I have spent the Christmas weekend with my family at my parents’ cabin in the woods- it is picturesque and perfect for a holiday. It is rustic and has no internet, which provides a nice break, and yet, isn’t great for blog-posting.
So now that we are home, I can send this post! I hope you had a great Christmas.
What to post on this week of busyness, baking and feasting? I can’t think of anything as celebratory as Fun-Do, our name for Chocolate Fondue. It is a food activity-you get to do which is so fun. Thus…Fun-Do! The word Fondue is actually a French word meaning “to melt”. Do you ever fondue? What a treat it is!
It came on the scene in the 1960’s and my mom has an avocado green fondue pot she got before we were born to prove it. It’s groovy. (They probably made macramé carriers for them too in that era.) On special occasions when I was growing up, we would have chocolate fondue. Back in the day mom would melt a jar of bought chocolate cake frosting for the chocolate sauce. It can be as simple as that! We dipped fruit, cake and marshmallows in it. It felt extravagant and is a great memory from my childhood!
We began a few years ago making Fun-Do a part of our holiday season- either dessert after dinner with friends, or on New Year’s Eve. This year we did it when our cousins came to spend the night and then again this week on Christmas Eve!
A year or so ago, I was helping host a baby shower for my friend, Suzanne
, when she was expecting her 3rd
son. We wanted to gather and pray and honor them and celebrate. She is a major chocolate lover, so we decided to do an evening gathering for women where chocolate was the main dish. Rather than having a table full of little baked goods, we decided to go for a Fondue Spread. We made chocolate fondue and this ridiculous caramel sauce
from the Joy of Cooking
(my favorite standard cooking text), and a spread of fruits, cakes, graham crackers, pretzel rods, and even potato chips! The co-host, Melissa, suggested the chips since her family knew people who sold chocolate covered potato chips in her hometown. It was good!
[What I can’t stop dreaming about was the caramel dipped potato chips…since I am a big salty/sweet lover, it was perfection! You might need to try it!]
It turned out to be a fun party food. We served it on Melissa’s kitchen island and people could plate what they wanted or hover around the fondue pots and dip while they chatted. And if they were trying to be healthy, they could have a fruit salad if they wanted. (Crazy them…but to each her own).
I have 2 fondue pots. One is the electric, deep, non-stick Revel kind that is great for making a vat of fondue but is really designed for main dish fondue more than chocolate, as it is so wide and deep. I also have a little ceramic one that I love, that my dear friend, Karin
sent me from Crate and Barrel
. It is the perfect size for up to 8 people.
Here is the recipe
I use. It is basically a ganache. You can vary the darkness of the chocolate according to your preference.
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup semi sweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup milk chocolate, chopped
Melt in bowl, in the microwave in 45 second increments, stirring after each, until melted and smoothly incorporated. Place in fondue pot and light candle/ sterno. Stir chocolate often to prevent burning on the bottom.
Use skewers (wooden or the metal ones that come with pot) and dip ‘til your heart’s content.
|items for dipping (notice the retro fondue pot)
Our favorite items for dipping are: pineapple, banana, strawberries, pound cake (cubed), angel food cake (cubed), pretzels, and marsh-mallows. And our conversation always seems to find it’s way to “what’s your favorite?” and “ooh, try the marshmallow AND the banana together” and on and on.
So, maybe this season you too can do a little Fun-Do.