It's surprisingly easy to make a chocolate fondue at home, and the result is rich and decadent.
Made with three ingredients and ready in 15 minutes, this tasty fondue is one of my favorite desserts to make for my family.
There's something incredibly pleasurable about dipping tasty morsels of food into melted chocolate. No wonder chocolate fountains at buffets are such a hit - they're so much fun!
This easy recipe is made with just three ingredients: dark chocolate, heavy cream, and vanilla. It's one of my favorite desserts these days because it has this winning combination of a truly indulgent dessert that's also very easy to make.
You'll only need three ingredients to make this chocolate fondue, plus your choice of dippers. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Heavy cream: You can use half-and-half if you'd like, but the cream does produce a richer fondue.
Dark chocolate, chopped: The darker you can go and still enjoy it, the better. I like to use Lindt Excellence 90%. But since it's quite bitter for most palates, I wrote this recipe for Lindt Excellence 70%.
Vanilla extract: Try to use the real thing - pure vanilla extract - and not the artificially flavored stuff. There's a difference. I actually use brandy instead quite often. I like the flavor it adds.
Making chocolate fondue at home is really easy, which is nice and also a little surprising because it's such a fancy dessert. The detailed instructions are included in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
Your first step is to heat up the heavy cream over medium heat. You can do this on the stovetop or using an electric fondue appliance. Your goal is to bring the cream to a gentle simmer.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir the chopped chocolate into the heavy cream until it's melted. Once the chocolate has melted you can add the vanilla (or brandy).
Your fondue is ready! If using an electric fondue pot, reduce the heat to low to keep it warm, and serve it with your choice of dippers.
Results will vary depending on the chocolate brand you use. Start with the measurements listed in the recipe card, then adjust them according to the results you get.
If the mixture is too thick, add a bit of heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time. If it's too thin, add chocolate, one square (chopped) at a time.
Frequently asked questions
Yes! You can heat the heavy cream and melt the chocolate on the stove.
Once the mixture is ready, it's best to serve it on some type of hot plate (set on very low) to keep it warm, but it's also fine to simply place it on a heatproof trivet and serve it out of the saucepan (be careful, it will be hot).
It's helpful to place it on a very low-heat fondue appliance or hot plate. You might also need to stir in an extra tablespoon of heavy cream if it starts to harden.
Another trick is to add a tablespoon of oil (such as avocado oil) to the mixture as you melt it.
Yes, you can use chocolate chips. Remember that chocolate chips are made to retain their shape when baked in cookies so they don't melt as easily as chopped chocolate. But if you're patient, they should work just fine in this recipe.
Apart from using different dippers, the best way to vary this recipe is to experiment with different high-quality chocolate brands and different levels of cacao.
You can also add different flavor extracts such as almond extract, orange extract, or coconut extract. Start with 1 teaspoon and taste to see if you'd like to add more.
Many recipes recommend serving chocolate fondue with sweet dippers such as marshmallows or angel cake cubes. But I find that strawberries best complement the melted chocolate in terms of flavor and texture.
They provide a nice contrast between the slight tartness of the fruit and the creamy sweetness of the chocolate.
When you use sweet dippers you're actually missing out because the whole thing just becomes cloyingly sweet (even when you use very dark chocolate).
It's also nice to dip halved apricots and large cubes of peaches into the melted chocolate. Or even apple slices - especially tart apples such as Granny Smith.
I would only keep the leftovers if there was no double-dipping involved when enjoying the fondue. If you decide to keep the leftovers, you can keep them in the fridge, in a sealed container, for up to 4 days.
Reheat them gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power. Reheat in 30-second sessions and stir the mixture after each session until heated through. Take care not to overheat, as chocolate burns easily. You might need to add a bit of heavy cream to the mixture.
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Easy Chocolate Fondue
- 0.5 cup heavy cream
- 4 oz Lindt dark chocolate at least 70% cacao, chopped (12 squares)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract or brandy
- Pour the heavy cream into the fondue pot or into a small saucepan placed on the stovetop. Bring it to a simmer over medium heat.
- When the heavy cream is bubbling lightly, lower the heat to medium-low and gradually stir in the chopped chocolate, mixing with a hand whisk or a heat-resistant rubber spatula until smooth.
- When the chocolate is completely melted, stir in the vanilla extract.
- Reduce the heat to the lowest possible. Serve immediately, with your choice of dippers. If not using a fondue appliance, simply place the saucepan on a trivet and serve. Or use a hot plate on the lowest setting to keep the fondue warm. Be careful - the fondue pot, hot plate, and/or saucepan will be hot.