Fondue is classy and fun, but for someone who's never made it, it can be a little intimidating. You can choose from cheese fondue, dessert, oil, or broth. Each type has its own specialty, but they are all worth trying. Keep reading to learn more.
Basic Cheese Fondue
- 1 lb (450 ml) grated cheese
- 1 cup (250 ml) dry white wine OR 1 cup (250 ml) milk and 2 to 3 teaspoons (30 to 45 ml) lemon juice
- 1 to 2 teaspoons (15 to 30 ml) cornstarch or flour
Basic Chocolate Fondue
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) water
- 1/2 lb (250 grams) dark chocolate
- 3.5 oz (100 grams) milk chocolate
- 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) heavy cream
- 10 large marshmallows
Basic White Chocolate Fondue
- 11 oz (310 grams) white chocolate
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
Basic Caramel Fondue
- 1 cup (250 ml) evaporated milk
- 2 cups (500 ml) white sugar
- 4 tablespoons (60 ml) butter
- 4 tablespoons (60 ml) corn syrup
Basic Broth Fondue
6 to 8 cups (1.5 to 2 liters) stock
Base Oil Fondue
6 to 8 cups (1.5 to 2 liters) peanut or canola oil
Method 1 of 4: Before You Begin: Turning On The Fondue Burner
Step 1. Choose the right type of fondue pot and fuel
The type of fondue pot you need will be determined by the type of fondue you are preparing. The right type of fuel is also determined by this.
- The cheese fondue pot will have a wide mouth and a place for the alcohol or gel fuel.
- Dessert fondue pots are smaller and shallower than cheese fondue pots, and they only have holder for a candle, not fuel.
- Stock and oil fondue pots have smaller mouths and are made of steel or copper. This pot is heated using alcohol or gel fuel.
Step 2. Light the alcohol fuel carefully
Alcohol fuel is cheap and simple, but very flammable, so you need to practice being very careful.
- Make sure the alcohol burner is completely cold before filling it.
- Never fill beyond the burner limit.
- Remove the burner and take it to the counter or kitchen sink. Gently pour the alcohol into the burner, stopping when you see the liquid approaching the opening or meshing along the sides.
- Clean up any spilled fuel outside the burner and place the burner in the off position, under the fondue pot.
- Light a match and take it to the vent in the burner. Make sure all the holes are fully open and turn them off then throw out the lighter when the fuel is lit.
Step 3. Use gel fuel for a safer alternative
You have to be careful when lighting a gel burner, but this fuel spills less often than liquid alcohol, so it's easier to keep things safe.
- Remove the metal tube mesh normally used for fuel and insert the gel pellet into the metal casing that is still there. Replace the stove top when finished.
- If you're using a pourable gel instead of a bullet, you'll still need to get rid of the mesh fuel canister. Pour the gel all the way to the bottom of the burner and replace the top.
- Open the air holes and bring a lighter that has been lit there. When the fuel catches fire, turn off the match and throw it away.
Step 4. Recognize how to light a candle burner
Most dessert fondues require very little heat to keep the fondue liquefied, so all you need is a small light source of fuel.
- Melt the ingredients in a double boiler on your stove before transferring them to your fondue pot.
- Place an unscented candle under the fondue pot and light it with a lighter. Turn it off and throw away the match when you're done.
Method 2 of 4: Cheese Fondue
Step 1. Use 1 lb (450 grams) of cheese
This is usually enough for four people, when used for appetizers, or two, when used for main meals.
- More specifically, you'll need approximately 3.5 oz (100 grams) of cheese per person when used for appetizers and 7 oz (200 grams) of cheese per person when used for main meals.
- Most people find that the best taste is obtained when several cheeses are mixed together.
- Cheeses that are usually used for fondue are Swiss cheese, fontina, gruyere, emmentaler, cheddar, and monterey jack.
Step 2. Choose an acid to add to the cheese fondue
An acid is needed because it removes some of the fibers from the cheese, and makes it suitable for making a sauce. The acid of choice is wine, and you'll usually need about 1 cup (250 ml) of wine for every 1 lb (450 grams) of cheese.
- Dry white wine is a wine to drink. Some good choices are Chenin Blanc, Dry Vermouth, Muscadet, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier.
- For a non-alcoholic option, replace the wine with milk and add 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) of lemon juice.
Step 3. Mix the acid with the thickener
Corn flour and starch are the most common choices. Add about 1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 ml) of your chosen thickener for every 1 lb (450 ml) of cheese.
To continue, whisk the liquid and thickener over low heat on the stove. The liquid should be soft without lumps
Step 4. Combine the cheese and sour mixture on the stove
While you can melt cheese in your fondue pot, melting it on the stove will make it softer.
- Grate the cheese before you melt it. This will speed up the process.
- Add the cheese to the thickened liquid in your pan handful at a time, stirring each time you add. Do not let the cheese boil or smolder.
Step 5. Rub the fondue pot with garlic
Cut a clove of garlic in half and rub the visible inside around the bottom and sides of your fondue pot.
Rubbing garlic into the pot will add extra flavor and aroma to the fondue without creating an overpowering garlic taste
Step 6. Transfer the cheese to your fondue pot
Pour the cheese into your fondue pot, scraping the sides of your pan to get as much of the cheese liquid out as possible.
Light your fondue pot using alcohol or gel fuel
Step 7. Serve the fondue with a variety of foods
Cheese fondue goes well with a wide variety of foods, including diced bread, steamed cauliflower or broccoli, or french fries. You can also use fruit like apples or grapes.
- For fruit and vegetables, prepare 1 or 2 pieces of fruit per person.
- For bread, prepare 2 or 3 servings of bread per person.
Method 3 of 4: Dessert fondue
Step 1. Choose your dessert fondue
Chocolate fondue is the most popular dessert option, but there are plenty of dessert options available, so you'll need to experiment to find a new favorite.
- Whatever dessert fondue you choose, you should prepare the fondue on the stovetop using a small saucepan before transferring it to your fondue pot.
- The fondue pot should be warm before you add the fondue to it.
- Once you've transferred the fondue to the pot, light your candle to keep it warm.
Step 2. Try the traditional chocolate fondue
Chocolate fondue is rich and creamy, so it feels like you can't go wrong when you use it.
- Bring cup (125 ml) of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove the water once it boils but do not drain the pot.
- Pour 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) heavy cream into the same saucepan and heat over medium heat for about 2 minutes, enough time to heat it up.
- Add 1/2 lb (250 grams) of dark chocolate pieces and 3.5 oz (100 grams) of milk chocolate pieces to the hot cream and stir until melted and creamy.
- Add 10 large marshmallows to the chocolate mixture and stir until melted.
Step 3. Mix the ingredients with the white chocolate fondue
White chocolate fondue can be a delicious treat for guests who love sweet treats.
- Heat half the water from a double boiler over medium heat. Let it boil slowly.
- Add 11 oz (310 grams) of white chocolate chunks to the top of the double boiler and mix with cup (60 ml) milk. Stir until melted.
- Transfer the fondue to your fondue pot.
Step 4. Prepare a caramel fondue
Caramel is another fondue favorite and is an excellent choice for guests who may not like chocolate.
- Combine 1 cup (250 ml) of evaporated milk, 2 cups (500 ml) white sugar, 4 tablespoons (60 ml) butter, and 4 tablespoons (60 ml) corn syrup in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it boils.
- Let the mixture thicken as it simmers for 5 minutes before transferring it to your warm fondue pot.
Step 5. Serve the fondue with a variety of dipping options
Small pieces of fruit, cake, and bread are usually your best choices for dessert fondue. Prepare 1 to 2 pieces of fruit per person or 2 to 3 servings of cakes and breads per person.
- In general, chocolate fondue is best served with strawberries, banana slices, grapes, cherries, pound cakes, marshmallows, chopped oranges, pineapple, apple slices, kiwi slices, pear slices, bread, donuts, croissants, and melons, as well as various nuts.
- White chocolate fondue goes well with salted pretzels, pineapple, crystallized ginger, and mango chunks.
- Caramel fondue goes well with sliced peaches, strawberries, banana slices, grapes, cherries, pound cakes, marshmallows, unsalted popcorn, pineapple, apple slices, kiwi, mango, raspberries, pear slices, donuts and croissants, as well as a variety nuts.
Method 4 of 4: Fondue Broth or Oil
Step 1. Choose between oil and stock fondue options
Both options are used for cooking raw cuts of meat, seafood, and vegetables, but each option has its pros and cons.
- Oil fondue is slightly less healthy than stock fondue.
- On the other hand, oil fondue is a bit more versatile because you can use it to prepare a variety of different dips without affecting the flavor of each dip. However, the broth will spice up the dip with the flavor of the broth.
Step 2. Decide which dye you want to use
Common choices are beef, pork, lamb, chicken, seafood and vegetables. Tender cuts of meat are usually replaced with tough cuts because the meat cooks quickly.
- Prepare 1/2 lb (225 grams) of meat per guest.
- Prepare 6 oz (180 grams) of seafood per guest.
- Prepare 1 or 2 servings of vegetables per guest.
Step 3. Cut the meat into one-bite portions
One piece of meat is cut into inch (2 cm) pieces.
- Dry the meat with paper towels to remove excess moisture and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Separate the different types of meat to avoid contamination.
Step 4. Identify the best type of oil to use
If you decide to make an oil fondue, choose an oil with a medium smoking point. Peanut oil and canola oil are the best choices.
If neither type of oil is available, you can use vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, or butter
Step 5. Choose a broth that matches your meat of choice
Since the flavor of the broth will affect the flavor of the dip you use, choose a broth that matches your dip or enhances the flavor of your dip.
- Vegetable stock goes well with almost any fondue dip and chicken stock goes well with chicken, lamb, and pork. Beef broth is best for cooking beef, and seafood stock is used for cooking seafood
- Prepare 6 to 8 cups (1.5 to 2 liters) of stock for 1 pot that can make 4 servings.
Step 6. Heat the oil or stock on the stove
Pour the oil or stock into a small saucepan and heat over medium to high heat.
- The broth must be heated to a boil.
- The oil should reach a temperature of 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (180 to 190 degrees Celsius). Check using a frying or candy thermometer, or test by dipping a piece of bread in the oil. The oil is ready when the bread turns golden brown in 30 seconds or less.
Step 7. Transfer the liquid to your fondue pot
Carefully pour the hot liquid into the warm fondue pot.
- Light the burner under the fondue pot as instructed.
- Carefully pour the hot liquid into the fondue pot to avoid burns.
- The fondue pot should be to 2/3 filled.
Step 8. Cook the pieces of meat and vegetables in the hot liquid
Pierce your dip using a long fondue fork and cook one at a time for a few minutes or until done.
- Always check your meat before eating it to make sure it's cooked through.
- Allow the dip to cool slightly before eating it to avoid burning your mouth.
- Keep in mind that the liquid level may drop over time when using broth, so you may have to add more over time.
Step 9. Serve the dip with some fondue sauce
When cooking oil or stock fondue, you usually serve the dip with a variety of sauces. Roughly 3 to 5 dips are the standard, and a guest will use about cup (125 ml) of varying sauces.
- For chicken or pork fondue, use honey mustard or barbecue sauce.
- For lamb fondue, use mint sauce, sour cream, or cottage cheese.
- For a meatball or beef fondue, try using a sweet and sour sauce, mushrooms, or mustard.
- For a seafood dip, try using a tartar or cocktail sauce.