Last night I hosted book club with a bunch of girlfriends. We took the summer off, so this was our “jumpstart” / “choose books for the next few months” night. We usually do a potluck of some sort, and we’ve done everything from a potato bar, to knock-off cafe rio salads, to soup/salad/breadsticks night. I wanted to something a little different, and after racking my brain and coming up with nothing fun or original, I finally turned to Janssen and she recommended a fondue night. Brilliant. That’s why I keep sisters around.
I ended up doing three fondues — two cheese and one chocolate. And now I will share those recipes with you because I cannot just sit here and bask in the deliciousness all by myself and not tell you to go make these RIGHT NOW.
Fondue #1 was a Pesto Fondue (also found by Janssen) from Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body. This fondue was AMAZING. So flavorful, so creamy, and a perfect amount of pesto flavor. Not overpowering, but not too subtle. This was a crowd pleaser.
3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups dry white wine or chicken broth
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (chopped)
1/4 cup almonds
Put basil, almonds and garlic in blender or food precessor. While blending add 1/4 cup of wine (or chicken broth) and blend until thick. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, add the pesto mixture and remaining white wine until it reaches a slow rolling boil.
In a large bowl, toss the shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese with the cornstarch. Slowly stir it into saucepan with the boiling pesto/wine one small handful at a time. Stir over medium heat until it is melted and stringy.
Fondue #2 was a Cheddar Cheese Fondue (a knock-off from The Melting Pot). I did this one more as a safe backup just in case everyone hated the pesto fondue, but it ended up also being a hit and was definitely not just a “safe” cheese fondue. Very flavorful, and very creamy and smooth.
6 ounces medium sharp cheddar cheese
2 ounces Swiss Cheese
1 cup of half and half (more if you want it thinner)
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons flour
In a double boiler, combine half and half, garlic, mustard powder, and Worcestershire sauce, and stir. Heat to a low boil. Shred all the cheese, and toss with flour, coating cheese well. The flour will help thicken the sauce. When the half and half mixture is warm add one third of the cheese into the mixture, and whisk very well. Once the cheese has been incorporated well, add second third of cheese, whisk in very well, and add in the remaining cheese and whisk until nice and smooth. Add more half and half if you need to thin it out. Serve immediately.
And finally, Fondue #3, Chocolate Fondue. While searching for a good fondue recipe, I came across Mel’s Truffle Hot Chocolate Balls recipe. In the comments section, someone mentioned that they used this exact recipe for fondue — and bam! I was sold. This was the perfect chocolate fondue…too bad several people left before dessert so I’ll be eating it for a week. Seriously, too bad…. 🙂
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about 2 cups)
4 ounces of milk chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
In a pot, combine cream, sugar and salt and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips. Let sit for a few minutes until chocolate is softened. Then stir continuously until mixture thickens and is evenly combined. Serve immediately.
Oh, and by the way…did I mention that all three of these are 100% FAT FREE??? Yes, you just make these and keep thinking that…you’ll sleep much better that night. You’re welcome.