Host an after-hours fondue party

What could be better than molten chocolate, some close friends, and very little cleanup? Precious few things, I tell you.

I stumbled upon this idea years ago and decided it would be a fun time for at-home, once-baby-is-down-for-the-night socializing. I like to mix dark chocolate and heavy cream in my fondue pot until I am satisfied with the consistency. Then I start dipping anything that looks tasty.

If you need more formal instructions, here’s a recipe from Cuisinart:


3/4 cup whole or reduced fat milk
1 3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 pounds bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips (do not use blocks of chocolate”“ the extra cocoa butter in the chips produces a smoother fondue. Some varieties of the blocks of chocolate are too delicate)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch sea salt


Put the milk and heavy cream in the fondue pot. Set to Setting 4.5 to bring the mixture to a simmer, but not boiling. Reduce the heat to Setting 3.5 and gradually, using a nonstick whisk, add the chocolate chips. When the chocolate is completely blended, stir in the vanilla and salt. Reduce heat to Setting 3.

Serve with biscotti, fresh or dried fruit, marshmallows, graham crackers, pretzels, angel food cake, brownies, etc.

We host the other Rookie Family for chocolate fondue and games frequently on New Years Eve. Pick your favorite dip-ins and delegate those to your friends, potluck-style. I always like to tell Whitney’s husband, “bring organic marshmallows and a pineapple please” while I make a delicious dark chocolate soup.

Two great fondue pots: The electric Cuisinart fondue maker can also melt cheese and boil hot oil for other kinds of fondue fun. The Wilton chocolate pro melter is great for different candy-making fun. I have the first one and am always happy when I bust it out once or twice a year.

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