Fondue is an elegant medley of food and culture. The traditional cheese fondue originated in the 1600s in the Alpine region – that delicious culinary melting pot of French, Italian and Swiss cuisine. Each culture is cheese-crazed, and each culture celebrates the family meal.
But oh, the chocolate fondue – it’s uniquely American, conceived in New York in the 1960s by a Swiss restaurateur. And a couple of weeks ago, my niece, Karlee Grace, and I perfected this recipe. Should we share it? Yes!
Dispense with the double-boiler toil and trouble. And by that, I mean, do not use your double boiler, certainly not for a chocolate fondue, ever again.
This fondue recipe takes out all the treachery (I’ve served mutilated, lumpy, curdled chocolate before under the guise of “Hey, it’s chocolate.”). But 100 percent of the time this fondue will be a silky-smooth success. Statistics don’t lie.
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
3 Tbsp honey
2 (4 oz) bars Ghirardelli milk chocolate
1 Tbsp Grand Marnier
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Heat the cream in a large bowl in the microwave until it’s steaming but not boiling. Then pull it out of the microwave and stir in the honey. Break up the chocolate into small pieces and whisk them into the cream, allowing the chocolate to melt into the cream. There will be a lot of whisking. Reheat the mixture in the microwave as needed (you’ll need to do this a few times because the mixture cools quickly). If it starts to get curdled or too thick, just add a little more cream, and it will smooth right out. Stir in the Grand Marnier and vanilla extract, and you’re done.
Now comes the really fun part – finding treats to dip in your chocolate concoction.
All of these are delicious: Strawberries, sponge cake, Peeps, marshmallows, raspberries and almost any kind of fruit.
The Fon-don’ts: Sharing is the goal of fondue, generally. And who better to share with than friends and family? Let us review etiquette (rules, rules, there are always rules!). Think of fondue like your bowl of salsa – the same rules apply:
1. No double dipping!
2. Use your fondue fork only for dipping, not for eating.
3. Don’t hog it all (no matter how badly you want to)
4. And whatever you do, don’t spill the fondue. Major party foul.
This is the kind of recipe that’s perfect for the whole family, for a sleep-over or for a pregnant lady with a very big craving (me).
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