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I received this as a novelty present and I absolutely love it! It is simple to set up, it comes in two pieces which just click together, the bottom stand and the top fountain part. This is very useful as it means you can easily clean the fountain part after use. It can take a while to heat up so you need to be careful that you don't put the chocolate in too early as it will start to solidify and wont run properly through the fountain. I would recommend buying proper melting chocolate rather than just using a normal bar you'd buy from a supermarket as these don't have the right consistency when melted to run smoothly through the fountain and can cause blockages. Also I was given some advice from the chocolate shop I bought the melting chocolate from and that was to add a bit of oil to the chocolate before putting it in the fountain and this keep everything running smoothly and is what they do in real professional chocolate fountains. Visually it has a cute shabby chic type of pattern which I like and would look good even if you left it out of the side in the kitchen. Overall I would recommend to a friend, it is great to use at parties and it always gets a positive reaction. It is quite an indulgent gadget and something that is great to buy a loved one who might not go out and by it themselves.
This was bought for me as a Mothers Day present by my son, who certainly knows what to buy a chocoholic!
I'm sure we've all seen these chocolate fountains at parties and enjoyed them, and it is a lot of fun to have one at home. It wouldn't do much for your diet to get it out every week, but I've used it a few times for parties and when we have people over. As long as you have sharp enough elbows to clear your way through all the kids - who adore it - it's a fun way to finish off an informal meal.
This fountain is at the budget end of those available, at just under £10, but it is sturdy and does the job.
There is a simple augur (like a giant corkscrew) which brings the melted chocolate up to the top of the fountain and this works very effectively without the added electronics needed to run a separate pump, and the risk of a pump going wrong. The machine plugs into the mains. The melted chocolate pours out the top and cascades over two further plates to create a tiered foutain effect, with the chocolate collected at the bottom and then brought back up to the top.
The machine is quite compact and has a nice design on the main base, which contains all the mechanical and electronic doo-dahs, so it is an attractive item for your table.
There are two switches, one for the motor to move the chocolate, and one for heat to keep the chocolate melted.
Put the heat on for a few minutes before adding the chocolate. You then have to melt the chocolate and mix it with some vegetable oil, before adding to the machine. The oil is to make the chocolate thin enough to flow properly. The machine has to be level to ensure that the chocolate flows evenly and there are two adjustable feet at the front to help you arrange this.
Eat as much of the chocolate as possible! Then leave the machine to cool down before dismantling the parts and wiping off the worst of the remaining chocolate with some paper towel. The metal parts can then be washed in warm soapy water. The base should not be imersed in water so any drips or spills should be wiped up with a damp cloth.
Do not pour any left-over chocolate down the sink or drain; throw it away. It will harden and set again once it fully cools and you don't want to have to call the plumber.
The recipe could have been more helpful as it is in American 'cups' measure, but we basically melted a load of chocolate in the microwave and added enough oil to make it runny enough.
I was a bit dubious about the oil at first and got the idea to add some milk instead (thinking about chocolate sauce made with chocolate, butter and cream). BAD idea. It curdled horribly and had to be thrown away. Perhaps cream would work, I don't know, but having spoken to other people it seems it is perfectly usual to add oil. We tried again with some oil and the chocolate was fine and to be honest you can't taste the oil at all.
When you use this you'll need to buy some skewers (we use cheapo wooden bbq skewers) as if you just used your fingers you'd get in a terrible mess. We dip all the usual things into the chocolate; pieces of fruit, marshmallows, squares of cake and brownies. Strawberries are everyone's big favourite.
Only that it is quite a bulky item when packed up so you need some space in your kitchen cupboard for it.
An excellent budget version of the chocolate fountains, ideal for family parties.