Remember when everyone owned a fondue pot? That was back in the days of the 1970's when no party was complete without a cheese or chocolate fondue. Couples would get four or five fondue pots as wedding gifts. Well, guess what? The fondue is back and it’s even more popular than it ever was. Why not throw a chocolate fondue dessert party?
If you’re lucky enough to visit New York City or live nearby, you’ll find a restaurant called La Fondue. They serve nothing but fondues of every type. And the most popular are the chocolate fondues. Each table that orders one gets a steaming Sterno-lit fondue pot, skewers and bits of cake, strawberries, and banana bread to dip. What could possibly be more fun to eat?
You can include a fondue at your next party. You really should have a fondue pot. You can get them for about $20 online or in discount stores. The reason you need one is because the little burner that comes with it keeps the fondue melted at the perfect temperature. No scorching or burning. And you’ll have all the right skewers and the pot is the exact right size for dipping and making gourmet desserts.
If you’ve never had a fondue pot before, it’s simple. You toss in the chocolate and the other ingredients and you light the burner. That’s it. When it’s melted, you dip. Leave the flame on and enjoy dipping until it’s all gone.
16 ounces dark, sweet or semi-sweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups light cream
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1. Break chocolate squares into smaller pieces and drop them into the fondue pot.
2. Add cream (which will prevent the chocolate from going lumpy) and stir gently but constantly until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
3. Add vanilla extract, and stir it in.
4. Use a fondue fork to spear the fruit, then dip it in the chocolate. Enjoy!
For some other variations on a basic chocolate fondue recipe, add:
1) Warm the cream over moderate heat until tiny bubbles show and begins to lightly and slowly boil. Add the chocolate and whisk until smooth and fully incorporated.
2) Immediately transfer to a fondue pot heated at low or with a low flame, or serve straight from the pot.
3) Arrange the dippables on a platter or plates around the chocolate pot. Use a fondue fork, bamboo skewer, seafood fork, or salad fork to dip the fruit pieces and other dippables into the hot melted cream chocolate mixture. Eat immediately.
If the fondue begins to feel a little stiff, add a tablespoon of heavy cream and stir. It will help it go a little longer. Eventually, it will cook down though and you may need to start a new pot.
Add a tablespoon or two of Bailey's Irish Cream to the chocolate. Other liquors such as Grand Marnier, Amaretto, or Kirsch are equally yummy.
Add a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and ancho chili pepper for a nice Mexican Chocolate.
The contents of a vanilla pod or some vanilla extract are always a decadent touch to chocolate.
A good pinch of espresso powder can do wonders!
Orange zest or grapefruit zest is nice way to create a slightly fruity chocolate.
A few tablespoons of Torani flavoring syrups (the kind used for coffee or Italian sodas) can add a nice dimension of flavor as well.
White chocolate is always a nice change, and spiked with a little liquor or citrus zest becomes heavenly.
Steeping the cream for an hour beforehand and while heating it can add a nice subtle flavor, lemongrass for white chocolate or a bag of Earl Grey tea for dark chocolate are particularly stylish and contemporary.