Hot or Not: Chocolate Fondue

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Chocolate fondue, that classic dessert of the 70s, has had a renaissance with fancy pots from high-end stores like Sur La Table and Williams-Sonoma. It's offered on restaurant dessert menus and huge chocolate fountains show up at weddings and bar mitzvahs.

We are on the fence about chocolate fondue; sometimes a banana dipped in chocolate sounds really, really good. But on principle we don't like working for our meal, especially if we're out to eat. If we wanted to make dessert ourselves we would have stayed home. But maybe we're missing something. Chocolate fondue - what do you say?

Read on for tips on making fondue without a special fondue pot...

Chocolate fondue can be made in any small saucepan. All that a special fondue pot does is keep the chocolate warm - sometimes stirring it too to keep it evenly warm.

You can replicate this with a small steel or enamel saucepan. Heat the chocolate, using cream and a little rum or brandy and a lump of butter. You want the chocolate fairly thin. This will stay hot for at least 20 minutes, and if you need to reheat it just return it to the stove.

You can also put the pot over a candle using a warmer or chafing stand. This will keep it warm and liquid.

Use skewers, toothpicks, or your fingers to dip things in the chocolate. If we do have fondue we like:

• Marshmallows
• Yellow cake and angel food cake
• Strawberries, bananas and other fruit (try fresh figs!)
• Graham crackers
• Pretzels

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.