Throughout a marriage, my mother Anna and we customarily have distinguished Valentine’s Day with homemade fondue. We drop crusty bread in wine-spiked melted cheese; infrequently we follow that with melted chocolate.
In some ways, it celebrates a night Anna and we initial pronounced we venerate any other, during a celebration she threw for that we contributed chocolate fondue. We venerate a provide adequate to possess dual ceramic-clad fondue pots, and we have common that fun with a children and their friends.
Fondue is simple, special, and finished for sharing–perfect for a mid-winter night clinging to love. Even a tiny fire underneath a fondue pot twinkles romantically.
Cheese fondue is a country reversion to elementary dishes in a Swiss Alps finished by melting tough cheese and booze in a pot over a hearth. Served with dipping bread, it was a ideal resolution on wintry nights.
Chocolate fondue is a relations newcomer, a jet-setting child of a 1960s when cooks in a United States were branch to Europe for culinary inspiration. Fondue sets were suburban domicile staples of a time (I performed my initial fondue set from my parents).
Variations on fondue abound, including a Burgundian character in that beef is baked by dipping skewers in a community pot of prohibited oil. But a word fondue derives from a French noun “to melt,” so cheese or chocolate best fits a mold.
Aged Gruyere and Emmentaler, both cheeses from Switzerland, are traditional. Appenzeller, another Swiss cheese, blends good with a cousins. But any melting cheese can be used (after all, Tex-Mex queso drop is a apart relative).
If we can find cave-aged cheese, it will supplement additional depth. Available during cheese counters in higher-end markets and shops in larger Birmingham, they are value seeking out.
Some fondue pots are quite ceramic, that helps say a good feverishness tableside (over a tiny flame) to keep a cheese prohibited though burning. But they can't be exhilarated on a stovetop; initial melting contingency be finished in a apart pan. Ceramic-clad steel pots are stove-friendly for a initial melt, over low heat, and afterwards served tableside. Do not offer fondue tableside in a metal-only pot; it will scorch.
For an additional abyss of flavor, many cheese fondue recipes call for garlic. Since tender garlic simply overpowers, massage a interior of a cold fondue pot with a inside of halved cloves, or cook crushed garlic in a booze and mislay it before adding a cheese.
Wine adds season and thins a melted cheese. Dry white booze is standard, though cider or drink also can be used. A bit of kirsch (cherry brandy) is another classical fondue addition.
Adding cornstarch to a grated cheese helps equivocate clumping and ensures even melting. It also helps emanate a correct consistency, not too thick though not too thin.
Forks with prolonged handles are a contingency for fondue. Use crusty plantation bread or a baguette (no powerful flavors), ripped into bite-sized pieces.
At a table, say a feverishness with an oil-filled burner ordinarily found in fondue sets, a tiny enclosure with incendiary gel, or a votive candle. If a fondue bubbles, it’s too hot. Adjust or kill a flame.
For chocolate fondue, clout or trim chocolate and warp it with cream, possibly in a double-boiler over low temperature, or in a x-ray (30-second intervals during half-power). Either way, stop when it’s usually melted and send a reduction to a fondue pot. Chocolate fondue browns easily, so usually use a votive during a table.
The same bread used for cheese fondue works with chocolate. Or find a ripest fruit accessible (berries and/or bananas are best), creation certain any cleared fruit is well-dried. Otherwise, a fondue will not scrupulously adhere to your chocolate-dipped fruits of love.
Serves 4; separate for couples
- 8 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
- 2 ounces Appenzeller cheese, grated (optional)
- 6 ounces Emmenthaler cheese, grated (8 ounces if not regulating Appenzeller)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 crater dry white wine
- 3 tablespoons kirsch (cherry brandy)
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
- Baguette, ripped or cubed into bite-sized pieces
- Toss grated cheese with cornstarch and set aside.
- Combine booze and kirsch in a vast salsa vessel or ceramic-clad steel fondue pot. Add garlic and comfortable glass to usually next a simmer. Remove garlic clove.
- With a pot on medium-low heat, solemnly supplement cheese, stirring constantly to assistance it warp and forestall scorching. Transfer melted cheese to a fondue mount with a heating element, or to a delayed cooker during a table.
- Use fondue forks or prolonged wooden skewers to stalk bread and drop into fondue to cloak with cheese. Reduce feverishness or extinguish fire if fondue starts to bubble.
Chocolate Fondue for Two
Based on recipes from “The Fondue Bible,” by Ilana Simon
- 1/2 crater complicated defeat cream
- 4 ounces chocolate, shaved or chopped
- 1 tablespoon kirsch or other chocolate-friendly liqueur (optional)
- Bite-sized pieces of bread, or fruit entirely dried after rinsing
- Double-boiler method: Bring H2O in double-boiler to usually next a cook (make certain a play fits firmly and steam does not get into a melting chocolate). Add cream and kindly warm. Slowly supplement chocolate, constantly though kindly whisking until all is melted.
- Microwave method: With x-ray set during half-power, kindly comfortable cream in a tempered-glass measuring cup. Add chocolate and feverishness during 30-second intervals during half-power. Stir between intervals. Repeat until chocolate is melted and blended. When chocolate has usually melted, send to a fondue pot. Stir in kirsch or other liqueur. Only use a votive candle to keep chocolate fondue comfortable during a table. Anything hotter will bake it.
- When chocolate has usually melted, send to a fondue pot. Stir in kirsch or other liqueur. Only use a votive candle to keep chocolate fondue comfortable during a table. Anything hotter will bake it.
This story appears in Birmingham magazine’s Feb 2017 issue. Subscribe today!