Classic Cheese Fondue

Classic Cheese Fondue Recipe


Fondue is perfect for holiday and New Year's celebrations - all that warm, oozy cheese, served in a communal pot. Though, I'll be the first to say, it's easy to overindulge in a haze of bread and cheese. In an attempt to bring a wider variety of ingredients and nutrients to the party, I like to put out big platters with a wide range of things to dip - roasted vegetables, fruit, and multi-grain breads.

A couple things to know before you make cheese or chocolate-based fondue for the first time. First, you need to have a good, heavy, thick-bottomed fondue pot. I received a nice, simple, white Le Creuset fondue set a few years back, and have since put it to good use. It is just the right size, heavy enameled-lined cast iron (so the cheese won't scorch on the bottom), and easy to clean. Some of you might have those thin metal fondue pots which are better suited for doing oil-based dipping/frying.

Back to the dip-ables. The trick to having a memorable and tasty fondue experience is dreaming up great things to dunk. Whatever you do, don't stop with the bread cubes - here's a list of some of my past favorites. I like to line up the dip-ables in pretty rows on big platters next to the fondue pot (one platter next to the cheese fondue and then another platter for the chocolate fondue). I'll post my favorite chocolate fondue recipe below as well. A few of my favorite things to dip:

Fruits: sliced bananas, apples, pears, peaches, or pineapples, or dried fruit, orange sections, strawberries, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, or grapes. Whatever is seasonal.

Breads: mixed-grain and whole wheat breads, crusty French or Italian bread, pita wedges, fresh tortillas, tortilla chips, croissants, bread sticks, naan, focaccia, or baked polenta cubes. In my book, I include recipes for variations like chipotle or spicy bean fondue which go nicely with the fresh tortillas, etc.

Blanched vegetables: broccoli, asparagus, green beans, snow peas, or snap peas. Blanch in a pot of lightly salted boiling water for a minute or two to soften them up just a bit. Drain them well before putting them out on a serving tray.

Raw or roasted vegetables: brussels sprouts, cherry tomatoes, red bell pepper slices, celery sticks, roasted potato wedges, roasted sweet potatoes, parsnips or roasted mushrooms.

Cakes and sweet things: angel food cake cubes, graham crackers, marshmallows, tiny brownies, tiny cookies, ladyfingers, shortbread, amaretti, biscotti, crystallized ginger chunks, or meringues.

From the archives.

 
 
 
 

Classic Cheese Fondue Recipe

1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb. Gruyere cheese, shredded (or 1/2 lb Gruyere + 1/2 lb Emmental cheese)
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
A splash or two of kirsch (opt)

Toss the cheese with the flour. Rub the interior of a medium saucepan with the peeled garlic. Place over medium heat and add the wine. Bring to a simmer and add the cheese mixture, one handful at a time. Stir in the nutmeg.

Stir over low heat until smooth and cheese is melted and bubbling. Add a splash or two of kirsch (optional) and continue stirring until it starts to bubble just a bit. Transfer the cheese mixture to a fondue pot and you are ready for dipping. Continue to stir frequently.


Chocolate Fondue

1 lb. premium semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, well chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

In a medium saucepan over low heat bring the cream to a simmer. Add the chocolate. Simmer, stirring until the chocolate is melted. Transfer the mixture to a fondue pot and use strawberries, cherries, oranges sections, graham crackers, marshmallows, or ladyfingers for dipping. Continue to stir frequently.

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Your Comments


valentina
December 23, 2004

Why melt the cheese in a different pot than serve it? I use a pottery fondue caquelon, and that's what I melt and serve it in. It's the Swiss thing to do.

 

Emily Drew
December 23, 2004

Thank you Heidi! This sounds so good, I might not share when I make it!

 

Heidi
December 23, 2004

I just like to have a little more control of the heat level as the cheese or chocolate is melting, the flame under the fondue pots can be on the harsh side -- you just have alot more control on the stovetop. Chocolate can behave badly if you heat it too quickly, and I generally just like to bring the fondues up to temperature nice and gently. If your pot works well though, by all means, go for it. -h

 

Amy
December 27, 2004

oh my! The kirsch can't be considered optional!

 

bea
January 1, 2005

I went to the local wine shop the other day and the only kirsch left was 40 dollars! So it will have to be optional in this case. I'm planning to make fondue tonight to start off this new year on the right foot.

 

ashley (sweet & natural)
December 26, 2008

I love the idea of roasted vegetables with fondue. But that might be b/c I'm in love with roasted vegetables.

 

Culinary Cory
December 26, 2008

Setting out a fondue pot and veggies for a party.

 

christy
December 26, 2008

roasted vegetables and melted cheese, count me in. thanks for the recipe. the veggies look delicious all by themselves. i'm sure they are twice as good after they've been dunked :-)
happy holidays
~c

 

Laurel from Simple Spoonful
December 26, 2008

Wow, what great and creative fondue ideas. I always like the concept of fondue, but I have yet to enjoy an actual fondue experience.

This is possibly because no one has ever set me up with roasted veggie supreme fondues like those you describe, not to mention crystalized ginger in a chocolate fondue selection. Besides, I have a definite passion for Gruyere.

I may have a dormant fondue gene somewhere. Now you've got me wondering. ;)

 

Hayley
December 26, 2008

This sounds delicious, and so decadent. What a perfect holiday treat.

 

Pietr
December 26, 2008

I would suggest that the end of the year is the time to find all those pieces of cheese in your refrigerator, decide they have no future, chop and then proceed with your recipe.

BUT

Rub your saucepan with a garlic clove?

 

jacob
December 26, 2008

add 250gm Raclette cheese minus the flour and mix the kirsch with a 1 tablespoon of corn flour, better because you dont have to cook starch out as much leaving the texture and flavours of the different cheeses instead of a make shift roux base

 

Julie VR
December 26, 2008

I was on the fence about whether or not to do fondue for New Year's eve, but you have convinced me! thank you!
J

 

Chris
December 26, 2008

I agree with Amy; kirsch (or any kind of similar booze available) is definitely necessary!

Thanks for the tips, Heidi! I'll try not to overindulge, but that probably won't last long ;)

 

Angela
December 26, 2008

After a few days of eating too many holiday treat, those vegetables look amazing..just what I need.

 

Lyn
December 27, 2008

Croissants are also delicious with chocolate fondue. Yum!

 

What a great idea to add for a New Year's party - thanks!

 

MODman
December 27, 2008

We love to do fondue on New Years. We have our friends over, start the Raclette for the savory part of the event and then move into the fondue for the dessert portion. It is a great way for everyone to be a part of the party.

 

Nan
December 27, 2008

I also love veggies to dip and lighten the load so to speak. Blanched cauliflower is also nice to dip.

 

Sara
December 27, 2008

I've only done pre-made fondue kits but this doesn't sound too hard. I really like the idea of using roasted vegetables.

 

Biz
December 27, 2008

We love doing fondue, and actually got an electric one a few years back - great way to control the temperature!

 

Gunnard
December 27, 2008

I Love Fondue! It has been a new years tradition close to my heart for many years now. As a vegan, I might have to figure out a way to satisfy my Fondue craving.

 

Jessica D
December 27, 2008

I love fondue in the winter--a perfect curl up by the fire kind of a meal. Have you tried any cheese fondues with different cheeses? I had an amazing one using blue cheese. The blue is sharp like Gruyere, but makes for a very different fondue.

 

I have a cheap-o metal fondue pot that has served me well and is always a party pleaser! Would like to try the bean fondue you mentioned...

Don't know about the rest of you but the past few heavy-eating days have left me yearning for nothing but leafy greens at the moment! It's time for a post-holiday detox, me thinks :-)

 

Christine
December 28, 2008

Many liquor stores have tiny bottles of Kirsch behind the counter - I often look for one of those tiny taster bottles when I'm cooking or baking and something just needs a Tbs of brandy, etc.

HS: Great tip Christine.

 

Erin
December 28, 2008

I love using a good variety of things to dip in my fondue, feels much better than just bread and potatoes. I think I'll have to use Brussels Sprouts next time, great idea.