A Chocolate Fondue Garden Party might just be the answer if you’ve been looking for a fun, fresh get-together that won’t break the bank. It’s an event that only takes minutes to plan and prepare, and for a large group, you can even pass out “food assignments” so that everyone has a chance to contribute.
This chocolate fondue event was organized for a group of young women from our neighborhood as a church youth gathering. The focus of the evening for this group was the importance of keeping a personal journal, but the idea could be adapted to lots of different purposes–including bridal and baby showers.
When the Young Women arrived, we let them wander the grounds and find a great spot for an Instagrammable photo of themselves with their own Moms.
Once the party had started, one young woman told the story of the memorable day when she dropped her cell phone in a toilet at Kennedy International airport in New York City, necessitating our journey in a “white kidnapper van” in the middle of the night because she no longer had access to her Uber app. The adventure continued with her first journey on the Manhattan subway dragging her suitcase. That story brought smiles and the rest of the group had fun recalling “journal moments” that they wanted to share with their own children someday.
Next, we served chocolate fondue and fresh fruit so the girls and their Moms could sit back and converse. We had provided a copy of a Q&A journal at each table to serve as a conversation starter. Each of the girls found a question for something they wanted to know about their own Moms. The answers were sometimes surprising. For example, when one asked her Mom when the last time she had danced was, she was surprised to learn that her mom had danced that very week. This Mom and her husband were working together in the garage, and he wrapped his arms around her and took her for a waltz across the cement. That tender and romantic moment made the entire group smile. So did fresh peaches, homemade brownies, and mandarin oranges dipped in warm chocolate. Yum!
Chocolate Fondue Recipe:
Melt 12 ounces of milk chocolate chips by melting gently in a microwave on medium (50 percent) power. Start with microwaving your chocolate for 1 minute, and then add 1 cup heavy whipping cream and microwave for additional 30-second increments until the chocolate is mostly melted. Stir until smooth. The chocolate will continue to melt as you stir. Add a little more cream if the chocolate seems too thick. Use immediately, or set aside until needed and rewarm briefly.
Fresh Fruit and Sweet Bread Dippers:
We asked the girls to bring their favorite fruit, cut into bite-sized chunks, but any of the following “dipper” options work well (Dip fruit like apples, pears, and peaches into water with a bit of lemon juice or citric acid to prevent the fruit from browning).
- Mandarin oranges
- Heavy pound cake
- Brownie chunks (most purchased brownie mixes will be too fragile to stick on a fondue fork. We recommend the brownie recipe below)
You don’t need a fancy fondue pot to serve “fondue.” Any pretty serving dish with warmed chocolate inside will work. You can use simple bamboo skewers instead of fondue forks.
1/2 cup butter (no substitutes)
3 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1. Melt butter and chocolate in the microwave (30 seconds at a time, stirring after each interval) until melted. Cool slightly.
2. Beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla together.
3. Gradually stir in the flour; add the cooled chocolate and stir to incorporate.
4. Spread into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan and bake at 350 degrees just until the top is set (about 15 min).
5. Cool and cut into 1-inch or bite-sized chunks.