Yield: 1-2/3 cups, serving 6
Fondue is back! This will be good news to those of you who didn't get your fill in the 1970s. Traditional fondue is melted cheese into which you dip hunks of bread. My chocolatey version is perfect for dipping pieces of fruit, cubes of cake, or cookies. Though it's really no more than a glorified chocolate sauce, fondue is a great excuse to cover everything in chocolate. This dish always appears on my Valentine's Day menu. It's a great way to get a romantic conversation going. If you don't have an old fondue set in the garage, any dish will do. No skewers? Go ahead and use your fingers.
Fondue pot or serving dish
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped orange zest
Some of my favorite fruits to dip include:
Crisp fresh apple wedges
Dehydrated apple chips
Juicy pear wedges
Dried cherries: Combine 1/4 cup dried cherries, 1/4 cup port, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat. Cool and let the cherries absorb the liquor. Spear them with skewers.
Raisins: Combine 1/4 cup raisins with 1/4 cup verjuice or white wine and 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let the raisins cool. Spear them with skewers.
1. Using a serrated knife, finely chop the chocolate into 1/4-inch pieces and place it in a medium heatproof bowl.
2. Bring the milks to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour over the chopped chocolate. Tap the bowl on the counter to settle the chocolate into the cream, then let it sit for 1 minute. Using a rubber spatula, slowly stir in a circular motion, starting from the center of the bowl and working out to the sides. Stir until all the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes.
3. When the chocolate has melted, insert a thermometer. When the temperature reaches 98 degrees F, add the orange zest and stir to incorporate. Serve the fondue immediately or let it cool, cover it with plastic wrap, and store it at room temperature overnight. To reheat, place a bowl of fondue over a saucepan half full of simmering water, creating a double boiler, and stir continuously until melted, about 5 minutes. Do not let the temperature exceed 100 degrees F when reheating, or the ganache can break. The fondue will also keep for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
- Infuse the milk with your favorite spice, then strain. My favorite combination is a star anise pod, a 2-inch cinnamon stick, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
- Spike the milk with 2 tablespoons rum, Grand Marnier, or Poire William.
The Secrets of Baking
Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts
by Sherry Yard
Houghton Mifflin Company
Hardcover; 416 pages
Illustrations: 2-color with 48 color photographs
Recipe reprinted by permission.
The Secrets of Baking
This page created January 2004