The Easiest Way to Make a Chocolate Cheese Fondue for Two
Fondue made with cheese or chocolate has a reputation for being cheesy and finicky. But despite the kitsch, dipping food bits into sticky, melted Fromage or dark, liquid chocolate makes for a treat, flirty, surprisingly low-effort meal.
Part of the Skillet The Grown-Up Kitchen series , designed to answer your most basic cooking questions and fill in any gaps that may be missing from your home chef education.
There are two ways I like to do crappy iteration: classic and molecular. When making cheese fondue, your biggest concern is the uneven melting of the chunks. As with our pasta and cheese in one pot , cornstarch helps us in our classic cooking.
I love this recipe from Epicurious , which includes a pound of cheese, a healthy serving of wine, and some cherry brandy. I reduce the amount of wine by a quarter of a glass to speed up the process, and then drink the difference. If you don’t have cherry brandy, that’s okay, just add more wine. To make it you will need:
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 1/4 cups white wine (dry and cheap)
- 1/2 lb. grated Gruyere
- 1/2 lb. grated Swiss cheese
- 2 teaspoons cherry brandy (or more wine)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Whole nutmeg
Cut a clove of garlic in half and rub it into a fairly large pot of stock. Set aside the cloves for something else. (I’m sure you can think of something.) Add wine to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Gradually add handfuls of cheese, stirring continuously, until melted and melted. Make a gruel with brandy and cornstarch, add to the curd, and stir to dissolve. Let it simmer for a few more minutes, until it’s nice and thick, and then place it in a fondue pot or small slow cooker. Sprinkle with grated nutmeg on top and serve with bread cubes, apple and pear slices and blanched broccoli.
It’s a pretty good fondue, but let’s say you’re a cheddar lover and want a melted pot with a super-spicy yet creamy cheese flavor. Due to the low pH of cheddar, we cannot simply replace it with the above cheeses, but we can use melting salts to make this dairy dream come true .
Melting salts such as sodium citrate ( which you can buy here ) act as an emulsifier, increasing the pH of the cheese and making the proteins more soluble. This prevents the cheese from stratifying and turning into a greasy mass, making it ideal for fondue. This works not only with cheddar, but almost any cheese that is not prone to melting. To turn these fon-don’ts into FOR-DOS, you will need:
- 1/2 teaspoon sodium citrate
- 1/2 cup white wine or beer
- 8 ounces grated any damn cheese
Add sodium citrate and rubbing alcohol to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add cheese slowly, stir until nice and sticky, and transfer to a fondue pot (along with a small candle) or a small slow cooker on a slow setting. Serve with anything you like to dip cheese into.
After you’ve had a snack of liquid cheese, it’s time to top up the evening with liquid chocolate. Assuming you’ve enjoyed wine and cheese, you’ll want an easy recipe that’s nearly impossible to spoil. I am a lover of everything condensed milk has to offer and have relied on this super creamy, juicy and light dish for years. It never sets, it somehow enhances (rather than darkens) the fruit’s natural sweetness and has a perfect texture. (One tweak: I’m swapping out vanilla extract for some kind of booze.) To make it, you’ll need:
- 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (not condensed milk)
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup very dark chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon liqueur, whiskey, rum, or brandy (or vanilla extract if needed)
Add everything but a little alcohol or extract to a saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is completely liquid. Remove from heat, add some booze, and transfer to a fondue pot (make sure a small candle is lit) or to a small multicooker set at low heat. Serve with a variety of dipping fruits (strawberries and pineapple are my favorites), or simply eat with a spoon. There are no wrong ways to consume creamy liquid chocolate.