Once the Christmas Day roast is over and the cheese board and cold meat platters have been devoured several times over, something fun and alternative is in order. A fondue is a fabulous and fun way of eating up leftovers and cheeses, and is ideal for sociable family fun.
Fondues are the original communal meal, originating from the Switzerland as, traditionally, a way of using up cheese leftovers which were melted with a good glug of white wine to form the rich cheese sauce in which bread was dipped. Of course anything from vegetables, fruit, pickles and cold meats can be dipped into the delicious rich cheesy sauce and today’s fondue takes on endless variations and almost anything goes, from what’s mellted in the pot to what’s dipped into it. It’s all about casual culinary fun.
Below you will find a basic cheese recipe that can be varied to suit your needs and leftovers, and an extravagant chocolate and hazelnut one for desert. Just keep the proportions the same or roughly the same and it will work every time. Bear in mind less liquid will be needed if the cheese is a softer cheese like stilton for instance, but even if it is slightly runnier, it won’t affect the final dish which will still taste delicious.
Traditional Swiss fondue is made using equal quantities of with Emmental and Gruyere combined with white wine but you can mix and max any two or three cheeses depending on what’s left. The recipe below uses a good strong Cheddar which is delicious melted in a good Somerset cider.
- 400g of strong Cheddar, grated
- 125ml (4 floz) of cider, ale or white wine
- 2 tsp of English mustard powder
- 1tsp of corn flour
- Black pepper
- Skewers to serve.
On the table place chunks of bread, tortillas, breadsticks, leftover meats and a selection of fruit and vegetables for dunking such as mushrooms, celery, cucumber, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, apples, grapes, pineapple, peppers, pickled onions and anything else you fancy.
In a tea cup mix the corn flour with a dash of the alcohol until you have a smooth paste.
Place a fondue pot on a low heat, add the remaining alcohol and cheese and stir until it begins to melt. Start whisking to stop the cheese burning on the bottom of the pot, and whisk in the corn flour. Continue to whisk until the cheese has thickened and is bubbling slightly. Serve immediately.
Hazelnut Chocolate Fondue
- 2 bars of a dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids. We used Lindt chocolate and the total weight was just under 10 oz (approx. 225g).
- 250ml of double cream
- 4 tbsp of any liqueur. We used Frangelico for a hazelnut flavour but you could use Amaretto, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, brandy, whiskey, Malibu, the list is endless!
Ingredients to dip in such as hard biscuits so they don’t break in the fondue, marshmallows, fruit such as apples, bananas, strawberries, pineapple and even a crusty white bread is delicious.
Melt the chocolate with the cream in a fondue pot over a very low heat. Once the chocolate melts into the cream add the liqueur and serve immediately. You can also stir crushed nuts into the fondue at the same time as the liqueur for a crunchy effect.
By Rachael HannanLast modified: December 30, 2020