In the Kitchen: Fondues for Valentine’s Day

Cooking instructor Heide Lang demonstrates how to make Three Cheese Champagne Fondue with Crabmeat and Dark Chocolate Fondue with Amaretto and Fresh Fruits.

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Heide Lang’s recipe for Three Cheese Champagne Fondue:

Ingredients:

  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 ¼ cups dry (brut) champagne or sparkling wine, such as Segura Viudas
  • ½ cup finely chopped shallots (2-3 medium size shallots)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups (7 ounces) grated gruyere cheese
  • 1 1/3 cups grated Emmental** (about 5 ounces)
  • ½ cup diced brie or camembert cheese (about 3 ounces) rind removed
  • 8 ounces lump crab meat
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • Assortment of “dippers,” including crudités, apples and pears
  • 1 French bread baguette cut into 1-inch cubes

*This fondue, like all fondues, will serve a varying number of people depending on whether it is a first course at a gathering of several courses, or the main meal.

**You may substitute any other Swiss cheese or mild cheese made from cows milk that melts well, such as Jarlsberg. 

Preparation:

  1. Stir cornstarch and water in a small bowl until cornstarch dissolves. Set aside.
  2. Heat butter in a medium size sauté pan and add shallots. Cook over a medium heat until the shallots are glassy and just starting to brown, about two minutes.
  3. Add the champagne or sparkling wine and simmer over medium heat for two minutes.
  4. Add the cheeses and stir thoroughly until the cheese starts to melt.
  5. Add the crabmeat and stir in the cornstarch mixture. Continue to mix on medium heat until the cheeses are melted and smooth (and the fondue starts to thicken).
  6. Transfer the cheese mixture to the fondue pot and add the nutmeg.
  7. Serve with cubes of French bread, raw vegetables, and fruit slices.

Chef Heide Lang’s recipe for Dark Chocolate Fondue with Amaretto and Fresh Fruits:

We believe that both sweet and savory fondues are very much under-rated. Whatever happened to all the wine bars from eighties where fondue was the mainstay? Here, we do our share in bringing back this delicious tradition. The key is not to be tempted to buy a “fondue chocolate” packet, since it is so easy now to find high quality chocolate at most gourmet food stores.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound high quality bittersweet chocolate, such as Lindt, Perugina, Ghiardelli or Trader Joes Belgian Chocolate
  • 1 ½ cups light cream (or heavy cream for a much richer and fattening fondue!) at room temperature
  • 2 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons amaretto, pear liqueur, or cognac (you may use another brandy or liqueur if you wish).
  • Various fruits (i.e., strawberries, bananas, kiwi, blackberries, clementines, apples, pears, pineapple, dried fruits and peaches all work well)
  • Various sweet morsels (i.e., meringues, shortbread, biscotti, pretzels, stella doro cookies, angel food cake, lady fingers, etc.)

Preparation:

  1. Break up the chocolate into smaller pieces and heat in a 12-inch saucepan. (You may also use a double boiler if you are concerned about burning the chocolate, which will ruin the fondue).
  2. Add cream, and stir gently but constantly.
  3. When heated through, add vanilla and amaretto or brandy. Heat two more minutes on a low setting, being careful not to burn the chocolate.
  4. Transfer chocolate mixture to fondue. Serve with various fruits, cookies and cake.

 

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