What Do You Need and How Do You Make Cheese Fondue from Scratch?

If you are a cheese enthusiastic, you probably experienced the soft and delicate texture of a fondue. If you haven’t, you shouldn’t waste any time in learning more about this delicious appetizer that can turn any meal into an elegant and interesting one. While, at origins, it was a form of recycling old cheese and stale bread, it rapidly turned into a sophisticated dish that can upgrade any meal, no matter how plain it might seem. Therefore, grab your favorite cheese and your fondue pot and turn on the heat to start melting.

The basics of a perfect fondue

Indeed, the recipe is not very complicated and the secret lies in the details that make the difference. Therefore, before you start melting, you need to know a few basics that contribute to a perfectly-made fondue. 1. Cover the cheese selection in cornstarch 2. Don’t exclude the wine; it will add a touch of acid that is of utmost importance 3. Keep the heat very low 4. Stir continuously, in the shape of an 8 5. Use a quality pot 6. Use a whisker instead of a spoon

Choosing the best type of cheese

It’s essential that you pick the perfect type of cheese that will melt evenly and will add that creamy texture. Cheeses with a strong, rich savor are ideal for a tasty dip fondue that will match a variety of dippers. The higher the fat percentage, the better, as it will make the cheese melt faster and remain gummy. The most popular choices are Gruyere and Vacherin, considering the original recipe comes from the Swiss. However, you can replace the Vacherin with Cheddar, Gouda, Emmental, Reblochon, or even blue cheese, if you prefer the slightly spicy and sour flavor. This mainly relies on personal preferences, as the variety of cheeses is wide. While some prefer to keep it simple and only pick the two traditional types, others like the strong taste of the blue cheese, although it might take over the main flavors. Another popular choice that adds a touch of uniqueness to the fondue is a triangle of alpine spreadable cheese that can be found in most stores. This helps all the other types of cheese melt and blend in a gummy and creamy texture. While the classic recipe implies bread croutons, you can put your print and pick a more modern alternative:
  • tortilla chips;
  • pretzels;
  • vegetable sticks like celery, carrots, bell pepper strips, potatoes, cauliflower florets, or zucchini slices;
  • dried fruits, apple and pineapple slices, grapes;
  • nuts;
  • meatballs, chicken, or shrimps;
Basically, you can dip with anything you like, because any food tastes better after being dipped in cheese.

What kind of pot is best?

The market abounds with pots that were specifically designed for making fondue. Whether they are made of ceramic, Teflon-coated metal, or cast iron, the pot is highly important in avoiding scorching the melted cheese. The innovative electric pots not only provide the ultimate heat control but also allow you to maintain the melted liquid at the proper temperature until being served. If you don’t have a special pot, you can use any pot with a thick bottom so the cheese won’t stick to it. Cast iron or enameled cast is the best alternative, but a stainless steel pan should also do the trick. The secret is to stir permanently at very low heat to prevent the cheese from scorching or burning. You should use small pans so you will manage to stir in small movements, thus avoiding the cheese from spreading and obtaining the perfect emulsification.

Simple recipes

Once you have all the required utensils, you can start making the fondue, and you won’t believe how simple it is. Although the name makes it sound pompous and sophisticated, it’s actually one of the simplest procedures, much simpler than the Béchamel sauce. Simply follow the steps beneath and you will get the creamiest and most delicious dip ever.
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 Tbsp. of kirsch
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or any cheese of your choice
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss Gruyere cheese
How to: Cover the cheese shredding in cornstarch to later help it melt to perfection. Rub the interior of the pot with the garlic clove to add a subtle flavor. Heat the wine and add the cheeses in small amounts, then add the kirsch and stir in an 8 shape until all the cheese melts. It should take a maximum of 15 minutes for the fondue to reach the proper texture and to be ready for serving. Season with salt and pepper, add the nutmeg and serve while still hot. You can either serve it using a fondue fork that is often sold with the pot, or you can add pieces of bread and use a spoon to eat all at once. Enjoy!

Bottom Line

You don’t have to be an expert chef to make a delicious fondue to impress your guests and upgrade a meal. With a few basic ingredients and the proper tools, you will manage to turn a simple piece of cheese into a savory dip that will change the flavor of many dishes. We don’t want to sound cheesy, but it will undoubtedly become your favorite appetizer as soon as you dip into it.