What Is The Best Chocolate for Fondue: How to Make Smooth, Creamy Chocolate Dipping Sauce

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Chocolate fondue is the ultimate classic dessert that invites you to dip and indulge. Picture a pot of smooth, melted chocolate kept warm while friends and family gather around the fondue pot, skewering bits of fruit, cake, and other treats to dip into the decadent chocolate sauce. Making fondue at home is easy and fun, but achieving the perfect silky texture starts with choosing the right chocolate.

The best chocolate for fondue should melt smoothly and evenly into a rich, creamy liquid that coats each bite you dip without separating or getting grainy. Selecting a chocolate with the ideal cocoa percentage and ingredients is critical. Not all chocolate performs the same when melted, so you want something with a texture designed to become liquid chocolate at warm temperatures. This article will explore the unique properties of different types of chocolate and essential factors to consider when selecting chocolate for dipping into luscious fondue.

Overview of Dark, Milk, and White Chocolate

First, let’s examine the differences between the three main varieties of chocolate and how their flavor profiles and properties factor into which makes the best fondue:

Dark Chocolate

  • Made with little to no milk added
  • A higher percentage of cocoa solids and cocoa butter
  • Ranges from semi-sweet to bittersweet
  • Cocoa percentage typically between 60-80%
  • It provides a rich, intense chocolate flavor
  • It may not taste enjoyable if the cocoa percentage is too high

Best for fondue – Dark chocolate melts well with high-fat cocoa butter content. It provides that authentic chocolate taste you want in a fondue. Aim for around 60-70% cocoa content to avoid bitterness. The darker varieties, like 70,% may provide the most chocolate impact but could overwhelm more delicate fruit flavors when dipped.

Milk Chocolate

  • Contains milk powder or condensed milk
  • Lower cocoa percentage, around 40%
  • Higher in sugar content
  • It tastes sweeter and milder due to the added milk ingredients

For fondue – On its own, milk chocolate needs more depth of flavor for good fondue, and the lower fat content means it won’t melt as smoothly. However, mixing a small amount of milk chocolate into dark chocolate fondue can mellow bitterness and reduce the intensity for those who find pure dark chocolate too strong.

White Chocolate

  • It contains no cocoa solids, only cocoa butter
  • Lovely flavor, creamy texture
  • Vanilla and other flavorings provide taste since no cocoa
  • Essentially chocolate-flavored candy

In fondue – With no actual cocoa solids, white chocolate does not offer much chocolate flavor. But again, mixing a little white chocolate into dark chocolate fondue can add sweetness, creaminess, and mild vanilla notes. Don’t overdo it; the fondue will become too sweet without enough chocolate taste.

Based on these profiles, quality dark chocolate is usually ideal for fondue, providing a rich chocolate flavor that melts smoothly into a luxurious dipping sauce. But tweaking the recipe with milk or white chocolate can give the right taste balance for your fondue.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Chocolate for Fondue

When evaluating which chocolate to use for fondue, keep these key factors in mind:

Cocoa Percentage

The cocoa percentage indicates how much chocolate comprises cocoa beans and butter. For dark chocolate fondue, you want a high enough percentage to provide intense chocolate flavor but not so high that it becomes overly bitter.

  • 60-70% cocoa – This is generally considered the sweet spot. It provides plenty of rich chocolate impact but remains balanced, not bitter.
  • Higher than 75% – Once you go above 75% cocoa content, the chocolate becomes more bitter with less sweetness to offset the flavor. It is too painful for most fondues.
  • Lower than 60% – A cocoa percentage in the 50s will need more chocolate intensity for fondue. If you want to use chocolate this light, consider mixing it with a higher percentage of chocolate.


Check the ingredient list to ensure the chocolate does not contain additives like vegetable oils or unnecessary emulsifiers that could affect the melted texture. Look for chocolate dominated by these critical ingredients:

  • Cocoa beans
  • Cocoa butter
  • Sugar
  • Milk ingredients like powdered milk (for milk chocolate)
  • Vanilla or other natural flavors

You want chocolate made for optimal melting and dipping. Certain additives may inhibit an ultra-smooth liquid texture when melted.


The texture of the solid chocolate helps indicate how smoothly it will melt. Avoid chocolate that seems chalky, gritty, or leaves an odd coating in your mouth. Instead, look for:

  • Smooth, creamy melt – Melts evenly into a liquid.
  • Free of graininess – No residue or particles left behind.
  • Not waxy – Some cheaper chocolates have a waxy texture that resists melting.

Higher cocoa butter content helps create ideal melting properties.

Flavor Profile

Since fondue involves coating and accentuating other foods like fruit with chocolate, you generally want chocolate with mild or moderate flavor intensity.

  • Not overly bitter – Bitterness overwhelms more delicate flavors.
  • Not too sweet – Super sugary chocolate lacks complexity.
  • Mild chocolate taste – Allows other ingredient flavors to shine.
  • No odd aftertastes – Cheap chocolate can leave a chemical taste.

Premium chocolate aimed for melting/dipping often has a milder, less assertive profile designed to complement other ingredients.


Quality chocolate contains higher percentages of cocoa butter, which makes it generally more expensive than cheap chocolate chips or candy bars. Making fondue also uses a large quantity of chocolate. Consider buying value bulk packs to help manage the cost.


Since fondue chocolate gets used in large amounts, you want something widely available that’s easy to find in stores rather than a rare specialty bar. Opt for supermarket brands made for meltin’,g like Ghirardelli, rather than obscure boutique chocolates.

By considering these criteria, you can select a chocolate that checks all the boxes for melting, flavor, and accessibility.

Recommended Chocolate Brands and Products for Fondue

Based on taste tests, reviews, and experience, here are some excellent chocolate choices for velvety, creamy fondue:

Swiss Dark Chocolate

Switzerland is renowned for producing smooth, high-quality chocolate. For a truly traditional fondue, try these Swiss chocolate options:

  • Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate – Very smooth with 70% cocoa. Melts to perfection.
  • Ghirardelli Chocolate Premium Baking Bar – Classic melting wafers from the iconic American brand. 62% cocoa.
  • Ghirardelli Majestic Swiss Dark Chocolate Baking Bar – Made in Switzerland with 58% cocoa for a balanced bittersweet flavor.

Belgian Dark Chocolate

The Belgians are also masters of chocolate liable to melt superbly:

  • Callebaut Finest Belgian Chocolate – Made especially for melting.
  • Godiva Dark Chocolate Baking Wafers -72% cocoa content, smooth liquid texture.
  • Belcolade Noir Selection Dark Couverture – Quality couverture chocolate.

Domestic Brands

Many mainstream American brands offer quality chocolate for fondue on the affordable side:

  • Hershey’s Special Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate – Classic Hershey’s melts reliably.
  • Nestle Tollhouse Dark Chocolate Morsels – Known for cookies, also work for fondue.
  • Guittard Etienne Dark Chocolate Baking Chips – Smooth melting, made with cocoa butter.
  • Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips is America’s oldest chocolate company.

Cocoa Powder

Remember unsweetened natural or Dutch process cocoa powder. Adding a tablespoon enhances the chocolate flavor intensity.

Easy Fondue Recipe

Now that you have tips for selecting the perfect fondue chocolate, here is an easy recipe to try out with your chosen chocolate brand:


  • 12 ounces dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • One teaspoon vanilla


  1. Add the cream and milk to a saucepan and heat on medium until simmering. Remove from heat.
  2. Place chopped chocolate in a metal or heatproof bowl. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate.
  3. Let sit for 1 minute, then slowly whisk until completely smooth.
  4. Stir in vanilla and any additional flavorings if desired.
  5. Transfer melted chocolate to a fondue pot or oven-safe bowl. Keep warm over low heat like a tea candle or sterno.
  6. Arrange fruit, cake cubes, marshmallows, etc on skewers for dipping.
  7. Dip bite-sized pieces into the fondue, twirling to coat. Enjoy!


  • Use a double boiler instead of direct heat if possible.
  • Chop or break the chocolate into even-sized small pieces so it melts evenly.
  • Add a teaspoon of coconut oil to help the chocolate melt smoothly.
  • Stir continuously in one direction as the chocolate melts.
  • The ideal melting temp is 90-94F. Do not overheat, or the chocolate can seize up.
  • Add more cream for a thinner fondue or extra chocolate for a thicker one.

Dipping Ideas

Part of the fun is dipping various foods into the luscious chocolate! Great diapers include:

  • Fresh fruits like strawberries, banana chunks, apple and pear slices
  • Cookies such as shortbread, biscotti, graham crackers
  • Cubed angel food cake, pound cake, brownies, rice krispie treats
  • Marshmallows
  • Pretzels or pretzel sticks
  • Dried fruits like apricots, cherries, pineapple, mango
  • Graham cracker sticks
  • Wafer cookies or waffle bowl cones for holding the fondue

Fondue Tips and Tricks

Here are some top tips for fondue success:

Add Flavorings

Customize your fondue:

  • Extracts – Almond, orange, peppermint, raspberry
  • Liqueurs – Coffee, Irish cream, hazelnut, fruited
  • Spices – Cinnamon, chili powder, nutmeg

Start with 1/2 teaspoon and add more if needed.

Make it Fun for Kids.

Let the little ones help:

  • Stirring the chocolate
  • Skewering the dippers
  • Adding flavored sprinkles or crushed candy to their fondue

Kid-friendly dippers:

  • Marshmallows
  • Graham crackers
  • Strawberries
  • Banana slices
  • Pretzels

Presentation Tips

  • Arrange dippers in cups around the pot
  • Make skewers ahead of time
  • Scatter colorful sprinkles
  • Use a decorative fondue pot
  • Offer fun skewers like pretzel sticks

Keeping Fondue Warm

If you don’t have a fondue pot, no problem! You can keep fondue melted using the following:

  • A metal or oven-safe bowl suspended over a pot of simmering water (double boiler method)
  • A slow cooker, crock pot, or electric fondue maker on a warm setting
  • Frequent stirring over deficient stove heat

The key is keeping it warm enough to stay fluid but not letting it get so hot it scorches.

Quick Chocolate Repairs

If your fondue cools and hardens, stir in a cream liqueur or coconut milk splash to re-melt it. Or you can gently rewarm it over a double boiler.

If the fondue separates, quickly stir in a teaspoon of cornstarch dissolved in 1 tbsp cream. This should emulsify it back together.

Fondue Party Tips

Hosting a chocolate fondue party? Make it memorable with these ideas:

Food and Decor

  • Set out a variety of dippable foods and skewers on a central table
  • Offer two pots – one milk chocolate, one dark chocolate
  • Sprinkle table with colored sprinkles, foil confetti, flowers
  • Use fondue pot tea lights for mood lighting


  • Play upbeat music in the background
  • Have guests vote on the most creative or most giant dippers
  • Award fun prizes for best dippers
  • Play fondue-themed games like chocolate trivia


  • Provide aprons for splatter protection
  • Silly hats or attire are optional!


  • Hot chocolate or chocolate liqueurs for adults
  • Sparkling apple cider or berry lemonade

Fondue Night will be a hit with the right chocolate, techniques, and ideas!

No Fondue Pot? No Problem! Alternative Serving Methods

Need a traditional fondue pot? You can still make delicious chocolate fondue. Here are some alternative ways to serve it:

Crock Pot or Slow Cooker

Use a small 2-3 quart slow cooker—heat on a low setting to keep chocolate melted for dipping.

Electric Fondue Maker

They sell compact electric pots with temperature control designed just for fondue. Great if you make it often.

Oven-Safe Bowl

Suspend a stainless steel or ceramic bowl over a pot of gently simmering water to create a double boiler.


Heat fondue in a nonstick pan on ultra-low heat, stirring frequently. Use long skewers to dip.

Tea Candles

Pour fondue into an oven-safe bowl or ramekin. Place several tea candles below to maintain warmth.


Use sterno heaters designed for buffet serving to keep fondue pots warm. Refuel as needed.

Hot Plate

Set an oven-safe fondue dish on an electric hot plate on the lowest heat. Monitor temperature.

The main tips are using low, indirect heat and stirring regularly. This prevents the delicate chocolate from scorching. Any method that maintains a warm enough temperature to keep the chocolate fluid will work!

Reviews of Recipes and Tips

Still trying to be convinced about making chocolate fondue at home? Here’s what real home cooks have to say about fondue success:

“I hesitated about melting chocolate in the crockpot, but it worked perfectly! I used Ghirardelli chips and stirred in some peanut butter for flavor. Everyone loved dipping the fruit and marshmallows at our family fondue night.”

“So easy and delicious! I used a combo of dark chocolate and white chocolate chips melted in the double boiler. We let the kids help dip cookies and rice krispies into the fondue.”

“I’d wanted to try fondue for years but didn’t have the pot. This tutorial gave me the confidence to improvise with a slow cooker on warm. The advice is to chop the chocolate finely and add a little oil to ensure it melts smoothly.”

“My boyfriend and I had our first fondue date night following this recipe. The tips for seasoning the chocolate with almond and peppermint extracts were genius! Creative dipper ideas took it over the top. Amazing.”

“Who knew homemade fondue could be so simple? My picky eaters even gave this two thumbs up! I love how customizable it is.”

“Fondue night was a huge success thanks to all these practical tips! Keeping the pot warm with a tea candle worked perfectly, and the kids loved helping dip.”

“My chocolate seized up on the first try, but the recovery tips helped me emulsify it to silky perfection. Lesson learned about not overheating delicate chocolate!”

“I’d been wary of attempting chocolate fondue, but this article made the process unintimidating. My Swiss chocolate melted into the most luscious sauce for our dessert spread!”

Nutrition Information

Making fondue at home allows you to control exactly what goes into it. Here is the nutrition information per serving (about 1/4 cup) of this simple fondue recipe:

  • Calories: 200
  • Total Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Cholesterol: 25mg
  • Sodium: 10mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 21g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 18g
  • Protein: 2g

Of course, this fondue is meant to be a treat. You can reduce the calorie and sugar content by:

  • Using chocolate with a higher cocoa percentage
  • Adding less chocolate to the recipe
  • Choosing lower sugar dipping items like fruit
  • Portioning out smaller amounts into dipping bowls

Any way you enjoy it, homemade chocolate fondue will satisfy that craving!

Recommended Fondue Supplies

To dip and indulge like a pro, having the right fondue gear helps:

  • Fondue Pot Set – Complete set with pot, burner, and skewers. Cuisinart makes a quality electric one with adjustable heat.
  • Long Fondue Forks – Get extra long forks with grip handles for easy dipping.
  • Double Boiler – Ideal for melting chocolate gently. This Cuisinart set is durable.
  • Skewers – Get creative with fun skewers like pretzel sticks, cookie cutters, etc.
  • Dipping Bowls – Mini ramekins or oven-safe bowls work well for serving with no pot.

With quality equipment, you’ll be ready to host the ultimate fondue gathering!

Origins and History of Chocolate Fondue

While chocolate fondue feels indulgent and modern, its origins may surprise you.

First, fondue – Cheese fondue originated in Switzerland, with the earliest known recipe published in 1699. It was peasant food designed to use up old cheese.

Chocolate fondue – Chocolate became a famous fondue in the 1950s as wartime rationing ended and chocolate

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