Saturday, April 23, 2011
Step 56 - Decide on a Chocolate Fountain for your Wedding
A Waterfall of Cascading, Melted Chocolate is a dream come true for chocolate loving wedding guests. Large amounts of quality chocolate is heated into liquid form, mixed with oil and poured into the fountain to produce a waterfall of chocolate. Chocolate fountains make delicious treats out of dipped fruits, cookies, cake, marshmallow treats, marshmallows, and hundreds of other goodies.
Make sure you pick a good location preferably not too far away from the wedding cake. Make sure the chocolate fountain is situated away from exterior doors, air conditioning ducts, ice bars, and dance floors, you don't want the chocolate to be subject to cooling or get knocked into by a wedding partier. Even though it's tempting, never use a chocolate fountain outdoors, gusts of wind may spray the chocolate and if it should rain, chocolate and water don't mix well and there might be a tendency for the chocolate to seize. Bugs love the scent and go crazy too and will be attracted to the chocolate from far far away.
Chocolate fountains have become very popular in recent years for weddings. Chocolate fountain businesses can be found now in every city, caterers and even some bakeries rent them out too. They can be found also in kitchen supply stores, major department stores, and available off the internet. On wedding websites you might find them under wedding cakes, catering, or rental services. You can find them elsewhere in this blog under the sweets and treats categories.
The secret using using the chocolate fountain is picking the right brand of chocolate that has a high content of cocoa butter which should be between 32% and 39% and then by adding a little vegetable oil which thins the chocolate slightly. As soon as the chocolate fountain arrives, you should do a test run to make sure it's working properly, should there be any problems you will have time to contact the company and either get the fountain fixed or a replacement chocolate fountain in plenty of time before the wedding. Chocolate fountains are generally provided a week before the event so you can get comfortable with it's use.
You start the process by using a double boiler to melt your chocolate. You can also use a slow cooker or a crock pot. Set the cooker on low heat to approximately 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you to stir the chocolate often and remove from the heat once the chocolate has melted. The key is to completely melt the chocolate, but melt the chocolate slowly.
You need to be sure the chocolate fountain is stationed on a level floor, and add five pounds of chocolate to fill the fountain and to keep the fountain full for best results. You should use 1/2 cup of oil for every five pounds of chocolate, stir the two together immediately after the chocolate has melted. The chocolate needs to be thin enough to cycle through the fountain without clumping. You cannot add oil to the chocolate once its poured into the fountain, so test it's consistency before placing it into the fountain. The chocolate in the fountain should be flowing full circle.
Chocolate fountains are not just chocolate anymore. Some fountains are made with white chocolate, dark chocolate, mint chocolate, caramel, and eggnog. Some companies have come out with all sorts of flavors called freeze flavor fountains. You can start with an ice cream or yogurt based cream and mix in a squirt of flavor and come up with a fountain of almost any flavor. You can match up your chocolate fountain with your color scheme of your wedding. You can have a chocolate fountain of strawberry, cherry, French vanilla, grape, blueberry, pina colada, orange, lemon, peanut butter, raspberry, or almost any flavor that ice cream or Italian ices are made.
The foods you can dunk into chocolate machines are very vast, guests are fascinated with them and are a great ice breaker. You can start with loads of fruits including strawberries, pineapples, bananas, coconuts, mango, guava, kiwi, watermelon, honey dew, cherries, apples, pears, almost any fruit you can think of. Other goodies include not crumbly cookies such as oreo and chocolate marshmallow, profiteroles, marshmallows, soft pretzels, rum and bourbon balls, cake and spongecake, marshmallow squares and cubed cheese. Don't dip crumbly types of goodies such as crumbly types of cookies and be careful of treats with nuts. One idea is to design a palm tree next to the chocolate fountain with toothpicks holding fruits to draw a crowd.
Chocolate fountains are even used for barbecue sauces, cheese sauces, and certain type of dressings such as ranch and thousand island to dunk pastry bite foods. Chocolate fountains tend to rent anywhere from $100 to $400 for the larger ones. It may be even worthwhile to buy a good one which can be used for many years of entertaining guests. See if you can get a relative that is big on entertainment pick one up and lend it to you for the wedding . Check on additional costs such as for shipping and returning, and if assemblage service is needed.
You should always have an host or hostess watching over the chocolate fountain to insure it's used properly, it's filled, and to clean up drippy spills. The attendees should wear an apron to protect from any accidental chocolate spills. Make sure there are plenty of paper towels. sponges, squeegees, and scooping spoons and make sure you have storage containers for leftovers. Use large plastic bags to transport the pieces of the chocolate fountain in order to drag the parts to a sink to clean. If the chocolate should harden, simply turn on the heating element to start to melt the chocolate.
Maybe they will have to rename the device someday soon, for chocolate fountains are not just for chocolate anymore. So if you can squeeze it in your budget, consider a chocolate fountain for your wedding! See you on the other side!