Fondue for the Holidays

From Janice Beaton

2015 Nov/Dec

Method: The method is the same for all the cheesy fondues. Toss the grated cheese with cornstarch. In a 10” skillet or large saucepan, begin heating the wine/beer/cider, to just below boiling point. Start whisking in the cheese in small amounts, adding more as each addition melts. Stir until the mixture is homogeneous and silken. Pour the cheese mixture into the fondue pot (which has been heating over a flame for five minutes) and regulate the heat accordingly. Dip the suggested accompaniments (see below) into the fondue cheese mixture. These fondues serve 4 as dinner and 6 to 8 as a starter.

What to dip? Oh my – what not to dip! Be creative (as long as the dipping element holds up in the hot cheese). Some of my favourites include bread cubes (of course), lightly steamed veg – sugar snap peas, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus – chunks of cured ham or sausage, bündnerfleisch (seasoned, dried meat), pickles, dried apple slices, dates, dried figs.

Classic Swiss: Celebrates the quality of a triumvirate of Swiss cheeses.


  • 1-1/2 c. gruyère, grated
  • 1-1/2 c. appenzeller, grated
  • 1-1/3 c. emmenthal, grated
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 1-1/2 c. white wine


If the cheese mixture appears to be getting too thick, add another 1/4 c. of warmed wine and stir until well incorporated. Generally, the fondue burner should provide sufficient heat for this, but if it’s not occurring with ease, transfer back to the saucepan briefly.

Haute Goat: Soft and “feminine.” Satiny, silky smooth with a pristine white sheen. A lighter alternative to more traditional fondue recipes.


  • 1-1/3 c. chèvre noir, grated
  • 1-1/3 c. goat gouda, grated
  • 1-3/4 c. juliette, a camembert-style goat cheese, cubed or sliced (including rind
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 1-1/2 c. white wine
  • Smokin’ Blue: Rich and “masculine,” think bearded lumberjacks.
  • 1-1/3 c. smoked gouda, grated (rind removed)
  • 1-1/4 c. smoked cheddar, grated
  • 1 c. Dragon’s Breath, crumbled (a blue without the blue!)
  • 1 c. Bleu d’Auvergne, crumbled
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 1-1/2 c. dry cider (preferably French)


The cornstarch can be easily tossed with the grated cheese before adding the crumbled blue cheeses.

Chocolate Fondue


  • 3/4 c. heavy cream
  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, broken
  • 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, broken
  • 1 T. butter
  • 3 T. liqueur, such as Frangelico, Cointreau, Amaretto, or Kahlua (optional)

Warm the cream in a saucepan. Add the chocolate and swirl until melted. Add the liqueur, if desired. Transfer to a fondue pot and dip fresh fruit such as strawberries, figs, oranges, pears and apples. Also dip biscotti, pound cake and Leslie Stowe Raincoast Crisps.

Serves 6 to 8.