11/04/2011 02:48 pm ET | Updated Aug 31, 2012

How To Make Chocolate Fondue

You don't need special equipment or lots of time to make chocolate fondue at home, says chef Todd Knaster of The Culinary Institute of America. It's as simple as melting together ingredients. Start by adding 10 ounces of milk to a pan, then add one vanilla bean that's been split in half lengthwise (it's not necessary to scrape out the seeds). Add 1 ounce of honey and 4.5 ounces of corn syrup, then bring the mixture to a boil. (Be careful not to let it boil over.) Add 10 ounces of chocolate (chef Knaster uses a combination of bittersweet and unsweetened, but you can use any combination you like) and let the chocolate sit for 30 seconds to soften. Once it's soft, whisk to combine, then whisk in 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. That's it -- to serve the fondue, simply pour it into a bowl along with sliced fresh or dried fruit, pieces of cake or cookies, or anything else you like dipped in chocolate.

For 60 years, The Culinary Institute of America has been setting the standard for excellence in professional culinary education. In this video series, experienced chefs and educators show you how to tackle essential cooking techniques.

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Chef Knaster from the Culinary Institute of America, and today I'm going to show you this kitchen basic: how to make chocolate fondue.

Today we're making chocolate fondue, which is actually very easy. You don't need any kind of special equipment - you don't even need to go buy the special little fondue pots for this. We have fifteen ounces of chocolate. I'm using a combination of bittersweet and unsweetened, but you can use whatever combination of whatever your favorite chocolate is. About ten ounces of milk , an ounce of honey, and four and a half ounces of corn syrup. I'm also going to use a vanilla bean, and to get all the flavor I'm going to split it down the center. A lot of people just scrape the seeds out and don't put the bean in there; most of the flavor is actually in the pod - the seeds are more for a visual. I"m not even going to bother scraping the seeds out. I'm going to put the split pod right into the pot with the milk. I'll turn the heat on to medium, add my one ounce of honey, and my four and a half ounces of corn syrup, and stir that together just to make sure it's combined evenly.

We're going to get that up to a boil - just be careful, because it'll boil over. Keep an eye on that. We have it up to a boil, so I'll turn off the heat, add the chocolate, and just let that sit maybe thirty seconds to give time for the chocolate to start to melt so I can get it incorporated properly.

Now it's been sitting about thirty seconds and the chocolate's had time to soften up. I"m going to use a whisk to get this incorporated. You'll see it get nice and thick. At this point I'll take out the vanilla bean and add the butter - two ounces of unsalted butter, and get that incorporated. You add the butter at the end, instead of with the heavy cream, because it keeps that nice creamy texture of the butter.

Now the butter is totally incorporated at this point, and it's ready to use. Or you can keep this in a container in your refrigerator for up to four days. You can reheat it in a double boiler or the microwave. I'll just pour it into my container - in this case a serving bowl - and set it up with the assorted stuff. You can use any kind of fruits, cookies, I have some meringue sticks, some leftover pieces of cake. Anything like that is perfect, that you can dip into the fondue. Dried fruits are also nice, in addition to fresh fruits.

That's chocolate fondue.