Monday, October 10, 2011

Sweet and Savory Fondue Recipes

Fondue night was a hit! We feasted on meatballs in a rose sauce out of the slow cooker and a cheese fondue for our main course. For dessert we dipped pound cake in a grapefruit compote, and ate strawberries drenched in chocolate.

My friends brought their four-year-old daughter, who was the life of the party, especially after her chocolate high. She got an impromptu dance party started and figured out how fun it is to run and slide across my dining room floor.

 Before the chocolate kicked in, we kept her occupied with dominoes in my kitchen (kids seem to universally love Mexican train dominoes) and gazing at my lava lamp (before inviting a four-year-old to view your lava lamp, it helps to have a firm grasp of basic thermodynamics - otherwise the "why" game could be embarassing for you).

Here are my go-to fondues, one savory and one sweet, both from The Fondue Cookbook by Hamlyn Press.

Neuchatel Fondue

1 whole garlic clove
2/3 cup dry white wine1 tsp lemon juice
10 oz Emmentaler cheese, grated
10 oz Gruyere cheese, grated
1 Tbsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp Kirsch
pinch of white pepper
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of paprika
cubes of French bread, to serve

1. Rub the inside of a fondue pot with the cut clove of garlic, then discard the garlic. Pour the wine into the pot with the lemon juice and heat gently on the stove. Gradually add the cheese, stirring in a figure eight motion, until all the cheese is combined.
2. Blend the cornstarch and Kirsch together and as soon as the cheese mixture begins to bubble, add to the fondue. Continue to cook gently for a further 2-3 minutes and season, according to taste, with the pepper, nutmeg and paprika.
3. Transfer the fondue pot to the table and keep warm on a burner. Serve with cubes of French bread to dip into the fondue.

Chocolate Fondue

1/2 cup heavy cream
8 oz semisweet chocolate morsels
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pound cake, cubed, and strawberries to serve

1. Fill the fondue pot one-third full with water. Place the porcelain bowl insert in the pot and heat on the stove. Put the cream in the bowl and heat gently. As soon as the cream starts to bubble around the edges, turn off the heat and whisk in the chocolate. When the chocolate has melted, add the vanilla and stir well to mix.
2. Transfer the fondue to the table and keep warm on the burner.
3. Serve with cubes of pound cake and strawberries.

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