Then take it out, mix it and put it back into the oven. The second way to melt the product is in a water bath or double boiler. To obtain a smooth, homogeneous mass, coconut oil or cocoa butter is sometimes added.


The chocolate fountain attracts guests with both a beautiful spectacle and the opportunity to enjoy homemade delicacies. A variety of sweets are dipped into hot chocolate, including:

  • pineapple pieces;
  • sliced bananas;
  • butter “sticks”;
  • marshmallows;
  • strawberries;
  • grape;
  • orange slices;
  • pieces of cookies;
  • cream puffs.

Treats are placed next to the machine on dishes or special stands. Fondue forks or wooden skewers are provided for easy dipping. It is recommended to avoid crumbly baked goods, as crumbs may jam the screw mechanism.


Types of chocolate fountain

There are two main types of device - commercial and home. They are distinguished by height and loading volume.

Commercial models are designed for use in restaurants and resorts. Their height is 50-130 cm, capacity, depending on the model, is up to 15 kg. Some establishments order larger models - for example, the fountain of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas reaches 8.2 m in height and circulates two tons of chocolate at a speed of 120 liters per second.

The core of commercial machines is made of stainless steel, which ensures a long service life. Initially, all devices consisted of several tiers, producing a cascading flow. Nowadays, models with a “bowl” design are popular, in which the melted treat is poured from one container to another. This design makes it possible to heat raw materials more efficiently and save on their consumption.

Home models do not exceed 50 cm in height. They are usually made of plastic, sometimes with some stainless steel parts. The capacity of a home machine is 1-4 kg. They work on the cascade flow principle.

Setting up a chocolate fountain

The first thing you need to do before starting the device is to choose the right place for it. There should be no air conditioners, fans or open windows nearby. Make sure the machine is out of the reach of small children and pets. The base must be located on a completely flat surface.

Read the product instructions carefully. Before pouring the chocolate mixture, warm up the device by setting it to Keep Warm, Very Low or Flow mode. Most models have an internal heating element, but it is not designed to initially melt the product. Pre-melt the treat in the microwave, pour the resulting mixture into the center of the bowl and turn on the feed.

Let the device operate for 1-2 minutes, then turn off. After a couple of minutes, turn it on again. This will help remove air bubbles from the tube and screw conveyor.

Each model has its own characteristics, so adjust the speed and temperature so that the flow is smooth, but does not lose thickness. If the cascade turns out uneven or flows intermittently, check the settings, make sureIs there any liquid left in the bowl? After fixing the issues, reboot the machine by turning it off for a minute.

If the appliance stops during operation, turn it off, unplug it and check for blockages.

Three fountains

Choosing chocolate for the fountain

The uniformity of the flow directly depends on the quality of the raw material. It is recommended to use special chocolate callets - portioned pieces intended for fondue. When heated they give a nice silky consistency, so no added oil is required.

It is recommended to use products from well-known brands that produce callets and chocolate chips. Among them:

  • Valrhona;
  • Guitard;
  • Lily's;
  • Hu;
  • Barry Calebout.

The products of these companies are made from high-quality cocoa, without the addition of palm oil, preservatives or lecithin.

Instead of callets, you can use regular confectionery chocolate with a high cocoa butter content. Any type of delicacy is suitable - dark, milky, white, as long as the cocoa butter content is at least 33%.

It is also important to consider the volume of cocoa contained in the product. The higher this indicator, the richer the taste will be. Please note that you will have to add vegetable oil or cream to the mixture. The norm for cocoa content is 60%.

Another important characteristic is the amount of sugar in the composition. If you like a distinctly sweet taste, choose milk or white chocolate. You cannot add sugar to the melted product, so the taste depends only on the original volume.

When preparing the mixture, observe the optimal melting temperature of different types of product:

  • milk - 80° C;
  • white - 48° C;
  • dark - 45° C.

Overheated chocolate hardens and acquires an unpleasant bitter taste.

If the melted mass is not smooth enough, add cocoa butter or coconut oil to it at the rate of 2 tablespoons per kg. Heavy cream is often added instead of butter. If the treat is not intended for children, the mixture can be diluted with cognac or liqueur.

Under no circumstances should melted chocolates be used in the fountain . Their texture is not thick enough to create an even flow. Candy often contains additives that can clog the mechanism.

It is unacceptable for water to get into the chocolate mass. Even a few drops will lead to the formation of lumps and stop the operation of the device.

Fountain close

Choosing the height of the chocolate fountain

When choosing a device, determine for yourself where you are going to use it. If in a large restaurant or hotel, then pay attention to large professional models with a height of 50 cm. Such fountains consist of 5-7 tiers and hold from 2 to 10 kg of chocolate. Devices intended for catering establishments are usually collapsible, so they are easy to clean. They are used at weddings and banquets where 50-100 guests are present. The higher the device, the more impressive it looks at the holiday.

For home use, a model with a height of 28-40 cm, consisting of 2-3 tiers, is suitable. Machines of this type are designed for 0.5 - 1 kg of raw materials. Small and medium-sized fountains are a good entertainment option for children's birthday parties, family and friends' parties.

For one-time use, you can rent the device. It’s easy to calculate the height - approximately 80 g of chocolate is consumed per person. This means that for a party with ten guests you will need a device 40 cm high that can hold up to 1 kg of treats.

Cleaning the chocolate fountain

Immediately after use, the device must be thoroughly cleaned. Otherwise, the remains of the melted product will turn into a crust, which is very difficult to remove.

Cleaning the fountain is a fairly simple operation that takes no more than 10 minutes. It is carried out in the following order:

  1. Turn off the device and let it cool down. Do not try to clean a hot appliance - you may get burned!
  2. Take the car apart. Remove the turret, tiers, screw mechanism and tubes.
  3. Remove any remaining chocolate. If there is a lot of product left and there are no crumbs, place the leftovers in a plastic bag or airtight container. The treat can be placed in the refrigerator and subsequently eaten or added to baked goods. It is not recommended to reuse the mass for the fountain.
  4. Wash the turret parts. Place them in the sink and wash with warm water, a sponge and detergent.
  5. Wipe the base and bowl with a soapy cloth. Remember, these parts cannot be washed with running water, as this is where the motor is located!
  6. Let the device dry. Place the cleaned parts on a towel spread on the table andleave until completely dry.

If during operation the chocolate flow becomes very weak or stops completely, turn off the machine immediately. The cause of the problem may be a lack of liquid in the bowl. It is enough to add melted chocolate for the device to work normally.

A more difficult situation is when the mechanism becomes clogged with crumbs from dipped sweets. The device will have to be immediately disassembled and washed.

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