Anyone who has ever been skiing in France will know the importance of a good cheese fondue. The perfect meal after a day on the slopes, this actually works well in the UK – just pick a grey, wet day and this dish will put you in great spirits. Fondues are not overly common in the UK, but we eat them all the time in France: Fondue Savoyarde (cheese fondue) and Fondue Bourguignonne (meat fondue).
Whilst it is harder to do your own cheese fondue in the UK, it is doable. You need a fondue set (you can find decent ones online for around £30) and a mix of good French cheeses. The best accompaniment to this dish is a green salad with a garlicky vinaigrette (it is a French dish after all!).
Don’t forget to invite some friends over, make sure you have a few bottles of white chilling in the fridge, and you’re on your way to a great, evening of cheese heaven.
- Beaufort cheese - 200g
- Comté cheese - 200g
- Emmental cheese - 200g
- White wine - 400ml
- Black pepper - 1 pinch
- Garlic - 1 clove
- Nutmeg - 1/2 tsp
- Egg - 1 (optional)
- Bread - 2 baguettes (dry)
- Cut the bread into 3 cm pieces the day before
- Pour the white wine into the fondue pot and start cooking it at full whack
- Cut the garlic clove in two and add it to the white wine
- Grate or thinly slice the cheese and add it little by little to the wine while stirring very frequently
- Cook until all the cheese is melted (about 10 mn)
- Season with some pepper and the nutmeg
- (Optional) Mix the egg yolk at the end to finish the browned cheese
The day before - if you can - cut the bread into 3 cm pieces. This will allow the bread to dry out and get harder, making it easier to spike on the end of the fondue fork. It will also stay put better when you're dipping it into the cheese fondue - the last thing you want to do is lose a piece of soggy bread into the cheese mix!
Put the fondue pot on at full whack. Get all your ingredients ready.
Pour the white wine into the fondue pot so it starts cooking a little. Cut the garlic clove in two and add it to the white wine. Remove any cheese rind with a knife. Coarsely grate the cheese with a food processor, if you have one, or with a manual grater. Alternatively you can thinly slice it or cut it into 1 cm cubes and put it in a separate bowl. The thinner the cheese is the easier and quicker it will be to melt.
Add the grated cheese little by little to the wine, stirring very frequently with a wooden spoon. Try stirring in big figure of 8 motions with the spoon.
Cook until all the cheese is melted. It should take about 10 minutes but it will depend on the size of your cheese bits, and the heat from your fondue pot. Then season with some pepper and the nutmeg, and stir everything well. Don't add any salt as the cheese is already very salty.
You can now start enjoying your cheese fondue. Take a piece of bread and pierce it with your fondue fork. Be careful not to hurt yourself! Leave the piece of bread right at the end of the fork, preferably with some crust at the end so you don't lose your bread in the fondue pot. Then dip your piece of bread into the fondue pot for a few seconds whilst gathering some cheese. Lift up your stick as horizontal as possible (and not vertically) so your piece of bread doesn't slip down the stick. Remove the bread and the cheese from your stick and put them on your plate. Wait for a few seconds before eating it.
- Towards the end the white wine might have all evaporated and the cheese might start sticking to the bottom. The best way to finish off your cheese fondue is to break an egg over a bowl, separate the white from the yolk and put the yolk into the fondue. Stir vigorously with the wooden spoon and finish eating with some more bread chunks.
- Try to prepare your fondue about 20 minutes before you want to eat it, so you don't have to keep it warm for too long to avoid ending up with a big chunk of cheese and a lot of separate liquid.
Don't forget, if you like this recipe please share it! We'd love it if you came back and shared your comments, thoughts, and rating on this dish once you've cooked it. Bon appétit!
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