Christmas Countdown: Chocolate fondue an entertaining option

fondued-orange

Mandarin orange segments make great dippers for chocolate fondue, as do pineapple chunks, apple wedges, banana slices, strawberries, pound cake cubes, pretzels....

Dippidity do dah!

Get out the fondue pot and forks. It’s time to gather ’round the glow of burning embers (make that a tealight) and dip yummy things into a vat (or just a small bowl!) of melted chocolate!

The nature of fondue makes it a special way to entertain, especially during the holiday season. This social, communal eating adventure allows participants to enjoy food and each other in a relaxed, leisurely way.

Chocolate is a favorite fondue choice. It’s fun! It tastes exceptionally good, especially if you use a fine quality chocolate. It’s easy. And a minimal number of ingredients (two!) are required – chocolate and cream (whipping cream or half and half both work). Liqueur can be added for flavour.

A good quality chocolate is essential and will definitely give the best flavour.

For easy melting, chop the chocolate into small pieces. You can use your microwave instead of a double boiler on the stove top to melt the chocolate, but do so carefully, at Medium (50%) power. Melt the chocolate partially, then remove it from the microwave and stir until the remaining chocolate melts.

A chocolate fondue should be served in a small earthenware or ceramic bowl instead of the larger stainless steel or ceramic pots reserved for cheese, oil or broth fondues. A small votive candle or tealight will provide enough heat to keep the chocolate warm without burning it.

Dark Chocolate Fondue
(Makes 4 servings)

3/4 cup (175 mL) whipping cream (35% M.F.)
12 oz (375 g) dark chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp liqueur (e.g. Kahlua, Amaretto, Grand Marnier, kirsch), optional
Fondue dippers (e.g. slices or pieces of fruit, angel food or pound cake cubes, marshmallows, cookies, pretzels, potato chips)

In the top of a double boiler, heat cream over hot (not boiling) water until warm. Add chocolate; stir constantly until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.

If desired, stir in liqueur. If chocolate mixture is too thick, stir in a little more cream. Transfer mixture to a dessert fondue bowl and place over a lit tealight.

Enjoy by spearing fruit or cake and dunking dippers in chocolate mixture.

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