Friday is the official start of summer, and I hope it will bring us lots of sunshine for our Canada Day and Independence Day celebrations.
If you've missed last month's newsletter, we discussed a few outdoor fondue ideas that could be handy for your next long weekend:
This month, we'll go through potential mistakes that could ruin your cheese fondue.
Monthly Tip - Cheese Fondue Mistakes
This month's question comes from Ted. In a nutshell, he was wondering how to prevent cheese fondue from turning into a big lump of cheese that separates from the rest of the ingredients.
Here are a few important things to be careful with:
- Wine is an important ingredient (or other acidic liquid like unsweetened lemonade if you want an alcohol-free cheese fondue). Its acidity will help soften the cheese. Make sure to warm up the wine (or beer/juice) and bring it near boiling before starting to add the cheese mixture. Always use dry wines for fondue.
Temperature. If you let your liquid come up to a boil, it will be too hot, and the protein in the cheese can coagulate, squeezing out the fat, which can result in a big lumpy mess. If your liquid has reached boiling point, reduce the heat and stir it a bit to cool it off before adding your cheese. You can also add a bit more alcohol (some of it will evaporate anyway, but be careful NOT to overdo it as you may not have enough cheese to compensate and the flavor may become overpowering). You know you've reached the right temperature when little bubbles start to appear in the liquid, but before these bubbles turn into a boil. Lower the heat while melting your cheese.
- Melt cheese a handful at a time. Use grated or small chunks of cheese and stir constantly with a wooden spoon.
- Cornstarch is a binding agent. Most recipes call for it because it helps the cheese bind with the liquid. You can use 1 tablespoon per pound of grated cheese. This can be done at the beginning (mixing it in with the cheese before you start to melt it) or later on (diluting the cornstarch into Kirsch or a little more wine) once the cheese has started to melt.
- Don't let your fondue mixture sit there. Enjoy it as soon as it's ready and keep stirring it throughout your meal by making "Figure 8" movements with your dippers.
- Cheese selection. If given the choice, always go for older, firmer cheeses. They tend to tolerate higher temperatures better.
Have a fondue question? Please send it to me at [email protected] and it may be featured in next month's newsletter.
Monthly Recipe Recommendation
For Canada Day or Independence Day, why not celebrate with a chocolate fountain?
Prepare lots of fresh fruit and your guests will be free to move around and help themselves to the endless stream of melted chocolate. Yummy!
Chocolate fountains require a special kind of chocolate (traditional chocolate fondue recipes are too thick for fountains), so I highly recommend Sephra's Belgium milk, dark, or white chocolate. Use Coupon Code 'SEPHRACF' for 10% Off on any 4lb box of Chocolate.
To add a patriotic flair, you can even serve your fresh fruit pieces with
little USA flag toothpicks.
Update on Illuminated Fondue Forks
LED fondue forks I introduced last month are in the final stages of quality control, so they should be available very soon! If you'd like to learn more about these illuminated forks or want to be notified as soon as they are available for purchase, please email me at [email protected].
Food For Thought
"Wine is sunlight, held together by water."
- Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
That's it for now.
Feel free to visit our site and browse through our collection of fondue recipes or you can explore our new fondue site in French.
You'll hear back from me in a few weeks.
Until then, be careful with open flames, and have fun with fondue!