Somehow cheese fondue has become associated with the 1970s, coinciding perhaps with the first mass-market skiing holidays when British tourists discovered the dish.
Every wedding list contains a cheese fondue set, and most car boot sales have one lurking underneath a table. It’s true we don’t use our fondue sets often, neglected, they gather dust at the back of the kitchen cupboard. But I refute allegations of naffness. Cheese fondue is delicious, luxurious, warming, festive and the ultimate sharing dish. And as such it is the perfect supper club entrée, you cannot ignore your fellow guests when fighting over the longed for crunchy bits at the bottom, once the yellow alcoholic buttery liquid has reduced. It’s a fight with fondue forks…en garde!
Finally the thickener, so the cheese and alcohol do not swim around ignoring each other, like oil and water. You need something to bond them together. There seems to be two main approaches to thickening cheese fondue: with cornflour or with bread.
- 1 clove garlic, cut in half, halved
- 1 bottle white wine, for the fondue and for drinking, from Savoie if possible
- 600 g emmental cheese grated
- 400 g gruyère cheese grated
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 1 tbsp kirsch, optional
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 loaf Stale bread, cut into cubes, for dipping
- 1 jar Silverskin onions
- 1 jar Cocktail gherkins/cornichons
- 1 kilo Small potatoes, baked on salt
- Rub the inside of the fondue pot with the halves of garlic.
- Add the wine to the pot and heat until bubbling. Lower the heat and gradually stir in the cheeses until melted, stirring all the time.
- Mix the cornflour with the kirsch, otherwise use water. Add it to the cheese mixture and cook gently until the mixture is smooth – don’t let it boil or it will burn.
- Using the fondue forks, dip the bread cubes into the cheese, twist the fork to maximise the cheese load and transfer it to your mouth.
- Accompany with the pickles.
- I would also suggest baking tiny potatoes on a bed of sea salt for half an hour. Lovely dipping material too!Suggestion: Serve with a walnut oil dressed green salad