Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's French For Melted

That’s right, it’s Fondue. Everyone favorite melted dessert from Switzerland. With the weather turning cold it seemed like the right season to invite people over to eat some well heated foods. Rather than sticking to one kind, I went ahead and made the traditional cheese and chocolate fondues, and then as a third, made pumpkin pie fondue with white chocolate and bourbon. That’s right, three fondues (I don’t own three pots, two were borrowed). All three were excellent, and were eaten up by the end of the evening. The chocolate and cheese fondues were both as you’d expect, but I thought the pumpkin was great (maybe just because it was my own idea), it really tasted like warm pumpkin pie, with a good kick of bourbon in it. Perfect for winter. Also, as a side dish I made ground up pecan praline, so that you could roll something dipped in chocolate or pumpkin in praline. Anyway, I’ve provided all of the recipes here, as well as suggestions for things to dip. I recommend preparing all of these in pots, and then pouring the fondues into the serving pots, as you’ll have better control of the heat over an oven, than over a sterno or whatever you call the controller in electric pots.

Cheese Fondue (From Simplyrecipes)

½ lb gruyere cheese, shredded
½ lb Swiss cheese, such as Emmenthaler or Jarlsberg, shredded
2 T cornstarch
1 clove garlic, peeled and halved crosswise
1 cup dry white wine
1 T lemon juice
1 T kirsch (optional)
Pinch fresh nutmeg

1. Toss the cheese and cornstarch together in a freezer bag and set aside.

2. Rub the inside of the pot with the garlic and discard. Add the wine and lemon juice, bring to a simmer over medium heat.

3. Gradually add the cheese, stirring constantly in a zigzag motion (this helps to keep it from becoming stringy). Do not let it boil.

4. Stir in the kirsch and nutmeg, transfer to serving pot

Suggested dippers

  • French or Italian Bread
  • Cut and blanched vegetables (broccoli, carrots, asparagus)
  • Sausage, other cubed meats
  • Pretzels
  • Apples and Pairs

Chocolate Fondue (Also from Simplyrecipes)

12 oz dark chocolate, chopped
8 oz heavy cream
Frangelico or Amaretto (to taste)
Pinch of salt

1. Put the chocolate chopped in the fondue pot. Bring the cream to a simmer on the stove. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for 30 seconds (If this sounds surprisingly like making ganache, that’s because that’s basically what it is).

2. Stir in the frangelico and salt. Keep over very low heat

Suggested dippers

  • Fruits (apples, pears, bananas, pineapples)
  • Pound or Angle-food Cake
  • Graham crackers
  • Peanut butter cookies (indulgent but wonderful)

Pumpkin Pie Fondue

1 cup milk
1 cup pureed pumpkin
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
Pinch cloves
Pinch nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups white chocolate chips
1/3 cup bourbon
Splash bitters (optional)

1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the milk, pumpkin and spices, bring to a light simmer. Remove from heat.

2. Stir in the white chocolate; continue stirring until it has melted. Add the bourbon and bitters, stir to combine. Transfer to fondue pot and keep over low heat.

Suggested dippers

  • Graham cracker
  • Gingersnaps
  • Pound or Angel-food cake

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