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5 Tips for Using Chocolate Fountain

Been to a party recently?
Bet it featured a chocolate fountain on the dessert table. Now that you've tasted the fun, you are probably excited about hosting a chocolate fountain at your next shin-dig. But unless you are an experienced user of these towers of decadence, your dessert table and your guests are likely to be covered in a deliciously sticky mess. Here are a few tips to keep the chocolate flowing and the tablecloth clean.

1. Freeze the food earlier so the chocolate will harden immediately. You can freeze fresh fruit such as strawberries, banana chunks, pineapple chunks and seedless grapes. Throw in a little mango for something more exotic.

2. Get ready for drips. If you prefer not to freeze your food items, better be prepared for plenty of "oops" and "oh-no's". The best thing to do is to use a attractive plastic tablecloth to cover the food table, and set out plenty of small dishes and napkins for your guests. A basket filled with "wet wipes" never hurts. Even if you do freeze the food, accidents are going to happen. By planning for them, you and your guests will be able to relax and enjoy the party.

3. Put out some small spoons. Some foods aren't really meant to be dipped and do better if your guests can spoon a little chocolate over their pound cake, sponge cake, or lady fingers. This will keep the crumbs out of the chocolate, allowing it to function properly.

4. Choose the right kind of chocolate. If you are offering naturally sweet foods like marshmallows and fruit, stick to dark or semi-dark chocolate. You might offer a second fountain filled with milk chocolate for less sugary foods like pretzels. If you can't offer separate fountains, try mixing equal parts dark and milk chocolate to make a yummy blended chocolate that goes well with everything. White chocolate is always a decadent hit and is expected at the more sophisticated events like weddings and black-tie social gatherings.

5. Don't be shy. Put up signs those remind guests of "no fingers please and "no double dipping". Excited party guests can forget their manners. Help them out by supplying plenty of cocktail toothpicks and bamboo skewers for appropriate dipping. Having the right dipping implements will also reduce drips and accidents.

Follow these five tips, but then use your imagination to get the most out of your chocolate fountain. Let the dipping begin!

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