There are few things more warming and comforting to me on a cold winter’s eve than to gather around fondue pots with dear friends, dipping lovely bits of bread, meat and fruit into bubbling cauldrons of cheese, oil and dark chocolate.
My wish came true when CEC chose fondue as our menu theme for this week. YAY! We arrived toting hunks of cheese, slabs of chocolate and bags of fruit. Don fortified us with his oh-so-fabulous margaritas. I do so love that bit of salt mingling with the lime and vodka. Yum!
Selwyn stirred his marvelous concoction of Emmental, Gruyère and other goodies, Darren baked cheese-topped gluten-free bread for dipping, and Toby chopped a mound of dark chocolate. Cameron thinly sliced beef, Deb chunked strawberries, sliced bananas and cubed pound cake, and I carefully measured out Amaretto and heavy whipping cream. We stirred and tested and ladled and then, oh bliss, it was time to eat!
Then it was time for dessert! I took Toby’s mound of luscious dark chocolate and stirred it into heavy whipping cream and Amaretto for a divinely decadent chocolate fondue. Not everyone liked nuts, so we kept those on the side for folks to add at their leisure. I loved the added crunch. 🙂
Feeling sated and content, we adjourned to the living room to swap crazy stories inspire each other onto greater heights of creativity, no matter what our individual passion or bent. It was marvelous. 🙂
Selwyn’s Cheese Fondue
8 oz Gruyere, grated
8 oz Emmentaler, grated
8 oz of Cheddar, grated (white – no color additives)
1 tablespoon potato starch
2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp butter
1 cup white wine
- Add potato starch to cheeses and set aside.
- Rub fondue pot with garlic, set aside.
- Rub cooking pot with garlic and leave in bottom of pot. Add lemon juice, butter and white wine and bring to a boil.
- Add handfuls of the cheese mixture to the boiling wine and stirring constantly until all the cheese is added.
- Continue to stir until smooth, then transfer to fondue pot and start dipping!
Krista’s Chocolate Fondue
(From Rachael Ray)
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, reserve 1/4 cup to thin if fondue begins to thicken
4 bittersweet chocolate bars, chopped, 3 1/2 ounces each
2 tablespoons Frangelico or Amaretto liqueur, optional
1/4 cup finely chopped hazelnuts or almonds, optional
- Heat 1/2 cup cream in a heavy non-reactive saucepot over moderate heat until cream comes to a low boil. Remove the pan from the heat and add chocolate.
- Let the chocolate stand in hot cream 3 to 5 minutes to soften, then whisk chocolate together with the cream.
- Stir in liqueur and/or chopped nuts and transfer the fondue to a fondue pot or set the mixing bowl on a rack above a small lit candle.
- If fondue becomes too thick, stir in reserved cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, to desired consistency.
Darren’s Gluten-Free Crusty Boule
(From Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day)
2 cups Brown Rice Flour
1 1/2 cups Sorghum Flour
3 cups Tapioca Flour (also called tapioca starch)
2 tablespoons yeast (can be reduced but you will have to increase the rise time)
1 tablespoon kosher salt (increase or decrease to taste)
2 tablespoons Xanthan Gum
2 2/3 cups lukewarm water
4 large eggs, whisked together
1/3 cup neutral-flavored oil or olive oil
2 tablespoons honey or sugar
- Mixing and storing the dough: Whisk together the flours, yeast, salt and xanthan gum in a 5-quart lidded Round Food Storage Container.
- Combine the oil, honey and water, set aside.
- Dump the eggs into the dry ingredients and then stir while you pour in about 1/3 of the oil and water. Unlike our wheat doughs we do not add all of the liquid at once and stir. If you do that it will result in a lumpy dough.
- Continue to stir while you pour in another 1/3 of the liquid.
- The dough will start to come together in a thick dough. Add the final 1/3 of liquid andstir until the dough is nice and smooth. Cover with the lid, but do not snap it shut.
- Allow it to rest on the counter for about 2 hours. Place the dough in the refrigerator and store for up to 7 days.
- On baking day take the bucket from the refrigerator. The dough will be quite fluffy still and you want to try not to handle the dough too much. Just like our other doughs the trick is to keep as much of the air bubbles in tact as possible.
- Use wet hands to remove 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece of dough from the bucket.
- The dough will be quite scraggly when you take it out, just place it on a piece of parchment paper.
- Use wet hands to smooth out the surface of the dough. This may take dipping your hands in the water a few times to get a nice shape.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest on the counter for about 90 minutes. If your kitchen is very warm you may only need about 75 minutes.
- 30 minutes before baking time preheat the oven with a 5 1/2 quart Dutch Oven in it to 500 degrees. Be sure it is fitted with a metal Replacement Knob, the original plastic knobs can only be heated to about 400 degrees.
- The dough will not have grown much while resting, but it will seem a little bit puffier. Use a serrated knife to cut slashes in the dough.
- Remove the pot from the oven and take off the lid.
- Lift the bread on the parchment and VERY CAREFULLY lower the parchment and bread into the pot, replace the lid onto the pot. Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes remove the lid, turn the heat down to 450 and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- Once the bread is done baking remove it from the pot using a spatula.
- Allow the bread to cool completely before eating or the center may seem gummy.