At the request of one of our guests, Lori, last Friday night I made some Italian Cheese Fondue for dinner – and a chocolate fondue for dessert. Fondue is always fun, and is a great way to bring everyone at the table together. I found a recipe from Giada DeLaurentis a while back, and I’ve adapted it a bit to create my favorite cheese fondue. The chocolate fondue was adapted from a recipe by Tyler Florence (any dessert with a splash of liquor is the way to go).
As soon as we got back to the apartment, I set up some sous chef stations for both Lori & Chrissy. Lori was responsible for grating all of the cheese, and Chrissy got to work juicing the watermelon for the Zig Zag (more to come on that). The cheese sauce is relatively easy, but takes constant attention as you’re slowly adding the shredded cheese.
I put together a huge pile of things to dip into the fondue, including endive leaves (one of my favorites), chorizo, summer sausage, sourdough bread, pretzel bread, and sliced fennel. And once the cheese fondue was devoured, and after a game of “Loaded Questions,” we moved onto dessert. The best part about this chocolate fondue is that you do it all right in the fondue pot. You just need someone to stir and someone to pour in the ingredients. I had some beautiful strawberries to dip, as well as some delicious pound cake and salty pretzels. And while I usually don’t partake in a lot of dessert, I did jump right in to the chocolate fondue. Here's where I apologize - I have no photos of the chocolate fondue. Sorry!!
Italian Cheese Fondue
8 oz. Fontina, grated
8 oz. Gruyere, grated
5 tsp. cornstarch
2 cups dry white wine (I used a Sauvignon Blanc)
Fresh ground black pepper
Stuff to dip
Optional: 6 oz. chopped & fried pancetta (too salty for my taste in this dish)
Toss the grated cheeses in a bowl with the cornstarch. Make sure to spread the cornstarch around, coating as much of the cheese as you can. In a pot over medium-high heat, pour in the wine. Bring the wine to a boil and lower the temperature to medium. Whisk 1 handful of cheese in until it is nearly melted. Repeat this adding 1 handful of cheese at a time. Continue whisking until the cheese is completely melted and the fondue bubbles. Pour into a fondue pot and start dipping.
16 oz. chocolate (I used half dark and half milk chocolate – and more like 20 oz.)
½ pint Whipping cream
½ cup Caramel topping
3 Tbl. Frangelico (or the liqueur of your choice)
Stuff to dip
Make sure the fondue pot is heated, and add the chocolate. While whisking add the cream, caramel and Frangelico. Continue whisking until the chocolate is melted through. Start dipping!