How to Make Cheese Fondue at Home

Cheese fondue or fondue is a Swiss melted cheese dish that is served in a pot over a portable stove. It is eaten by dipping bread into the cheese using long-stemmed forks. In the 1930s, it was promoted as a Swiss national dish by the Swiss Cheese Union. It was in the 1960s when fondue was popularized in North America. 

From the 1950s, the term “fondue” has been used when pertaining to other dishes in which food is dipped into a shared pot of liquid and kept hot. Chocolate fondue was also invented, where pieces of fruit or pastry are dipped into melted chocolate mixture. The term “fondue” is the feminine, passive past participle of the French word “fondre,” which means “to melt.”

The very first recipe for the modern cheese fondue was published in 1875. When corn starch was introduced to Switzerland in 1905, it became much easier to make smooth and stable cheese fondue with wine and cheese. You can order cheese fondue in restaurants, but you can also make it at home, especially now that almost all of us are in quarantine. 

If you are searching for a recipe on how to make cheese fondue, you’re in the right place. Today, we are giving you the steps on how to make cheese fondue at home. 

Preparing Cheese Fondue

people enjoying some cheese fondue

Cheese fondue is consists of different cheeses, wine, and seasoning. But there are also different variations like using beer instead of wine. Traditionally, it is made by rubbing caquelon or fondue pot with a cut garlic clove. After that, white wine is added and then heated with cornstarch. Grated cheese is then added, and the mixture is stirred gently until melted. But some combine all the ingredients and heat them together at once. There are also times when some kirsch, which is a colorless brandy, is added.

It is easy to prepare cheese fondue even in large quantities. However, there are myths around its successful preparation. One example is that menstruating women or women, in general, should stay away from its preparation, or it will curdle. 

Cornstarch is added to stabilize and thicken the mixture. If it becomes too thick, additional wine can be added. Also, a fondue can curdle when the protein separates from the fat. This happens when not enough liquid in the mixture and an insufficient acid mixture. This is why lemon is also added at times. 

What Cheese is Perfect for Fondue?

cheese fondue pot

The rule in making a cheese fondue is to use good-quality cheese. This can be more expensive, but it will be worth it. Remember that it is all about the cheese. Therefore, the quality and types of cheeses you will choose will have a large impact on the final product. 

You can choose classic Swiss cheeses, like a mix of traditional, firm mountain-style cheeses. Some examples are gruyere, fontina, and gouda cheese. Pick cheeses that are buttery and creamy when melted. You can also use cheddar, but its flavor would be less traditional. 

Cheese Fondue Recipe

Here are the ingredients needed to make cheese fondue:

  • 1/3 pound of firm alpine-style cheese like Gruyere
  • 1/3 pound of fontina
  • 1/3 pound of gouda
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1 cup of dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of brandy
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg

Here are the instructions on how to make fondue:

  1. Grate all the cheese you have and combine them with the cornstarch in a medium bowl. Toss them thoroughly to coat all the pieces.
  2. Get a stove-safe fondue pot or a large saucepan. Put the wine, garlic, and lemon juice together and bring them to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add in the cheeses to the simmering mixture a little at a time. Stir well between each addition to make sure you are making a smooth fondue. Once the mixture is smooth, add in the brandy, mustard, and nutmeg. Stir it well. 
  3. Arrange different bite-sized dipping foods on a platter. Some examples are sausages, broccoli florets, asparagus, mushrooms, apples, and cherry tomatoes. Dip them in the fondue and enjoy!

Cheese fondue is indeed delicious, and it can make snacking more enjoyable. Also, you can make it a day in advance and keep it in the fridge. You can just reheat it gently over a double boiler and add some white wine to make it thin until it reaches the right consistency. We hope this post helped you learn more about cheese fondue and how to make it at home.