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EASY Homemade Chocolate Fondue

Homemade chocolate fondue is surprisingly easy. And ohhhh is it tasty!

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Dipping a strawberry on a fondue fork into chocolate fondue.

While this recipe is written for dark chocolate, you can make a semi sweet or a milk chocolate fondue following the same instructions. All chocolate fondue is delicious.

The best part is that you don’t need to have a fondue pot, though I do love my electric fondue pot to keep the chocolate at the appropriate temperature.

I love fondue in all its forms, whether that’s a traditional cheese fondue, chocolate fondue, or an oil fondue for cooking meat.

What kind of cream should I use for chocolate fondue?

For chocolate fondue, use heavy cream. You do not want to use ultra pasteurized cream, as that provides a different flavor – and not in a good way.

This is not a recipe where you can substitute whole milk or even half and half. You can use heavy whipping cream, but “regular” heavy cream works best.

What is the best way to melt chocolate for fondue?

To melt fondue, you want to heat the heavy cream first and pour it over your chocolate, then let the residual heat melt your chocolate.

Once you pour the cream over the chocolate, let it sit for a minute or two, then stir until it combines into a luscious and decadent chocolate ganache.

Cream poured over chocolate to melt in a silver bowl.

When you heat your cream, you want to scald the cream, which means to heat it until it starts to steam, but do NOT let your cream boil.

The best way to do this is on the stove in a heavy pot. It’s too easy to heat your cream too much in a microwave.

You can also do this in an electric fondue pot, but I like to heat the cream on the stove before I add it to my chocolate versus heating it all together in the fondue pot.

That said, I absolutely use my electric fondue pot to keep my melted chocolate fondue at the perfect temperature.

Can I use chocolate chips for fondue?

Chocolate chips are not ideal for any recipe where you want to melt chocolate, whether that’s making truffles or using it to dip cookies or fondue.

Chocolate chips have additional ingredients added to them that help them keep their shape even when heated. Needless to say, they do not melt into the perfect creamy texture you want for fondue.

While you can do it in a pinch, it will not make for the best fondue.

When you make chocolate fondue, you want to use the best quality chocolate you can. Cheap chocolate tastes plasticky and has those added ingredients, which means it doesn’t melt so smoothly.

I like to use either a chocolate bar and chop it or quality chocolate callets that are designed to be used in recipes like this and melt well with great flavor.

How can I keep chocolate fondue warm?

While my favorite way to keep fondue warm is my electric fondue pot, I know not everyone has one.

A crockpot can work, but I’ve found that even at the low temperature, it tends to be too hot and scorches the chocolate on the bottom. It is better than nothing, however.

You can also use a heavy – think cast iron – pot and heat the fondue in that over low heat. Once warmed, remove it from the heat and wrap it in kitchen towels to insulate it, which will help keep it warm for a bit.

You can then easily (and gently) reheat the chocolate fondue if it gets too thick. Obviously remove the towels before you put your pot anywhere near a heat source.

If you have a hot plate, you can keep it on the lowest setting, and that can often work. Note that different hot plates have different heat settings, so yours may not go low enough.

Traditionally, you used Sterno, but I find that it is far too hot for chocolate fondue, even if you keep it half covered. It can work, but know that the bottom of your chocolate will likely be scorched by the end of the night.

What should I dip in chocolate fondue?

For your chocolate dippers, you want a variety of flavors and textures.

The standards are fruit, marshmallows, and pound cake. I prefer fresh fruit, although many use dried fruit like apricots and mangoes.

For fresh fruit, I like to dip strawberries, sliced bananas, apples, pineapple, and even orange slices. Choose your favorite fruits, and enjoy!

Strawberries dipped in chocolate with fondue fork.

I like to add crunchy dippers, too. Try dipping pretzel rods, graham crackers, or oreos. My kids swear by Nilla Wafers, too.

Pound cake slices are a classic, but you can also dip angel food cake or brownies.

I have even done crispy bacon slices, which my friends usually declare their favorite new dipper.

What flavors can I add to my chocolate fondue?

As I mentioned, I like dark chocolate when I make my fondue, but you can use semi sweet chocolate or milk chocolate if you prefer.

If you use milk or semi-sweet chocolate, you can leave out the orange zest and Grand Marnier if you choose. If you do, add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.

Sometimes it’s fun to make additional flavors by mixing in other ingredients.

Try adding a spoonful of creamy peanut butter or a dollop of caramel sauce. You can add a half cup of marshmallow fluff or even a couple heaping spoons of cookie butter.

Try adding your favorite extracts, too, whether it’s a touch of peppermint or some Bailey’s or raspberry extract.

A bit of instant espresso powder makes an amazing mocha chocolate fondue, or you can use a squirt of a coffee syrup flavor you love.

How to Make Chocolate Fondue

Heat the cream in a heavy saucepan gently. You want to scald it, which means that it is just starting to steam but doesn’t actually boil.

Boiling cream is bad; trust me on that one.

Place the chocolate, orange zest, and Grand Marnier in a separate bowl. Once the cream is gently steaming, pour it over the chocolate.

Chopped chocolate with orange zest in a silver bowl.

Let this sit for one to two minutes, then stir until the chocolate is fully melted. It should be thick and glossy and gorgeous.

If you don’t want the orange flavor, you can skip the Grand Marnier and orange zest and use something else – lemon zest or kirsch or caramel or strong coffee or amaretto or raspberry or Bailey’s. I shared a bunch of ideas above.

Serve the chocolate fondue with assorted fresh fruit, dried fruits, pretzels, pound cake cubes, marshmallows, or anything else that sounds good to you.

If you have leftovers, you can refrigerate this and gently reheat it later either in the microwave (low heat, stirring every 30 seconds) or on the stove, stirring constantly until it is mostly melted before removing it from the heat and stirring until the rest has melted and incorporated.

Save this chocolate fondue recipe to make again!

Dipping a strawberry on a fondue fork into chocolate fondue.

Chocolate Fondue

This dark chocolate fondue is incredibly simple to make, and it has a great depth of flavor. It's perfect for all your favorite dippers!
5 from 51 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 2 cups
Calories: 157kcal
Author: Michelle

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
  • zest of one orange

Instructions

  • Chop chocolate, and zest the orange. Place chocolate, orange zest, and Grand Marnier in a bowl.
    8 ounces dark chocolate, zest of one orange, 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
  • Heat your cream in a heavy pot on the stove just until it steams. Do not boil.
    1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Pour cream over chocolate, and let it sit for 1-2 minutes. Stir gently until combined and glossy.
  • Serve immediately with your favorite dippers.

Notes

  • This is written for dark chocolate, but you can use milk or semi sweet chocolate for variety. Leave out the orange zest and Grand Marnier, and replace with a teaspoon of vanilla.
  • For more tips and tricks, be sure to read the full article above.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 157kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 8mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g

This site uses an online source to provide nutrition estimates as a courtesy. If you need exact values, please calculate yourself.

Strawberry being dipped into chocolate with text with text chocolate fondue.

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  1. Heather says:

    YUMMM. I could probably handle a little bit of this so I think I'll be making it soon as a treat to myself 🙂

  2. Michelle says:

    Pat – It's super good. And I actually have a tiny bit left over. Shhh but I may alter it a bit and make them into truffles.

    Tara – It is. It was the PERFECT dessert for a night where the moms treated themselves after a very long week!

  3. Tara R. says:

    I almost licked my laptop screen. This sounds so decadent.

  4. Pat says:

    My mouth is watering just reading this. I think I'll save this recipe for a special occasion.

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