How to Throw a Perfect Fondue Party
Tips for selecting a fondue pot, and helpful hints for making and serving fun dipping sauces
Published: February 14, 2014
|If you're planning a cabin fondue party with the three recipes featured in the April 2014 issue, you'll also want to heed these helpful tips from Chef Shane Schaibly. |
Schaibly is the corporate chef of Front Burner Brands, the restaurant management company for The Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant franchise with more than 135 locations in North America.
|Selecting a Fondue Pot|
- A ceramic or earthenware fondue pot is usually preferred for making cheese and chocolate fondues, but a pot made of stainless steel is the ideal choice for preparing entrée fondues.
- It’s best to choose a metal pot that comes with a ceramic insert for preparing cheese and chocolate fondues so that you can use the same pot for entrée, cheese and chocolate fondues.
- Ceramic pots should be heated with a low flame. Fondue sets usually come with a burning apparatus, but, in a pinch, a tea light or small candle will usually do the trick.
- There are two types of metal fondue pots: electric or the old-fashioned open-flame variety. Electric pots allow you to easily control temperature. Today’s open-flame pots have new types of fuels, such as gels, that are easy to use as well.
|Cheese Fondue Tips|
- Toss cheese with flour or cornstarch to aid in thickening and to improve viscosity. Fondue should not be lumpy and should be the consistency of warm honey.
- Add cheese gradually to get a finer, smoother consistency. If it is too thick, add more of the liquid you used for the base. If it is too thin, add more cheese.
- Use the right base. Light beer pairs well with cheddar cheese while white wine pairs well with Gruyère and Emmentaler (Swiss).
- Serve with bread like a French baguette; pretzels; Granny Smith apples; pears; vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower; and gherkins for dipping.
- Wondering what to drink with it? Try more of the wine or beer you used as the base in the recipe!
|Chocolate Fondue Tips|
- Great dippers include fresh fruit like strawberries and bananas, Rice Krispies Treats, marshmallows, pound cake and brownies.
- The strong, bitter flavor of dark chocolate fondue provides a unique contrast when paired with sweet dippers such as pineapple and marshmallows. If it comes out too bitter, stir in a little powdered sugar.
- Milk chocolate melts fairly evenly, and its milder taste makes it a great base for mixing with sweet liquors and other additives, such as peanut butter or marshmallow crème. Of course, milk chocolate is also fine with nothing added!
- White chocolate has the same consistency as milk chocolate, but has less intense flavor, so a fondue with it takes on more of the flavors of liqueurs, nuts or any other mix-ins.