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How to Throw a Perfect Fondue Party

Tips for selecting a fondue pot, and helpful hints for making and serving fun dipping sauces
Published: February 14, 2014
If you're planning a cabin fondue party with the three recipes featured in the April 2014 issue, you'll also want to heed these helpful tips from Chef Shane Schaibly.

Schaibly is the corporate chef of Front Burner Brands, the restaurant management company for The Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant franchise with more than 135 locations in North America.
The Melting Pot fondue
Selecting a Fondue Pot
  • A ceramic or earthenware fondue pot is usually preferred for making cheese and chocolate fondues, but a pot made of stainless steel is the ideal choice for preparing entrée fondues.
  • It’s best to choose a metal pot that comes with a ceramic insert for preparing cheese and chocolate fondues so that you can use the same pot for entrée, cheese and chocolate fondues.
  • Ceramic pots should be heated with a low flame. Fondue sets usually come with a burning apparatus, but, in a pinch, a tea light or small candle will usually do the trick.
  • There are two types of metal fondue pots: electric or the old-fashioned open-flame variety. Electric pots allow you to easily control temperature. Today’s open-flame pots have new types of fuels, such as gels, that are easy to use as well.
Cheese Fondue Tips
  • Toss cheese with flour or cornstarch to aid in thickening and to improve viscosity. Fondue should not be lumpy and should be the consistency of warm honey.
  • Add cheese gradually to get a finer, smoother consistency. If it is too thick, add more of the liquid you used for the base. If it is too thin, add more cheese.
  • Use the right base. Light beer pairs well with cheddar cheese while white wine pairs well with Gruyère and Emmentaler (Swiss).
  • Serve with bread like a French baguette; pretzels; Granny Smith apples; pears; vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower; and gherkins for dipping.
  • Wondering what to drink with it? Try more of the wine or beer you used as the base in the recipe!
fondue skewers dippers fruit chocolate
Chocolate Fondue Tips
  • Great dippers include fresh fruit like strawberries and bananas, Rice Krispies Treats, marshmallows, pound cake and brownies.
  • The strong, bitter flavor of dark chocolate fondue provides a unique contrast when paired with sweet dippers such as pineapple and marshmallows. If it comes out too bitter, stir in a little powdered sugar.
  • Milk chocolate melts fairly evenly, and its milder taste makes it a great base for mixing with sweet liquors and other additives, such as peanut butter or marshmallow crème. Of course, milk chocolate is also fine with nothing added!
  • White chocolate has the same consistency as milk chocolate, but has less intense flavor, so a fondue with it takes on more of the flavors of liqueurs, nuts or any other mix-ins.
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