Updated: Apr 6
Preparations: Five minutes
Cook Time: Ten minutes
Ingredients: Swiss cheese mix, white wine, garlic and eventually kirsch.
From this article, you will learn the art of homemade Swiss cheese fondue, by the end of this instructional, you may just throw a fondue home party once you realize how easy it is to make!
For the swiss, the only meaning to the word “fondue” is cheese fondue. The sheer respect and history this food has in Switzerland are such that all other dip-in-communal-pot dishes are fondue-something. Fondue Chinoise (thin beef slices in broth), and fondue bourgignonne (fried beef filet in oil) are clear examples. An even more fantastic point is that “fondue” and its derivatives serve as main dishes and never as multicourse meals or appetizers.
Valentine? New years eve? A date night? White wine with “fondue” could never go wrong! There is a communal aspect to cheese fondue that makes it an excellent way to celebrate holidays with a group of friends.
It sounds quite a fancy, right? Cheese fondue has remarkably simple preparations (If you can stir right and stand the kitchen heat, a cheese fondue is not beyond your ability). Aside from its cozy and welcoming air, cheese fondue always feels like a special treat every time. The best way to charm your friends and visitors with the swiss culture is the alpine air and cheese fondue at your swiss chalet.
Did you know that there is some difference between having “fondue” and having cheese fondue? With the real fondue, you use swiss cheese to get a rich, smooth, and creamy product that tastes fantastic with white wine. It will take your mind straight to that brilliant swiss restaurant fondue just after a ski.
Overlooking its indulgent and creamy taste, another worth to Swiss cheese fondue is its way of stimulating dinner debates. A common question when the bread slips from the fork are what the quest should be? Debate! When eating fondue in a Swiss restaurant, the most usual quest would be to pay an extra round of drinks to the table, while at home everything is possible !
You must melt the cheese on a kitchen stove (hotplate or induction), using a fondue pot of the right make, size, and material. You should then only move the cheese to the fondue cooking kit on your table when the fondue is a rolling boil, and the cheese is all melted.
Bring out your fondue pot and ensure it is clean. Rub the bottom and inner walls of the pan with garlic to make the pot non-sticky.
Pour in your cheese packet and white wine.
Warm your fondue pot with a stove.
Continue with stirring until it becomes a rolling boil. Pour in extra wine if it starts to dry out. Your stirring should be total, constant, and all-encompassing in the pot. Don’t rush!
Put off your stove, add seasoning if you want, a few drops of kirsch (Swiss colorless brandy if you have it) and transfer your pot to a heating kit on your table.
You should cut your bread into bite-size cubes with lots of crust. Some guests may prefer their bread extra-crispy, so you should cut it up a few hours before they get there. We clearly recommend crusty bread because it sticks to the fork better once it is dipped in the fondue pot. Please don’t lick the skewer if you still value your tongue.
Note: Make special attention with small children because the cheese is still hot and may burn you if you aren’t careful.
See how easy it is !
Swiss fondue is best served immediately because the cheese clumps together if you let it cool. By using an adjustable heating stand to keep the cheese melted at a constant temperature, it remains creamy and dippable while eating. Fork a small piece of the bread, stir gently in the cheese and have a taste of heavenly flavor.
Ensure you scrape the bottoms and sides once or more per dip to prevent the cheese from burning/sticking to the sides.
What goes into the cheese ?
Bread: Delicious, classic, and crispy are some words that describe the bread-sauce combination. Cut it into crispy one-inch cubes, and nothing will go wrong.
Baby Potatoes, Broccoli, carrots and any of your favorite vegetables, just be creative.
It is also imperative to get the heat right. A too high temperature will clump the cheese into clumps, and a too low temperature won’t melt it. Especially if you are using a high-powered gas range, keep the heat low to avoid mistakes.
The cheese sauce will get thicker as more and more is taken from it, so you need to keep stirring while gradually lowering the heat.
You can turn off the heat when the cheese in the pot is small and continue to scrape the cheese off until you have only a small circle of burn left. You can then simply pry it off.
Amongst the swiss, the burned leftover is a final fondue treat that could be shared or selfishly eaten by the lucky genius who wins a bet.
Note: The etiquette of eating the fondue is just as important as eating the fondue. No double-dipping! Also, pull off the fondue with teeth, and don’t let the fork into your mouth!
What about the Swiss kirsch in the cheese fondue ?
A kirschwasser or kirsch is a clear, colorless brandy traditionally made from double distillation of morello cherries, a dark-colored cultivar of the sour cherry. However, it is now also made from other kinds of cherries. The cherries are fermented completely, including their stones. Unlike cherry liqueurs and cherry brandies, kirschwasser is not sweet. Kirsch is sometimes produced via the distillation of fermented cherry juice.
The best kirschwassers have a refined taste with subtle flavors of cherry and a slight bitter-almond taste that derives from the cherry seeds.
While the kirsch makes your fondue richer, many swiss do without it.
Pears or Apples may work if the above is not available. Kirsch is simply the best choice even if its difficult to get your hands on.
Grape distillates may also be the go-to choice in a pinch. Grappa or Eau-de-vie is best, but cognac would not be a remise choice.
Your substitute should, however, be a close relation of kirsch. A non-sweet, clear, fruit distillate.
Do remember that cheese fondue is properly cooked, not just heated through until the cheese melts, so most of the alcohol content will evaporate. Swiss kids eat fondue along with the adults. With careful handling, kids can easily partake in this delicious meal.
A Fondue Pot?
Also, maintaining the temperature of your fondue once you cook it can be frustrating with the traditional method. Not only could it thicken and break up, but it could also become clumpy with ease. A fondue pot comes with a built-in double-boiler system for maintaining a constant temperature.
An appropriate fondue pot and heater saves you the effort of going back to the stove every time the sauce gets too cold. It adds a little flair to your cooking experience, keeps the fondue creamy and orgasmic, and is quite the pretty sight too.
A final caution from us is to make sure you get enough fondue forks for everyone.
A fondue in Gruyères