Swiss cheese fondue can be cooked at home. If you deside to make it, then we can offer some useful fondue recipes, which you may develop in accordance with your own taste. Having said that for preparing and serving fondue you'll need very little special tools.
First and main item is fondue pot. The traditional fondue pot is called a "caquelon" and is made of a heavy earthenware. There exist variations which include glazed ceramic or enameled iron. All types of fondue pots are heavy in order to help promote even heat distribution and heat retention. To cook fondue one may use their cooktop. Cheese is placed into the caquelon and heated over low to medium heat. After that it is transferred to the table and placed over an alcohol burner or a hot plate.
Most fondue pots include a tray, a container for an alcohol or a "canned heat" product such as Sterno, a stand, and a pot. As for the canned heat container, check whether it includes a "diffuser". "Diffuser" is needed to adjust the amount of heat by closing or opening the heat source.
Fondue fuel systems hadn't undergone many changes for a long time. Now butane heat units are available. And modern fondue sets consist of a fully adjustable butane heat unit, 2 pots, one for cheese, one for chocolate and 6 fondue forks. Such a set you can buy at Gourmetsleuth.com
There are severak preferences in choosing fondue pot. In the 1970s dessert fondues became very popular. Chocolate fondue was a favorite used for dipping ripe fruits such as bananas, strawberries, and tangerines. Some recipes suggest dipping some cubes of angel food cake as well. Other dessert fondue recipes may include caramel, coconut and marshmallow. For cheese and dessert fondues the traditional caquelon, or earthenware pot is a good choice. It is wide, heavy and shallow which promotes heat retention and distribution.
Another style of fondue is a simple vegetable broth or bouillon. It is a lighter, less caloric meal than the cheese or hot oil versions. Potatoes and other vegetables, and small bits of seafood may be added, are cooked in the simmering pot of broth.
For cooking hot oil or Broth fondue select a pot that is deep and sits on a stable stand. A pot made of enameled iron is a good choice. The pot should be heavy and stable and the interior smooth for easy cleanup.
You will not be able to eat fondue without Fondue Forks. Fondue fork is the only other fondue necessity. The forks usually are long with two serrated tines for spearing food. It prevents your hands of heating by hot oil ar cheese. Each fork has a heat resistant handle such as wood or plastic. To substitute special fondue forks one can use bamboo skewers.
And the last small detail. One needed Fondue Pot Fuel to warm the fondue pot. There are three basic types of fuel used for most fondue sets. Sterno, alcohol, and tea lights.
So, when you have all the tools of equipment the time comes to choose fondue recipe. There is so many variations, that it would be difficult to deside.
Instead of traditional fondue cheese your may choose Fonduta. It is an Italian variant of Fondue. The difference of this fondue recipe lying in fact that fonduta is made with Fontina cheese and egg yolks.
Generally, fondue recipe may vary from dessert to main course or appetizer version. You are free to use anything that suites your personal taste.
Fondue Bourguignonne is a very popular fondue recipe. It is known to some people as Beef Fondue. To cook it you should combine half butter and half cooking oil and heat this mixture in a cast iron or enamel fondue pot. Instead of traditional bread this fondue recipe requires small pieces of lean meat and vegetables. They are cooked in the hot oil. It should be remembered that a stable fondue pot is better to be used for this type of fondue.
Another fondue recipe can interest lovers of Italian quisine. It is named Bagna Cauda and came from the Piedmonte region of Italy. The name comes from bagno caldo which means "hot bath". For this sort of fondue the mixture of butter, olive oil, garlic and anchovies is heated with the medium temperature. Traditionally guests use wooden skewers, bit now fondue forks are also suitable. So, guests spear a variety of fresh vegetables which are dipped and warmed.
There is one more fondue recipe, which is actually not real fondue. It is called Raclette. Raclette is the sort of cheese from Switzerland made from cow's milk. It is slightly nutty in flavor and similar to gruyère. Particularly the dish is served tableside. It is a large half or whole wheel of cheese, exposed to heat and scraped off as it melts. The word raclette originated from French word racler , which means "to scrape." The dish can be served independently, but usually it is served as a meal with boiled potatoes, dark bread and cornichons (pickles).
Dessert Fondues are very popular until now. So, start with them. There are many sweet variations and you can change them according to your own preferences. Dessert fondue party may come as the ending to an evening fondue party or a for a gathering at home after having dinner out.
Obvously, dippers for dessert fondue will differ from cheese fondue dippers. Often you can find it in particular fondue recipe which dipper is preferable. But there are cases when you are allowed to make your own fondue recipe.
As dippers fresh fruits like bananas, strawberries, grapes, tangerines, pears, apples, raspberries may be used. They should be ripe but still firm enough, otherwise they will dissolve while dipping. Dried fruit is also good choice. Take apricots, dates or figs. Don't want any fruits? Use cakes or cookies. Bite sized pieces of angel food cake, pound cake, lady fingers or crisp biscotti will suite equally. Another variant is nut breads either toasted or fresh. Cut them into bite sized pieces. You are welcome to try date nut bread, cinnamon bread, persimmon pumpkin or zucchini breads.
There is one more dipper, which is great with chocolate fondue. Peanut Butter Banana Dippers. To make them fill an icing bag fitted with a small star tip with peanut butter . Then pipe a star of peanut butter on banana slices.
Almost everyone likes chocolate. Let Whiskey Chocolate Fondue be your first dessert fondue recipe. You'll need 1 cup heavy cream, 4 ounces unsweetened (not bittersweet) chocolate, 4 ounces milk chocolate, 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder, 1 tablespoon Scotch whiskey (or favorite variety).
To cook, at first break the chocolate into small pieces. Then, warm the cream and add the chocolate. Stir constantly over low heat until melted. After that, dissolve the espresso powder in the whiskey and stir into the chocolate. And finally, place over a low heat source (do not allow to boil or burn).
This fondue recipe allows some variations in flavour. You may add nuts to your fondue such as chopped pecans, walnuts, or hazelnuts. And, of course, there are other liqueurs that pair well with chocolate. They are well-known Chocolate mint liqueur,
Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur), Cognac, Grand Marnier and undoubtedly Rum.
When you are familiar with dessert fondue, cook something more serious like Mexican fondue, Cheese crab fondue or camembert fondue with truffle essence. The last variation is served individually and not from a communal pot.
When you have become a fondue expert, you can try to invent your own fondue recipe.