My girlfriend has just moved into a huge house with friends and is throwing a party this Saturday afternoon to celebrate. She's asked me to help out with the food spread, which she wants to be gourmet yet casual. In addition to a large spread of charcuterie, preserves, pâte, and pickled vegetables, we'll be offering two versions of fondue.
On one side of the table, we'll serve the Swiss crowd-pleaser, made with a mixture of emmentaler, gruyere, and raclette cheeses for a perfect pairing with crusty baguette. On the other side, guests can indulge in a classic chocolate version, served with pound cake and strawberries, made all the more rich with vanilla and heavy cream. Looking for a surefire way to appeal to cravings both sugary and salty? Then keep reading.
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pound cake, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 pints strawberries, rinsed and hulled
- Fill the fondue pot with 2 cups warm water and place the pot on the stand. Fill the fuel burner with oil according to the manufacturer's instructions and set it on the stand.
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the cream until steam begins to rise, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate, and stir until melted, smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla and stir until blended. Pour the chocolate sauce into the porcelain insert and place the insert in the fondue pot. Set the splatter guard on the top.
- Set the fondue pot on the table and light the fuel burner, following the manufacturers instructions. (To avoid ruining the chocolate, maintain moderately low heat (no more than 120°F) under your fondue pot so the chocolate stays melted and just warm to the touch.) Serve with pound cake, strawberries and individually marked fondue forks for dipping.
- Desserts, Chocolate
1 clove garlic, halved crosswise
1 1/2 cups apple cider or dry white wine
8 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (3 cups)
8 ounces Emmental cheese, grated (3 cups)
8 ounces raclette cheese, grated (3 cups)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground white pepper
1 loaf French bread, cut into one-inch cubes
Assorted pickled vegetables, such as cornichons, pearl onions, cauliflower, baby carrots, and mushrooms
- Rub inside of a fondue pot with garlic; discard garlic. Pour cider or wine into pot, and place over medium-low heat. When liquid starts to bubble, start adding cheeses by the handful, stirring until melted and combined.
- Whisk together lemon juice and cornstarch in a small bowl until cornstarch dissolves; stir into cheese mixture. Continue stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbling slightly, about five minutes. Season with nutmeg and pepper.
- Transfer fondue pot to the table, and keep warm over the fondue pot warmer. Serve with bread and pickled vegetables.
- Dips, Appetizers