I’m a big fan of cheese, especially melted cheese. So it’s natural that I would be very attracted to the thought of a large pot of melted gooey oozy cheese - a la “fondue”.
Oddly enough, Mr FBC and I once went to a Swiss restaurant in Sydney* which listed cheese fondue on its menu. We tried ordering it but the waiter actually strongly recommended us against ordering it as he didn’t think we (as Fondue virgins) could handle the intensity of the cheese and wine flavour.
We’ve always regretted our decision (and lack of assertiveness) so we were pretty excited when a fondue opportunity arises when our close friends, Doctor J and the Pizza Man, decide to host a Fondue Party to welcome in the New Year. I think I may have contributed to the idea with some subtle coaxing at an earlier dinner party when we were coming up with ideas (he, he!). Ok.. I may have just screamed out. FONDUE PARTY.
Prior to the day, we all scoured the cupboards of our parents and various op shops for fondue party essentials. This arduous search resulted in the following finds:
1. A large 70’s crockpot - the fascade sort looked like lobster shell. Do you see the similarity?
2. Authentic Fondue sticks
3. An original 1970's Fondue Cookbook - 'Fondue Cookery' by Alison Burt
The Fondue Cookery cookbook was an absolute gem and provided all the necessary info on making the perfect fondue and plenty of fondue recipes. I think I saw a Curry Fondue recipe ?
We used the Traditional Fondue Recipe (see below) which used a mixture of Gruyere and Emmenthal cheese, plus some wine, lemon and cornflour. You were also meant to have kirsch, a cherry liqueur, but we didn’t have any to use.
The End Result
As for our dipping weapons of choice? We had a variety of fondue accompaniments ranging from typical, such as cubes of cut up French breadstick and vegetables to the more unusual such as cornichorns and chorizo. For future reference I would recommend using quite hard bread as the soft bread tends to drown in the cheese. And if you were wondering how the chorizo went. Well… it was really a salty cheesy explosion in your mouth!
If you really like your cheese then I’m pretty sure you could dip anything into the fondue. One thing I might try for next time is cooked potato (as recommended by the Fondue Cookbook).
Mr FBC displaying Fondue dipping action
It was so much fun to dip our fondue sticks into the pot of cheesy fondue. Truly a cheese lover’s heaven and I could have continued devouring melted cheese coated items all night. However, be warned – the fondue is quite heavy with an overpowering flavour so it’s not for the light hearted. Most people at the party could only manage a few cheese coated items.
Later in the evening and continuing on the fondue theme, we moved from melted cheese to melted chocolate. Consulting the ever informative ‘Fondue Cookery' cookbook again, we opted for the ‘Milk Chocolate Fondue’ (see recipe below). This fondue was relatively easy to make – milk chocolate and cream. Using our trusty fondue forks, we eagerly dipped an array of marshmallows, strawberries and cherries into the sweet, luscious chocolate.
At one stage, I nearly lost a marshmallow to the depths of the chocolate fondue. Supposedly, I was told that if a girl loses something in the fondue then she has to kiss all the guys in the room? Luckily, a nearby girlfriend helped me rescue my drowning marshmallow with our collective fondue fork – phew!
This was a wonderful way to bring in the New Year – fondue stick in one hand and a glass of champagne in the other:) Now that Mr FBC and I are fondue connoisseurs, I’m wondering if we should venture back to the Swiss Restaurant* and order Fondue safely in the knowledge that we can absolutely positively handle the CHEESE.