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.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

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

    Nan
  • 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.

    MODman
  • Croissants are also delicious with chocolate fondue. Yum!

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

    Angela
  • 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 ;)

    Chris
  • 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

    Julie VR
  • 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

    jacob
  • 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?

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

    Hayley
  • 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. ;)

    Laurel from Simple Spoonful
  • 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

    christy
  • Setting out a fondue pot and veggies for a party.

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

    ashley (sweet & natural)
  • I love the idea of roasted vegetables with fondue. But that might be b/c I'm in love with roasted vegetables.

    ashley (sweet & natural)
  • 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.

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

    Amy
  • 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

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

    Emily Drew
  • 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.

    valentina
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