As I’ve stated before, I love cheese!  The idea of a meal which largely consists of cheese is my idea of food heaven.  Having had a bit of a stressful week and with the weather turning bitter again I decided it was the perfect time for comfort food; fondue!

The Research (or things you never knew about Fondue)

In search of an nice authentic recipe I did some research and discovered (via the wonders of Wikipedia), that fondue is not the ancient alpine peasant dish I believed. This was because only the rich in the cities could afford the expensive cheeses in days gone by.  True, there is evidence of fondue like dishes as far back as far back as 1699, but the dish really only became widespread in Switzerland after it was heavily promoted in the 1930s by the Swiss Cheese union, Schweizerische Käseunion. This was part of their efforts increase cheese consumption (a fine and noble aim if I may say so).  They were so successful that both Fondue and Raclette were later adopted as the national dishes.

The Recipe

History aside, fondue is a wonderfully simple dish to make.  To make mine I borrowed a lovely 70’s orange and brown enamel fondue set from my parents.  This came complete with meths burner, but being unable to find any meths in the supermarket (maybe in the summertime?) I had to resort to tea lights to keep my pot warm once the fondue was made.

To actually make the fondue I started by rubbing the inside of the pot with a cut clove of garlic before placing the pot on the stove and heating up 175ml of white wine.  While the wine was heating I grated 150g of Emmental and 150g of Gruyere cheese which I then started to add slowly to the wine.

Heating the cheese and wine

Eventually I had melted all the cheese into the wine; however both liquids seemed determined to stay separate.  It was time for the magic ingredient – cornflour!  The cornflour helps to stabilize the mixture to give a smooth texture that doesn’t separate even as it cools.  I mixed 1 and a half tablespoons of cornflour with 1 tablespoon of Chambord Black Raspberry Liquor (the traditional recipes call for kirsch, but I don’t have any, Chambord was the closest thing in the house!).  The resulting pink liquid was then poured into the wine and cheese mixture.

Adding the cornflour and chambord mixture

A couple more minutes of heating and plenty of stirring produced a silky fondue ready to eat.  I transferred the pot to the stand with the tea lights to keep it warm.

All served up and ready to eat!

To dip into this gooey concoction I had cubed up some soft white bread.  I had also chopped up some nice smoked ham and some tomato flesh.   Apparently etiquette dictates that the long forks should only be used to dip food into the pot and transfer it to your plate.  Once there you should eat the morsels with your knife and fork.  While this may avoid the dreaded double dipping and consequent sharing of germs or saliva, it’s really not that fun.  Instead we decided to throw caution to the wind and eat straight from the fork.

Gooey cheesy bread - Heaven!

The fondue was great fun.  We both lost a couple of pieces of bread, but these were scooped up towards the end.  Although very rich and with a quite strong alcohol flavour it was easy to finish the lot!  A wonderful way to enjoy cheese and warm up on a cold January evening!

All gone!


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10 Responses to “Fondue!!!!!!”

  1. Lou Says:

    Mmmm.. that looks so good. I love fondue too. Try a pharmacy next time you are looking for meths – seems to be the only place you can get it now.

    • rhiannong Says:

      Thanks for the tip on the meths, I’ll have a look next time I’m making a fondue (which probably won’t be too long – enjoyed this one far too much!)

  2. Choclette Says:

    Ooh, ooh, ooh, I used to love fondue, but haven’t had it in years. Think I might have given my mother a fondue set once, better go and route it out.

  3. Nathalie Says:

    Oh wow, I love a good fondue but I’m never made one myself. It sounds like an obscene amount of cheese and I love it! I’ve got some Chambord in the cupboard so will definitely have to try.

  4. Jill Colonna Says:

    Isn’t it funny how the fondue was so trendy in the 70s in the UK and the fondue sets are all bright orange that we borrow from Mum 😉
    Thanks for the inspiration, since weather just right for sitting in front of a bubbling pot this weekend in front of the fire.

  5. Wendy Says:

    That has just reminded me to a) get some cheese and b) some lactase enzymes! Oh, Rhi… I can’t think of anything nicer! I so want to do this at the weekend!

  6. rhiannong Says:

    I’ve just bought a nice fondue set of my own so my mum can use hers again – £6 in a charity shop! It’s “British Racing Green” but I’ll try not to hold that against it!

  7. Emma Says:

    Oooh there’s nothing like a good fondue, is there? Did the chambord work well? I’ve never been fond of the Kirsch idea, I tend to use cider instead! You can get meths in the camping/bbq sections at garden centres and DIY shops like B&Q too.

    • rhiannong Says:

      The chambord worked great, I suspect because it’s not too strong a flavour (kirsch can be quite sickly I think!). Cider is a nice idea though, I’ll have to give that a go, do you use it as well as white wine or instead of?

      • Emma Says:

        Might give Chambord a go then (I agree about Kirsch being sickly). I use the cider instead of white wine, or sometimes I do half cider and half cider-apple brandy, aka Calvados!

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