Chocolate and cheese. A perfect coalesce, oozing together like peanut butter and jelly. Chocolate fondue wasn’t enough for Eileen’s bridal shower, I had to also make a cheese fondue, so to follow along with this recipe you’ll need:
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 8 oz. block Gruyère cheese, shredded
1 8 oz. block Jarlesberg cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups dry white or Pinot Grigio wine
1 Tbsp. corn starch
Start by shredding the cheese into a bowl, so later you can just toss it into the heated saucepan.
In a decent sized pot, combine the garlic and wine. Simmer over medium heat. I forgot to buy dry white wine, so instead I used Pinot Grigot which resulted in a sweeter sauce, but still very good. The wine changed the whole flavor of the dish into something you might find at The Melting Pot.
The recipe called next for stirring together Kirsch (a fruity brandy) and corn starch in a cup. I didn’t use the Kirsch, as it was optional, but did add the cornstarch into the pot at this point. It became a liquid fat almost instantly leaving gooey, gel-like blobs floating around in the wine similar to the Black Pepper Tofu recipe. I’m pretty sure I probably won’t use cornstarch again, but if you know the trick to it, feel free. It is supposed to keep the cheese and wine from separating over time in the fondue’s candle heated bowl.
For the next step I highly recommend that you shred the cheese before beginning the recipe. I did not and ended up with a clumpy cheese ball. The recipe called for Gruyère and Emmental cheeses, but any strong cheese paired with a swiss that isn’t soft will work. The softer cheeses will cause some trouble when trying to mix with the wine.
Next, gradually add the cheese to the low-heated pot continuing to stir in a zig-zag motion across the pan to keep the cheese from chunking and actually melding into the wine, garlic and cornstarch. Keep it from boiling or it will burn and have a hard time integrating. Stir in the cornstarch mixture (unlike how I added it earlier to the wine) then bring the fondue to a simmer until thickened, about 5-8 minutes, constantly stirring. Transfer to fondue set and heat the flame.
Some ideas for dipping sides are cut up blanched broccoli, carrots, red peppers, roasted potatoes, Challah bread, apple, pear, and everything bagel sticks. Make sure you remember to stir the mix every now and again when it is under the fondue flame. The cheese’s are a good pair with each other, not too strong, but just enough to ramp up your taste buds and leaving a slight wine aftertaste. Two cloves of garlic may be a little much, and some even call for just rubbing the pot down with the cloves before discarding them entirely, but I believe it added a nice even spice. Add a little black pepper to spice up and figure in some color to the top for decoration.