February is National Fondue Month, but chocolate fondue is a dessert that can be used to celebrate any occasion. It’s fun served to a group; it’s romantic enjoyed by two.
Chocolate fondue is easy prepare, so why don’t we have it more often? You don’t need a special fondue pot: You can use a standard sauce pot and a portable burner to keep the chocolate warm. However, long-handled fondue forks are needed.
A fondue sidebar: Back in the day, we were big fondue fans, hosting frequent fondue parties. We owned the specialty pots dictated by convention for each type of fondue:
Cheese fondue was served in a wide, short ceramic dish with a handle (i.e., a pot) that made dipping into the bubbly cheese easy
Beef fondue was served in a taller metal pot with a narrow mouth, so the cooking oil didn’t spatter and the fondue forks could rest against the mouth while the meat cooked
Chocolate fondue required a much smaller than either of the main course pots
The cheese and chocolate, and the oil for the beef, were heated on the stove. They were brought to the table and placed atop a brazier, a portable metal frame with an underneath heating source: alcohol, Sterno or butane (or the original, less effective heating source, a tea candle).