Traditional Cheese Fondue
With temperatures being pretty cold around here recently, we've decided to do another fondue before the summer comes back. In Switzerland, we usually only do this dish in the winter, preferrably in the mountains, with snow falling outside and a fire crackling in the fireplace. It's a wonderful dish for several people gathering around the table. It's best served with either a dry white wine or tea.
It is most romantic in a special fondue set, but you could also serve it in a regular pan on any hotplate you can place on your table. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions about what kind of fondue set you should get.
Ingredients per person:
150 g (about 5.5 oz) gruyère cheese (from Trader Joe's, make sure it's not cave aged otherwise your fondue will get too salty)
75 ml (2.5 oz) white wine (cheap one like Charles Shaw from Trader Joe's is fine)
1/2 teaspoon corn starch
1 shotglass of Kirsch (Bristol Farms usually sells it, any brand is fine)
1 big clove of garlic
pepper and freshly ground nutmeg
bread (baguette, not sourdough) cut into about 1 inch cubes
Before you start, make sure you have a hotplate arranged on the table where you'll be eating your fondue. Basically, you'll need to start eating immediately after it's ready, so make sure your guests are all ready to eat by the time you'll serve the fondue.
Peel the garlic, cut it in half lengthwise and thoroughly rub it all over the inside of your fondue dish or pan. Leave the garlic in the dish.
Mix the corn starch with the kirsch in a cup until it's completely dissolved.
Grind the cheese in a food processor or manually. Put it into the fondue dish, pour in the wine and start heating it up over medium-high heat. From now on, until the end, constantly stir the cheese. You might want to have a second person around to assist you with stirring, while you add the rest of the ingredients.
Once the cheese started to melt a bit, add the kirsch with the dissolved corn starch and stir strongly. Bring it to a quick boil, then reduce the temperature to keep simmering the fondue until it has reached a creamy thickness. To test if it's ready, stir and lift your tool to see how liquid the cheese is. Season with pepper and nutmeg to taste.
Move the fondue onto your medium-low heat hotplate (or fondue gas burner) on the table and start eating immediately by stirring bread pieces with your fondue forks. Make sure the fondue always slightly simmers while you're eating, but it shouldn't boil.