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ChristopherMichael

Chocolate for Fountains

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Does anyone have any suggestions on what would be the best chocolate to use in a fountain? I have never used one, but I have a family member that is going to use one they bought for their christmas party. I would imagine for the best results use a very fluid chocolate. Does anyone have any experience with fountains? Do you have to use oil to thin it out or can you use something else, water maybe? Any suggestions would be great. Thanks in advance.

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I'm not a chocolatier, so I'm sure some of the pros out there can give you more advice...

The best chocolate to use would be a fluid couverture -- the one that best suits your taste buds. You'll still need to thin it some for the fountain.

I used a chocolate fountain at work, and in order to keep our chocolate "pure", we added cocoa butter to the tempered chocolate to increase the fluidity. We were dipping items and wanted the chocolate to form a hard shell.

You can add some vegetable oil to the chocolate for the fluidity. The disadvantage to that is that you won't get a hard shell. The advantage is that you won't need to temper the chocolate.

With water you need to be careful -- you'd need to add enough so that your chocolate doesn't seize, but not so much that you end up with soup.

What are you going for with the fountain -- chocolate that hardens once the item is dipped or just a chocolate sauce?


Edited by SweetSide (log)

Cheryl, The Sweet Side

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My experience with fountains is to use more oil than you think would even be good. You need a consistency that is still loose at room temperature--this has been my experience. At least as loose as like cold pea soup loose. So you can imagine how much oil should go in. Not water. Chocolate is a fat and water will screw things up. Although I've used it with butter which contains water. But don't add any water, add oil. It will still taste great no worries.

You can do white choco, milk choco, or dark. You need more oil the darker the choco, less oil for the white. You can purchase chocolate especially for fountains.

Fountains are a lot of fun, wonderfully messy and beware of double dippers~ :laugh:

edited to say: easily pourable at room temperature is how I would describe it.


Edited by K8memphis (log)

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a number of mfrs have chocolate products specifically made for fountains. as you note, you can add oil or cocoa butter to reduce the viscosity yourself, and definitely don't add water. if your adding the fat yourself, add enough to raise the total fat to perhaps 50%, but the more accurate way to measure if it'll work will be to measure it's resulting viscosity - you're going to want something that's a pretty low viscosity, as most auger driven fountains simply aren't that powerful..

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Great suggestions from everyone....if you want to thin it out add vegetable oil(or some kind of oil) or more cocoa butter....if you just want to buy a chocolate that will be very thin I would suggest getting LINDT chocolate....the bar I last tasted from them had 50% fat in it. Horrible as an eating chocolate but perfect for what you want to do....

To check the fat content just see how many grams of fat is in a bar and then divide it by the total grams of the serving size....

-Robert

www.chocolateguild.com

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It's easier to make a fountain work with a chocolate that's formulated for dipping, as these already contain a large quantity of extra fat to make them melt easily to a thin liquid. At my workplace, we use the Callebaut S-12 coating chocolate for that purpose. It still takes a fairly startling amount of vegetable oil (coco butter's too damned expensive) to make the fountain run properly.

Just within the last few weeks, though, I've been given a tip from a local chocolatier that made the ol' light bulb go on for me. He uses a thin ganache in his fountains, which gives the desired consistency but with better flavour. I haven't had the chance yet to give it a bash, but it sounds brilliant.


"The only questions that really matter are the ones you ask yourself."

Ursula K. Le Guin

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

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For my fountain, I usually use E. Guittard semi-sweet with vegetable oil added. NEVER USE WATER! The chocolate will seize on you! Instead of looking for a chocolate that will be fluid enough for the fountain, I suggest you pick one that you like the taste of, then thin it out with either vegetable oil or cocoa butter.

The way I prepare the chocolate is that I melt it in the microwave, then add enough oil to get to the consistency that works. It's hard to descibe exatly what that consistency is. If, after you put the chocolate in the fountain and the consistency isn't quite right, you can either add some oil (chocolate too thick) or plain melted chocolate (chocolate too thin) on the top of the fountain and give it some time to mix into what's already in the fountain. It's not ideal, but it's worked for us before.

If possible, I would suggest trying out the fountain before using it at a Christmas party. Maybe have some friends and/or family over to "break-in" the fountain, just in case.

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He uses a thin ganache in his fountains, which gives the desired consistency but with better flavour.  I haven't had the chance yet to give it a bash, but it sounds brilliant.

That was what I was thinking of actually, but instead of making a cream ganache I thought of making a water ganache. I never liked the idea of adding a bunch of vegatable oil to some good chocolate. I guess I'm going to have to make a soft water ganache and give it a try or maybe even a drinking chocolate with water. I also don't understand why people say if you add water to chocolate it will seize. If you add only a little bit it will, but if you add enough to make it fluid it won't. I make my drinking chocolate with water and it's pretty fluid. Anyway, thanks everyone for their suggestions.


Edited by ChristopherMichael (log)

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You will still add a boatload of oil to the ganache. Ganache is too firm at room temp. You need a pourable substance at room temp.

It goes against the grain, but add a lot of oil and all will be well.

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You will still add a boatload of oil to the ganache. Ganache is too firm at room temp. You need a pourable substance at room temp.

It goes against the grain, but add a lot of oil and all will be well.

Thin ganache is fluid at room temp. Think chocolate milk....


Cheryl, The Sweet Side

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The idea of putting that much water into something that has that much sugar that's held at elevated temps makes me nervous...

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You will still add a boatload of oil to the ganache. Ganache is too firm at room temp. You need a pourable substance at room temp.

It goes against the grain, but add a lot of oil and all will be well.

Thin ganache is fluid at room temp. Think chocolate milk....

Oh.

Will that stick to a strawberry or slide off??

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You will still add a boatload of oil to the ganache. Ganache is too firm at room temp. You need a pourable substance at room temp.

It goes against the grain, but add a lot of oil and all will be well.

Thin ganache is fluid at room temp. Think chocolate milk....

Oh.

Will that stick to a strawberry or slide off??

It wouldn't slide off, because you can still make it the same consistancy as you would with the oil.

Sebastian- I agree with you about your point, but it's not going to be used the whole time, maybe a couple of hours. If it ran over 3-4 hours I would start to get concerned.


Edited by ChristopherMichael (log)

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About the water ganache to use in the fountain....I have never seen it done but I guess it might be possible. It will have a different consitency than with just oil. It will not have the same mount feel of chocolate but I guess it would work. I would personally suggest just adding cocoa butter to it. That keeps the chocolate chocolate and makes it thin at the same time.

-Robert

www.chocolateguild.com

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yes, for micro reasons. Sugar is only antimicrobial if there's it's present in high enough concentrations to lower the Aw below, oh, say 0.5 or so. If you're adding enough water to a chocolate to get it to be pumpable through a fountain, you're Aw's going to be much, much higher than that...ganache will spoil relatively quickly, and it doesn't have near as much moisture present as would be required for a fountain..

let us know if you decide to go the ganache route - i'd love to hear how it worked out...

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yes, for micro reasons.  Sugar is only antimicrobial if there's it's present in high enough concentrations to lower the Aw below, oh, say 0.5 or so.  If you're adding enough water to a chocolate to get it to be pumpable through a fountain, you're Aw's going to be much, much higher than that...ganache will spoil relatively quickly, and it doesn't have near as much moisture present as would be required for a fountain..

let us know if you decide to go the ganache route - i'd love to hear how it worked out...

My totally non-professional two cents is this: just make sure the chocolate tastes good! I've been to too many weddings lately that feature a chocolate fountain with crappy, low quality chocolate. It's such a nasty tease.

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SEPHRA has teamed up with Callebeaut to produce fondue chocolate specifically made for fountains that doesn't require the use of extra oil or cocoa butter.

Here's the link: http://www.sephrafountains.com/sephra-fondue-chocolate.htm

I couldn't fathom eating chocolate that is drowning in that much oil.  :wacko: YUCK!

I got some sample of this from my supplier. Of course I didn't try it melted on pound cake or anything, but it didn't taste very exciting.

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Chocovic also make a chocolate for fountains. Their single bean chocolate is excellent.


Mark

www.roseconfections.com

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I'm getting a chocolate fountain for my dessert business and am looking for a good resource for the chocolate. The companies that sell the fountains sell "fondue" chocolate where you don't have to add any oil. They are $4-$5 a pound. Too pricy plus shipping. Can I use any couverture chocolate with out adding oil? Or how about something like Merckens Candy Coating? Any good wholesale places to get chocolate for under $4.00 a pound?

Thanks for the help and advice!


Cheryl Brown

Dragonfly Desserts

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Fondue chocolate are generally expensive and don't taste too good. If you use couverture chocolate, you will most likely have to add oil, unless you're able to find a high cocoa butter chocolate.

I'm not sure where you are, but in South San Francisco, there is a great wholesale place I discovered recently, Marque Foods. They carry a belgium chocolate (Grand Place) for under $4/lb. The milk is great but the dark is not as intense as I like. Other brands they carry are E. Guittard, Callebaut, Valhorna, and a few others. If you really want fondue chocolate or coating chocolate, they are available there as well.

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I'm going to be using my chocolate fountain for the first time this weekend, and I was interested in the thin ganache idea. I bought some chocolate made especially for the fountain (at least it was on sale) but it was very sweet and not very good.

Has anyone tried ganache in their fountain?

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