Valentine’s Day Fondue

Are you guys fondue fans? I love fondue! Though, I actually haven’t had fondue that many times in my life, now that I think about it.

We did have a chocolate fountain / “chocolate fondue” at our wedding reception that was a big hit.

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And I’ve eaten at the Melting Pot twice before.

This picture was taken five years ago! This was our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple.

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(Phew, this was before my weight loss / calorie counting regimen!)

I actually cannot think of many other times I’ve had fondue in my life! But I do know I love cheese. And if you’ve ever read a post of this blog before, you might also know that I love cheese. So naturally, I love cheese fondue.

And so, with big plans to make cheese fondue for Valentine’s Day this year, the huz and I paid a visit to Morgan & York in Ann Arbor for cheese. Nice selection, and we got to taste prior to buying as well.

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We went with:

    • 8 oz. Gruyere
    • 4 oz. Smoked Gouda
    • 4 oz. Swiss

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Acid is also required when making fondue. In this case, we used 1 cup of dry white wine (I used a Sauvignon Blanc) and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

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The method we used for making fondue was based on this Food Network recipe from Tyler Florence.

First, we sliced the rinds of the cheese, grated all the cheese (I left this task up to the huz!), and tossed the shredded cheese with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.

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Next, I gently brought the wine and lemon juice to a simmer over medium heat. Slowly, I added the cheese and cornstarch mixture to the simmering wine one handful at a time, stirring until smooth between additions.

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Slowly the cheese melted and the mixture thickened.

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Once all of the cheese had been added and melted, we added:

    • pinch of nutmeg
    • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
    • 1.5 tsp dry sherry (substituted for cherry brandy)

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Note that I prepared the fondue on the stovetop for optimal control over the heat level. Once the fondue was prepared, I poured it into the bowl included in our new fondue set. Prior to adding the cheese, we rubbed the interior of the bowl with a halved garlic clove, to add a mild garlic ‘essence’ to the fondue.

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We purchased this affordable electric fondue maker online and it worked out well for us, keeping the cheese fondue over low heat while we dined.

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Aaand, now for the dippers! I picked up a loaf of really delicious High Country Crunch bread from Great Harvest the day before our fondue event. I’d read that day old bread is best for fondue.

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Granny Smith apples are also a must. They are our mutual cheese fondue dipper favorite.

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I also steamed a few veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and asparagus) for dipping as well, and served the wine with dinner.

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The fondue was really good. The consistency turned out great – similar to the consistency of warm honey. We weren’t prepared for how strong the wine flavor would be in the fondue and it was actually stronger than we’d prefer. I liked the leftovers better, after more of the alcohol in the wine cooked off! With that said, next time I’d like to try a recipe that uses less or no wine. But we still really enjoyed our at-home fondue experience!

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Valentine’s Day 2014 was quite a treat, I must say!

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Have you ever made fondue at home?

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