There are many ways to make a cheese fondue. Photo courtesy iGourmet.
Last Updated September 2012
Cheese Fondue Recipes
Page 3: Recipe Variations & Fondue Dippers
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Fondue Blends ~ What To Melt
Look at any fondue recipe and you’ll see there are three elements: cheese, wine or other alcohol like beer, and a seasoning, such as garlic. Some recipes use only one cheese, others are blends. You can create your own blends with your favorite cheeses—stick to the medium and semi-hard cheeses, avoiding very soft and very hard cheeses, which are either too liquid or don’t have enough moisture to melt easily.
Here’s a fondue recipe template that uses three pounds of cheese to one pound of liquid (wine, beer). Use it with the 18 fondue recipe ideas below.
- Americana Fondue
Melt Vermont Cheddar, Monterey Jack and Maytag Blue cheeses with white wine.
- Bar Boy Fondue
Melt Cheddar cheese and beer. Be sure to have pretzels and sausage to dip.
- Blue Fondue
Melt Gruyère, Emmenthaler and Gorgonzola with white wine. Use Roquefort instead of Gorgonzola for stronger blue cheese flavor. If you’re an uber-blue fan, you can use Emmenthaler, Gorgonzola and Roquefort instead of the Gruyère.
- Caraway Fondue
Melt white Cheddar and American muenster with white wine. Season with caraway seeds.
- Classic Fondue
Melt Gruyère and Emmenthaler with white wine and Kirschwasser (cherry brandy). Season with a garlic clove.
- Cheddar Fondue
Melt aged sharp Cheddar and Emmenthaler cheeses with beer. Season with fresh black pepper a garlic clove. Be sure to serve fruit along with other dippers.
- Dutch Fondue
While not a true Kaas Doop (there’s no milk to dilute the strength of the cheese), melt Gouda with some beer and brandy, juggling the proportions of the alcohols to your preference. Season with fresh-grated nutmeg.
- Exotic Fondue
This fondue is made from the exotic-flavored cheese of your choice. It could be Rogue Creamery’s Chocolate Stout Cheddar, the Cheddar With Thai Curry from Coombe Castle of England, or your favorite truffle cheese.
- Goat Cheese Fondue
Melt goat Cheddar and Jack cheeses with white wine. Season with chopped Portabella mushrooms. (Several companies make goat Cheddar; at least one, Meyenberg, makes several different types of goat Jack.)
- Italian Fondue
Melt Fontina and Taleggio cheeses. Mix in 1 cup of crushed tomatoes (canned or aseptic boxed tomatoes are better than fresh tomatoes for this recipe). Season with chopped fresh basil and garlic.
- Pesto Fondue
Melt Gruyère and Emmenthaler cheeses with white wine. Season with basil pesto (or, if you’re adventurous, one of the numerous flavored pestos from our Best Pestos article).
- Royal Fondue
Blend Gruyère, Emmenthaler, Brie and Roquefort with white wine. This “royal” blend features the “king” and “queen” of cheeses, Roquefort and Brie. Season with a garlic clove and some lemon juice.
- “South of the Border” Fondue
You have a few options here. (a) Aged Sharp Cheddar and Emmenthaler cheeses with salsa (a cooked, shelf stable salsa is better than a watery fresh salsa—read the difference). (b) For more chile heat, blend Aged Sharp Cheddar and Emmenthaler cheeses with your choice of chopped ancho, jalapeño or smoky chipotle chiles). (c) For built-in heat, melt Cabot’s Chipotle Cheddar or Habanero Cheddar cheese, or other chile-based cheese. Use beer as your cooking liquid in all recipes. See our Chile Glossary for information about the different types of chiles.
- Smoky Fondue
Melt smoked Cheddar with beer. Serve with smoked chicken, smoked sausage, steamed vegetables and pretzels.
- Spanish Fondue
Melt Manchego cheese with sherry.
- Swiss Cheese Fondue
Gruyere and Emmenthaler cheeses with a dry white wine base. Garlic, Kirschwasser and an array of other spices
- Triple Crème Fondue
Blend a triple crème Brie, St. André or Explorateur cheese and Gorgonzola Dolce, a sweeter, creamier version of mountain Gorgonzola. If you don’t like Gorgonzola, make a Brie and St. André or Explorateur blend and be prepared to go over the top. Drinking Champagne or other sparkling wine may help take the edge off. Fruit, bread and more delicate dippers pair better with this recipe than do heavier items like sausage.
- Wild Mushroom Fondue
Blend Gruyère and Emmenthaler with chopped, sautéed morels, porcinis or other wild mushrooms (see our Mushroom Glossary).
Fondue Dippers: What To Dip In Your Fondue
Day-old bread is easiest to cube for fondue. If you haven’t been able to plan ahead, you can lightly toast the bread in the oven—fresh bread will fall off the fork. In addition to cubed French, Italian and pumpernickel (or other dark) bread
||Apple slices, dates, figs, grapes, kiwi, melon cubes or spears, pear slices, strawberries
||Cornichons, pickled cipollini onions, pretzel sticks
||Beef tips, cubed ham or speck, slices of smoky sausage links or mini links, pepperoni, smoked chicken breast
||Sea leg, shrimp, whatever you can afford
|Roasted shallots, your favorite steamed or blanched vegetables; cut in a way that enables them to be easily speared (e.g. asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower florets, bell peppers, carrot chunks, beet and potato cubes) or in natural spears (asparagus, endive leaves, snap peas, string beans)
|Asparagus, bell pepper strips, broccoli and cauliflower florets, carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes, endive leaves, fennel sticks, green beans, snap peas, zucchini
Want to garnish your fondue? Before bringing the pot to the table, you can top the fondue with:
- Caramelized onions
- Chopped toasted nuts
- Grated horseradish
- Fresh herbs
It creates a nice presentation, and as the guests dig in (or is that, dip in), they’ll get even more exciting flavors. You’ll need to use your judgment and match flavors to the recipes.
With different recipes and dippers, you can throw a different cheese fondue party every month for two years. Party on!
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