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Chocolate Fountains Experiences

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Ok we have a small but good choclate fountain.
Questions we have are:
how much do people actually eat from the fountain display?
What types of foods do you provide with it? We were thinking strawberries, of course, prestzle sticks, and bananas. Obviously the banana will have to be cut to order "so to speak".
We were thinking about 40 bucks on the rental, trying to figure in food, and if the small offering of fruits with the display should be included in the price, which would increase price a bit for the rental, or just jack up the price on the fresh fruit display.
So what do you guys think?
Thanks
Frizbee
Do what you do with passion....the rest will fall into place..
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  ~Rev. Run
Our Lives are not in the laps of gods, but in  the laps of our cooks.
  ~Lin Yutang
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Do what you do with passion....the rest will fall into place..
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  ~Rev. Run
Our Lives are not in the laps of gods, but in  the laps of our cooks.
  ~Lin Yutang
Reply
post #2 of 21
We have a large one, the largest sephra makes.
It is very popular to the point we need a second.
Popular for wedding receptions, proms, and buffets.

We seem to have little problem getting $500 for a party, food and chocolate included. The fountain paid for itself in six functions.
so if yours is a small one, I'd make it a package deal for say. $150, depending on the size of the party.

Strawberries and pineapple seem to be the most favored.

In addition to what you mention, we also serve ladyfingers, macaroons, cut pineapple, mini oreos, and marshmallows.

Leftover chocolate can be strained and reused. We don't do bananas because they wont hold up, but a thought might be to put the pieces in chilled water.

But we do used pre-sliced sulphited apple sections.

We don't skewer unless requested, we just put out bamboo skewers with the display.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks Rivitman
Lady fingers, macaroons, and marshmallows are a great idea! Ooh could even do like a smores station…yum.
So should we price in food accompaniments with the rental? Or just add more to the fruit display that we were going to do and bring that price up?
And does it splash or make much of a mess?
Thanks again!
Frizbee
Do what you do with passion....the rest will fall into place..
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  ~Rev. Run
Our Lives are not in the laps of gods, but in  the laps of our cooks.
  ~Lin Yutang
Reply
Do what you do with passion....the rest will fall into place..
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  ~Rev. Run
Our Lives are not in the laps of gods, but in  the laps of our cooks.
  ~Lin Yutang
Reply
post #4 of 21
Done a few of them, rented the large jobbies. It's as only as good as the chocolate you put in though, and many adultarate it with vegetable oil or really cheap'n nasty chocolate.

For large parties it makes sense to have a waiter/ess posted there to clean up, replenish, and telling the guests not to "double dip"... Without constant care and attention it can look like a bloody battlefield within 10 minutes. Also, have small table-top trashcans handy for toothpicks/skewers and napkins.

Without wanting to sound bigoted, it IS a chick-magnet. Don't know how many times I've seen a mid-aged woman dressed-to-the-max swoon over a fountain of molten chocolate....
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #5 of 21
Interesting to read your comments on the choc fountain. I had wondered about them, thinking they were the newest marketing gimmick, but from what you say, they're quite popular. I haven't been asked to do one yet. In case the question ever comes up, which chocolate do you recommend?

Oh, and this middle aged woman would NOT be the one swooning beside the fountain...not in public anyway.:mad: There are times when a nice, tasteful little chocolate oozing contraption sitting right smack in the center of my kitchen counter might be just the ticket- right beside the bottle of wine.
post #6 of 21
Very little splash, cleanup is a bit of a chore.
As to oil, you pretty much MUST add about 15% vegetable oil to get it to flow well. It has pretty much no effect on the flavor at all. The fountain must be leveled with a carpenters level each time, and preheated for an hour before addding the chocolate.

The chocolate itself should be pre melted and ready to pour in.

I would price it all in one package.
post #7 of 21
At the place I used to work, we had a lady who brought her fountain and chocolate, we provided all the strawberries, fruits, and everything else already mentioned, including gummy worms. It's best to have somebody stationed at the fountain especially if there's uncontrolled kids.
After dipping there's some chocolate dripping off before the food reaches the plates, which can get messy. Plus you have to watch where you put your electric cords.
At one event, the fountain was outside, on a windy day...not a good thing. Another time, it was placed near the door, again on a windy day. Every time the door opened the chocolate would gust.

H.
post #8 of 21
I would be a little leary about those folks that double dip. You don't worry about that? Dip and eat is one thing, but dip eat then dip agian I don't know about that. I have considered one of these things but still undecided at this point.

Rgds Rook
post #9 of 21
As with any party dip you cannot control dbl dippers....it's not up to you to do so.....just don't do it yourself nor eat after them.

I charge by the person for choc fountain, Callebaut pistoles works for me....or Nestle's choc chips if they want a cheaper verison.

My dippers have included: dried apricots, housemade marshmallows, graham sticks, pretzels, fresh fruit.....
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #10 of 21

White Chocolate?

What about white chocolate? Does is work as well in a fountain and is there any specific food that would be better with white vs dark chocolate?
post #11 of 21
I have read that people can some remarkable things around choc. fountaines , not just double dipping, but fingers and eating from a repeatedly used teaspoon. And worse. I also heard they were a real pain to clean. One person described it as a saliva bath. I find this very unattractive,and wouldn't be inclined to reuse left over chocolate. What do others think?
post #12 of 21
For cleaning at 1 am in the morning when you're tired and fighting to get the machine cleaned, do what most Pastry chef's do: Put the machine, taken apart, on a sheet pan, and shove the whole mess in a gas oven, with the oven turned off and the heat from the pilot light gently warming it, so that by morning most of the crud has dripped off onto the sheet pan, and you just have to rinse off and pop the machine parts in the d/w.

Using the (used) stuff? Nope, by the time it's done, it's loaded with (among OTHER things...) crumbs, chunks, fruit pieces, fruit juice, strawberry hulls, those frilly things from the toothpicks..... Besides, by the time it's scraped into a bucket and refrigerated overnight, the oil/stretchers will have risen to the top and congealed into a most nauseating scum....
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #13 of 21
nice visualization there!!
I'm not into reusing choc.
I catered a wedding planner's event tonight, there was a choc fountain....the owner stations staff at it so they are the only ones dipping. All she had was banana, pretzels and strawberries......kinda boring.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #14 of 21
Am I to assume that white chocolate is okay to use as is dark chocolate since no one commented?
post #15 of 21
sure, white, dark and milk all work
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #16 of 21
Thanks!! I really appreciate the info.

Anything in particular (food wise) to avoid? Bananas seem like they would get pretty yucky. I like the idea of macaroons, pretzels, marshmellows, etc. What do you think about pound cake? Would it fall apart? Dried fruits? I have a November bride who only wants chocolate fountains. Reception is at 6:00 pm - no food only cake and chocolate fountains. Anything that might not be quite as sweet (?!?) to put with the chocolate? I had thought about a nut cluster of sorts for some protein. These poor guests are going to go into sugar comas!
post #17 of 21
Could you suggest to the bride that some guests will become really quite ill with such a restriction. Diabetes is rampant now, and there are other health factors to consider. If she is having any alcohol, something of more substance must be served, otherwise there will be people falling down all over the place.
post #18 of 21
I'll give it a whirl and try to talk some sense into her again.
post #19 of 21

Color it

I have had a fountain for a couple of years now and have done many things with it. I have had very little problem with dbl dipping, except children. My solution to that is to place the ftn in the center of a round table, so it is out of reach of the little buggers. Any food that can be skewered is fair game for a fountain. Fruit of all kinds (cherries are hot right now), sponge cakes, quick breads, cinnamon sticks (use up leftover pizza dough), marshmallows, etc.
As for white chocolate, its works great, and you can color it to match a bride's colors with a little food coloring.
Best chocolate-Chocovic tobago drops and Ghiradelli mixed 50/50. makes the young girls go crazy.

BTW I am kind of looking to sell my fontain, don't have the time for it anymore.
We have done so much with so little for so long, we can now do almost anything with almost nothing. Dave Marcis

Eat Well
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We have done so much with so little for so long, we can now do almost anything with almost nothing. Dave Marcis

Eat Well
Reply
post #20 of 21
Dude doing Chocolate Fondu with Pretlizes its Uhh... how do i say. lame.:confused:

Make up Fruit Skewers of Pineapple, Strawberrys, and other types of Fruit and then make up an entire display around the chocolate Fontain make it Appealing.

They do Sell well, seems the Kids like them the best.
post #21 of 21

Chocolate (ugh) Fountains

I try to avoid them, but it's hard to fight trends.
I will say- avoid outdoors, as the aforementioned wind, but also during the season of gnat like flies, or fruit flies as some call them.

I've seen Rice krispy treats, brownies, and unglazed Creme puffs all go really well, as well as graham crackers.

Sephra probably has the most complete outfitting & supplies. They have a two pronged flat wooden spear which is quite effective- not very classy looking, but works well.

I just found some nifty asian spears, forks, skewers and stuff at pearlriver.com
I placed an order Sunday afternoon, and they were on the phone Monday morning at 8:30 to tell me the $4 satin slippers were back-ordered, but the rest of the order was shipping out- good service- worlds better than that of Klima-Gro, the inattentive greenhouse people mentioned elsewhere in these boards.

The chocolate fountain is about as classy as a frozen margarita machine.
I'll admit they have their place, but it is a dilettante piece of gimmickry which has been foisted on a gaping, bleary-eyed dining public.
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