Fondue Fun

We're bringing the fondue back! Whether for a cheesy dinner dish or a cold weather dessert, fondue is fantastic for a dinner party. Invite your friends around and try these two delicious recipes this weekend.

Cheese fondue

Originating in Switzerland in the 18th century, fondue gained massive popularity in the '60s and '70s. A delicious dish ideal for dinner parties, it basically involves bread or other food items being dipped into a communal pot with long fondue forks. The cheese mixture is traditionally made from two types of cheese, some flour, spices like nutmeg and a splash of wine. The flour is an important addition as it helps maintain a sauce-like consistency. Fondues were hugely popular across Switzerland as a way to melt hard cheese, which was an affordable staple in most homes. This communal pot is heated from underneath to keep warm during the entirety of a leisurely meal. You can find fondue sets from most homewares or kitchen stores.

The traditional cheese fondue has since been adapted to take on many different styles and flavours, even expanding to a dessert dish made of chocolate. Be creative when planning your fondue feast and consider adding all sorts of dip-able treats to the mix -- from cubes of meat to quality bread, from baked polenta to vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cherry tomatoes and roasted potatoes. Chocolate dessert fondues can benefit from dipping ingredients like sliced banana, halved figs, dried fruit, nuts, meringues, shortbread and biscotti.

Cheese fondue

Serves 4

A cheese fondue can be a great way to encourage your kids to eat their veggies. Add roasted capsicum, sweet potato, carrots and broccoli to a communal plate and let them start dipping!

Ingredients:

  • Dipping ingredients -- think roasted/steamed veggies, cooked pieces of meat or bread
  • 2 cups Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 250 millilitres dry white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Prepare your dipping ingredients and roast/fry/steam as needed.
  2. Mix the cheese and flour together.
  3. Pour the wine into a pan over medium-low heat.
  4. Gradually add the cheese and flour mixture, stirring after each addition. Season with nutmeg.
  5. Stir until the cheese is melted, then transfer to a fondue pot.
  6. Line the dipping ingredients up on a communal plate in the centre of the table, add the fondue pot full of the cheese mixture, and serve each person with a small bowl and fondue fork. Enjoy!

Chocolate fondue

Serves 4

A chocolate fondue is a great dinner party dessert. Your guests can choose to enjoy as much or as little as they like -- and fresh fruit dippers will at least mean you're boosting your vitamin intake!

Ingredients: 

  • 250millilitres cream
  • 300grams chocolate, chopped
  • Dipping ingredients -- think strawberries, sliced banana or kiwi fruit, crystallised ginger, macadamia nuts or marshmallows

Directions:

  1. Prepare your dipping ingredients by slicing fresh fruit, shelling nuts, cubing cake, etc.
  2. Pour the cream into a pan and place over a low heat.
  3. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until melted.
  4. Transfer the chocolate mix to a fondue pot and place in the centre of the table.
  5. Line the dipping ingredients up on a communal plate and place next to the fondue pot. Serve each person with a small bowl and fondue fork, then start dipping!

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Tags: cheese recipes dinner party recipes fondue

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