Chocolate fountains are elegant fun... equal parts food, entertainment, and centerpiece.
But is it practical to buy a chocolate fountain for use at home? It is, because you don't have to pay thousands or get a commercial unit any more.
Not that long ago, chocolate fountains were only for caterers, restaurants, and event planners. We equated them with ice sculptures, very beautiful, expensive and rare, certainly not for the home.
Today, though, there are Home Chocolate Fountains, sometimes called Mini Chocolate Fountains, of very good value.
term 'chocolate fondue fountain' is giving way to just 'fondue
fountain' because the machines are not just for chocolate anymore.
Better fountains will cascade salad dressing, barbecue sauce, cheese
sauce, and caramel as well as chocolate. That means you can put that
lovely fondue fountain to work at every kind of party, to the delight of your guests. You'll be legendary.
Step up to:
You can buy a chocolate fountain for as little as $40 or pay as much as $400 for the very top-of-the-line home unit.
Rather than name names, I'll just say never* buy a fondue fountain that costs less than $99 retail. They're noisy, unsteady, machines.
*The one exception seems to be the Rival Chocolate Fondue Fountain. It meets all the minimum requirements, gets good independent reviews, and holds more chocolate than most in its class, 5 pounds. It costs about $50. It's not a beauty, however, nor will it be as quiet as a Sephra or the Fundue Fountain.
The Fundue Fountain by Fundue Foods is another very quiet machine that meets all of the basic criteria. Its one-year warranty and price, about $240, suggest quality but it is difficult to obtain details. It does sport a celebrity endorsement from Marc Summers, Food Network's host of the "Unwrapped" series.
A Sephra. Sephra has always been the
name in commercial chocolate fountains; now the Sephra-quality
engineering, design and esthetics carry over into their home versions. I
recommend the Sepha Elite Fondue Fountain. It's a beautiful
brushed stainless steel fountain with 4 temperature settings, and a
patent-pending quick-assembly system. It holds 6 pounds of chocolate. At
$250, it's the best value on the market.
For a large wedding reception or any "event" go ahead and rent a commercial unit, or better yet, hire the caterer or event planner that has one. It's one less responsibility on your to-do list.
For a home party, you can typically rent a small-to-medium chocolate fountain for $300-$400 for about 3 hours. Just like an event rental, that includes the chocolate and an attendant who brings the unit to the party, sets it up, keeps it stocked, disassembles it after the party, cleans it, and carts it away. For sheer convenience, nothing beats it. And it's not a bad price.
For $250 though, you can buy a chocolate fountain with all the bells and whistles and use it again and again.
by mail? It costs less, but is not as good a value without the
attendant. After the party you must box it up and send it back; another
chore, another expense. Weigh the option to rent a chocolate fountain
against the cost of buying one, and the space it takes to store it.
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