Chocolate dipped treats can get bathed in different flavors such as milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, caramel chocolate, and kosher dairy-free chocolate. Flavoring oils such as mint, orange, and cappuccino can be used to give the chocolate extra pizazz.
The chocolate needs to contain at least 33% cocoa butter to flow correctly in the fountain. This is important because melted chocolate is very temperamental, so rich couverture chocolate (which has a high percentage of cocoa butter) is commonly used to ensure consistent flow. It is highly recommended that you use chocolate formulated specifically for fountains.
Cheaper alternatives to couverture chocolate includes adding vegetable oil to regular chocolate to make it flowable or to use chocolate-flavored syrup, also called "chocolate coating".
These alternatives cost much less than couverture chocolate but many would argue that the much better taste of gourmet couverture chocolate is more than worth the higher cost.
Few chocolate fountains are capable of melting chocolate directly in the basin, so chocolate is typically melted in a microwave or double boiler before pouring it into the fountain.
Here is a delicious recipe for chocolate to use in a fountain.
Almost anything edible can be used to dip in the chocolate as it flows down the tiers of a fountain. However, it is strongly advised to not use anything crumbly (i.e. pound cake, brownies, etc.) or that may easily slide off the skewers. Crumbs can clog pump intake holes in the fountain and thus block the constant flow of chocolate.
Items include almost any fruit - apple slices, apricots (dried), bananas (fresh or frozen), blueberries, cantaloupe, dried fruits, grapes, kiwi, mandarin orange, maraschino cherries, melon, orange slices, peaches, pears, pineapple, raspberries, and strawberries. Other items are angel food cake, pound cake, large marshmallows, pretzels and wafer cookies.