The first and last time I ate fondue was in Switzerland. I was in my twenties, swanning around lovely Lake Lucerne with my now ex-husband. He annoyed me. I stabbed him with a fondue fork. The rest, as they say, is history.
While the company was dubious at best, the fondue was superb. So much so that I can’t explain why it’s taken me nearly two decades to go back for more of its molten magic.
After seeing people on TV wielding their stabby forks over the drippy dippy dish of melted cheese, my little lovers of all things served on a stick begged me to make some at home. When I acquiesced, so loud was the cheering that one of Raffles BFF’s, a charming cheese-addicted chappie, caught word of our cheesy goings and joined us, so our night of Swiss bliss took on a party vibe.
Fondue is a swiss staple so the cheeses most commonly used to make it are a mix of those like Emmental and Gruyère – though variations include Appenzeller and Comté. We planned on sticking only with the more readily available Gruyère, that is until our knowledgeable local cheese dude gifted us with a lovely little chunk of Beaufort to toss in for extra flavour. It must be said the man is a genius! He also recommended the addition of a touch of cornflour to stop the cheese and wine from separating.
Soon we were huddled around a fondue bowl dipping long-stemmed forks studded with sourdough chunks into a bowl filled with the stretchy delicious fondue – the boys tearing up the last bits of breads to scrape out the bottom of the pot.
Now while you may think of fondue as a circa 1970’s party pleaser, this easy cheesy fondue makes for a fun family dinner any night of the week. Just add some vegetable crudités for a little balance!
- 400 g Gruyère cheese, grated
- 300 g Beaufort cheese, grated (can be substitute with Emmenthaler or similar)
- 20g cornflour
- 20 ml sweet sherry
- 1 thyme sprig
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
- 400 ml white wine
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- Large loaf of Sourdough bread
- In a saucepan heat the sherry with a sprig of thyme and a garlic clove, then strain and cool liquid.
- Combine cheeses with cornflour in a bowl.
- In a saucepan heat the white wine on a medium heat to burn off alcohol.
- Add lemon juice then lower heat.
- Stir in the cheese, a handful at a time, and stir over medium low heat until the cheeses melt.
- Add the cooled sherry and a touch of white pepper then stir until the contents of the saucepan are smooth and bubbling gently.
- Rub the inside of fondue pot with a garlic clove then discard the garlic.
- Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a fondue pot.
- Serve immediately with bits of torn sourdough.
While you can make your fondue straight in the fondue pot, we first cooked ours over a higher heat in a saucepan on the stove top to be absolutely certain we'd burnt off the alcohol from the wine before serving it up to the kids.