Chocolate fondue sometimes seems like a gimmick, like one of those 70s and 80s desserts that faded into obscurity (just like plenty of cocktails from the 70s and 80s). Except that chocolate fondue hasn’t disappeared. It’s still popular at parties and is an excellent dessert when you’re on a date.
The goal then is to work out what to serve with chocolate fondue. Or, more specifically, what you’re going to dunk into the chocolate. Fresh fruit, marshmallows, churros, and angel food cake are the best mainstream foods to serve with chocolate fondue. You can also go with more creative ingredients, like potato chips, bacon, cookie dough, or chili peppers. You might be surprised at how well these work.
As you go through these sides, think about the types of chocolate you’re using for your fondue. Many people rely on semi-sweet chocolate or dark chocolate, as this stops the dessert from being too sweet. However, you can make fondue using milk chocolate or even with a combination of milk, white, and dark chocolate.
You’ll need a sense of your fondue recipe before you start thinking about ingredients for dipping. Otherwise, you’ll end up with noticeable flavor mismatches.
Also, be sure to stick with high quality chocolate. Cheap chocolate often has an inferior flavor and texture. These become even more pronounced when you’re making fondue.
What could be more classic than dipping marshmallows in fondue? They’re perfect, as they have a mild flavor and plenty of sweetness. You could even have a graham cracker alongside to create the flavor of s’mores.
For that matter, why not toast your marshmallow before dipping it into the fondue? Doing so gives it a richer and more complex flavor that’s an excellent match to with chocolate. You might also experiment with different marshmallow shapes or flavors to make things even more enjoyable.
Zephyrs are beautiful marshmallow-like desserts, but they mightn’t be what you expect. They’re made by whipping egg whites, sugar, fruit puree, and a few other ingredients.
Most versions are fluffy and less chewy than regular marshmallow. They also have a surprisingly intense flavor. Add a little chocolate from your fondue and you have a divine dessert.
This Homemade Marshmallows (Zephyr) recipe is a great place to begin (there’s even a video!). The recipe relies on agar agar syrup to create the desired texture, which makes the marshmallows vegetarian-friendly. The color and flavor come from fresh blackberries, so there are no artificial ingredients to worry about.
It’s rare to see chocolate fondue served without at least one type of fresh fruit. That’s hardly surprising, given that fruit and chocolate always pair well together.
Strawberries are the classic option here, partly because chocolate dipped strawberries are such a famous romantic treat. However, most types of fruit work with chocolate. It’s hard to go wrong.
Why not experiment with exotic fruit instead? There’s an almost endless range of types to experiment with. Some of these taste amazing, while others are entirely unexpected. Still, most are worth trying at least once, especially with chocolate.
Instead of serving pieces of fresh fruit, why not try a treat like these Fruit Kabobs with Pear Cream? They rely on five different types of fruit – blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, watermelon, and honeydew melon. Then you have the pear cream, which is made using canned pears, coconut milk, sugar, and vanilla extract.
The pear cream is optional, given that you’ll be dipping the kabobs in chocolate anyway. Still, the kabob style is a great idea. It’s less messy than dipping individual pieces of fruit and gives you a nice variety of flavors.
Churros are a natural choice with chocolate fondue, given they’re served with chocolate dip anyway. But, honestly, the flavor of chocolate fondue is much better than most dips normally served with churros (especially if you use high quality chocolate).
The flavor of churros means that they’ll work well with any type of chocolate fondue, including a dark chocolate focused version and a milk chocolate one. You could even mix a little chili into your chocolate fondue to give it a Mexican theme.
These little Churros Poppers are a stunning alternative to full churros. They offer the same flavor profile and a similar texture, but are bite-sized and easy to eat. They could even be less messy than churros, as you can skewer them on toothpicks before dipping them.
The little treats use familiar ingredients, including sugar, cinnamon, flour, vegetable oil, and salt. These ingredients are used to make a dough that is then rolled into balls that are deep fried. The only problem is that they’re a bit too good. You might find yourself overdoing it with them.
Brownies And Cookies
What’s more decadent than dipping chocolate brownies or chocolate cookies in your fondue? You get this amazing chocolate-on-chocolate flavor that is so good when you want a rich dessert.
If that sounds like too much chocolate, no worries. You can easily go with lighter flavored cookies and brownies. Even blondies are an excellent choice and are delicious once they’ve been dipped in chocolate.
For those who don’t like baking, why not join a cookie of the month club instead? There are more than 40 such clubs, all of which ship out cookies to you regularly. They offer some fantastic flavors and styles, including some you might never make yourself.
Shortbread is especially good with fondue, as the cookies are crumbly with a mild flavor. It’s hard to get much better than these Lemon Lavender Shortbread Cookies, especially as both the lemon and lavender shine through in the final cookies.
The tartness from lemon juice and lemon zest is an excellent contrast to the rich creaminess of your chocolate fondue. You could even use a cookie cutter to make interesting shapes.
Some Types Of Cheese
As strange as the idea sounds, cheese and chocolate do pair together. The trick is to choose the right type of cheese for your chocolate – an approach that requires some experimentation.
To begin with, try pairing acidic cheeses with dark chocolate fondue and milder cheese with milk chocolate fondue. Cabot Creamery offers some interesting suggestions for pairings as well. Or, you could go with your gut instinct and see what weird and wild combos you come up with.
If cheese on its own doesn’t strike the right note, what about these Gouda and Peach Skewers with Fresh Thyme? They’re a little like the classic cheese and fruit appetizers that are served again and again, but have a much more exciting combination of flavors.
The thyme is really what makes these treats special. It elevates them from being simply fruit and cheese to something very special indeed. Plus, the appetizers are already on sticks, so it’s easy to dip them into your fondue.
Brioche is an unusual type of bread as it’s rich, soft, and distinctly sweet. Sometimes, you’ll see it as part of a dessert or with sweet ingredients mixed in, like chocolate chips.
Because of its richness, brioche tastes simply amazing when dipped in chocolate fondue. The flavor of brioche is also fairly simple, so the flavors of your fondue get the chance to truly shine.
Want to serve chocolate fondue and brioche at a party? If so, this Braided Brioche will do the trick nicely. The recipe is simpler than you might expect too, as you can rely on a mixer to blend all the ingredients together.
Plus, while the recipe has many steps, it will become second nature before long. You might find yourself regularly making it for friends and family. The finished brioche should also be fresher and more flavorful than the versions you find at most local stores.
We’re often told not to eat cookie dough because of the raw eggs. Thankfully, there are plenty of safe cookie dough recipes, ones that don’t use raw eggs and are designed to be eaten without any cooking.
Chocolate chip cookie dough is the most common option. It already has chocolate in it, so it works perfectly with chocolate fondue. That said, there are plenty of other options, like peanut butter cookie dough, funfetti cookie dough, and double chocolate cookie dough.
In fact, you can make a safe-to-eat version of most cookie dough flavors. Then, you just need to roll the cookie dough into balls and dip it into your chocolate fondue.
These Edible Cookie Dough Balls are a little different, as they include funfetti as well as chocolate chips. Those ingredients make the cookie dough balls look amazing and contribute to the flavor too. The recipe avoids raw eggs and requires you to heat the flour, which makes it as safe as it can possibly be.
The rest of the ingredients are exactly what you’d expect for cookies, including butter, chocolate chips, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. You could skip the sprinkles if you wanted to, although they do make the treat so much better.
Ice Cream Balls
Dipping ice cream in chocolate fondue works and tastes as good as it sounds (after all, countless treats include both chocolate and ice cream). You just need to move fast, as the heat from your fondue risks melting your ice cream.
One trick is to roll the ice cream into small balls and freeze the ice cream balls. That way the ice cream is ready to dip as soon as you take it out of the freezer.
Ice cream is a fun choice, as there are so many different flavors. I’m not just talking about the standard chocolate and vanilla either. Some brands go all out and create stunning flavors (Tillamook is one example, there are also interesting flavors in ice cream of the month clubs). You could also experiment with dipping dairy free ice cream.
Speaking of engaging flavors, what do you think of this Homemade Butter Pecan Ice Cream? It uses vanilla custard ice cream as the base, with butter candied pecans swirled in.
The pecans provide a stunning flavor contrast and a bit of crunch. Both features will work perfectly with the rich melted chocolate in your fondue. You can even swirl caramel into the ice cream to give it an even richer flavor. Honestly, a combo of vanilla, pecans, and caramel is far too good to pass up.
Sweet isn’t always the way to go. Sometimes you’ll want contrasting notes to go with your chocolate fondue, like the heat of chili peppers.
The idea isn’t even as strange as it first sounds. After all, chili and chocolate are already paired together regularly (like in chili chocolate ice cream and chili hot chili hot chocolate).
Before you dip your chili in chocolate, think about the level of heat. You’ll want a chili that you actually enjoy, rather than one that makes it feel like your mouth is on fire. If you’re not sure, start with the mildest peppers you can find.
Instead of just dipping chili peppers in chocolate, why not try these Irresistible Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers? They’re made using jalapeno pepper halves with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon, and seasonings.
While bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers are always popular, adding them to chocolate fondue is a new idea. The chocolate will add creamy sweetness to the poppers, while giving you a nice contrast between sweet chocolate and spicy peppers.
Angel Food Cake
You could actually dip any type of cake in your chocolate fondue. However, angel food cake is one of the best choices, as it’s incredibly light and airy. The lightness stops your dessert from being overwhelming. After all, chocolate fondue is rich enough on its own.
If regular angel food cake doesn’t cut it, what about a variation? There’s an endless selection of options, like pineapple, pumpkin, vanilla bean, or orange dream angel food cake. I’ve even seen a cookies and cream version.
These Angel Food Cake Churro Bites were actually made using frozen boxed angel food cake from Sara Lee (although you could make them using homemade angel food cake as well). To make the bites, you need to defrost the cake, cut it into cubes, fry those cubes, and toss them in a cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Doing this gives you a treat with a crispy exterior that tastes much like churros. However, the interior retains the fluffiness of angel food cake. You could even make these using an air fryer, giving you a healthier treat.
Potato chips dipped in chocolate fondue take advantage of that classic sweet and salty contrast. You also get a fantastic crunch from the potato chips, something you don’t get with most other chocolate fondue ingredients.
This combo is surprisingly addictive. You might find it hard to stop once you’ve dipped potato chips once.
If you try this, start with plain salted potato chips and milk chocolate fondue, as this is the most straightforward flavor combo. You can always experiment with other flavor combos later. You could even try homemade veggie chips instead of potato chips for an interesting variation.
If you’re bored with plain chips, these Homemade Dill Pickle Chips could be just the thing. They’re marinated in pickle juice, then drained and sprinkled with dried dill and garlic powder, before being cooked in the air fryer.
The pickle juice and dried dill give the potato chips a fantastic pickle flavor, while the air fryer ensures that your chips are crispy and fairly healthy. You could try the same approach with sweet potatoes too, just to mix things up.
Chocolate covered bacon is popular as a novelty item, so why not make your own using chocolate fondue? Doing so gives you complete control over the quality of bacon you use, how it’s cooked, and whether there’s any seasoning.
You can even make twisted bacon, which tastes astonishing and is very easy to dip into your fondue. Or, why not get some high quality bacon from a bacon of the month club? That way, you know there aren’t any concerning additives.
These Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Bites are a great alternative to simply dipping bacon in chocolate fondue. It’s a brilliant idea, given that pineapple and chocolate pair well together anyway.
There are some other interesting ingredients in the recipe too, including Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, fresh ginger, and honey. These contribute to a complex flavor profile, one that will taste even better after the bites have been dipped in chocolate.
Timing is crucial with this recipe, as pineapple can actually start to break down the bacon. For best results, you’ll need to assemble the appetizers right before you bake them, then use them in the fondue not long after they have cooled down.
Frozen cheesecake balls or bites are a fun option for chocolate fondue. Not only is cheesecake rich and creamy, but it can also be made in many different flavors. This gives you endless variety for your dessert.
While you could simply dip small pieces of regular cheesecake, freezing the cheesecake first is a much better idea. Doing so helps the cheesecake to stay together once it’s introduced to your warm chocolate. You also get a nice contrast in temperature, as the middle of your bites should still be frozen (or at least cool) when you come to eat them.
These No Bake Passion Fruit Cheesecake Bites showcase one of the many flavor options for cheesecake. The little balls rely on passion fruit pulp to create a distinct fruity tang and slight orange color. The treat is easy to prepare, as there are just five ingredients and you can blend these together in a food processor.
You can make a low sugar version of these treats too, by relying on sugar free cookies as one of the ingredients. There will still be some sugar from the passion fruit pulp, but not a sizable amount.
The balls all have coconut flakes on the outside, which provides an interesting flavor and texture contrast. You could keep these or skip these, depending on whether you’re worried about coconut flakes dropping off into your fondue.
Donuts Or Donut Holes
Here’s a familiar treat – donuts! You could experiment with whole donuts here, mini donuts, donut pieces, or even just donut holes. Regardless of the type, the flavor and texture of donuts works well with chocolate fondue.
Most of the time, you’ll want plain donuts, particularly those without toppings. Otherwise, you end up with too many flavors at once and the dessert doesn’t taste as good. Still… each to his own. If you have a personal favorite donut, why not try that in your chocolate fondue? The chocolate could easily make everything so much better.
These Air Fryer Cinnamon Bites are a little different than usual, as they aren’t deep fried. They’re made using the air fryer instead, which makes them healthier and means there’s no hot oil to worry about.
In fact, the recipe is very simple indeed and it uses a can of biscuit dough to get you started. That approach gives you a delicious ingredient for your fondue, with minimum effort.
Of course, you could easily use homemade biscuit dough instead. While doing so would take more work, it could also give you tastier cinnamon bites.
Like angel food cake, pound cake is a mildly-flavored treat that can easily be used in your chocolate fondue. The main difference is the density, as pound cake is heavier than angel food cake. Still, pound cake is a wonderful choice, especially as the classic recipe only uses four or five ingredients.
Then there are all the variations. Lemon pound cake is a classic example and the lemon would be excellent with your chocolate fondue. Peach, pumpkin, almond, and even chocolate are options too, along with plenty of more complex and unusual flavors. Chocolate pound cake could be particularly fun, allowing you to double down on the chocolate flavor.
This Famous 1920 Ritz Carlton Lemon Pound Cake is the last recipe on our list and it’s the best possible place to finish. Sure, it isn’t the most beautiful cake in the world, but it doesn’t need to be either.
What makes the cake stand out is the bright lemon flavor, which comes from fresh lemon. The cake also uses both butter and shortening. That’s an unusual idea, as most pound cakes only use butter. However, the shortening helps to soften the cake a little and make it seem lighter. Those features are valuable for a cake you’re hoping to dip into chocolate.