the kitschenette household has just this last weekend consumed such vast quantities of cheese that it surely must be seeping from each and every pore by now (eeew). we’ve eaten:
– goats cheese, lemon and green olive tartlets
– an excellent totally cheesy fondue. we had the wonderful angus visiting us from nz, and also roman, who had finally returned from far-flung travels. we wanted to give angus a real swissy fondue experience.
– berry cheesecakes
– boiled potatoes with various cheeses plus this weird schabziger butter stuff (a sort of cheesy herb butter which is particularly redolent of the cheesy stuff between a new born babe’s toes after a few days without a bath : ) )
i think i’m all cheesed out.
cheesy crust: at the end of the fondue a deliciously cheesy crust will develop at the bottom of the caquelon. anyone left standing after so much cheese consumption gets the bonus prize of the cheesy crust.
for angus: on a winter’s evening, a cracking good fondue
for 4 hungry people
– 800g cheese: reckon on about 200g of cheese per person if they like cheese, or 150g if they are only moderately cheesy. at our local cheese counter they mix and grate the cheese freshly for you as you wait. they offer either a mild version or a rezent (tasty) version. the tasty version is way stinkier!! the usual mix of cheeses is gruyere, emmental and tilsit (the stinky component). adjust the mix as to your liking.
– 1 head of garlic
– 2 heaped tsp cornstarch
– 400ml white wine (you can buy Vin de Fondue here easily, but any white wine will do. you can also use half Champagne, half white wine, for a foamier fondue )
– juice of half a lemon
– small chunks of good bread (i reckon on 3 baguette-length loaves for 4 people): we use a nice pain sarment, which is a good, well-textured long white bread
– pieces of sour apples
– peel and halve the garlic cloves and use 2 or 3 of them to rub the inside of your caquelon (fondue pot, usually with a handle on the side. enamel is better than metal ones as they conduct the heat more evenly and allow the cheese to melt nicely without burning) with them.
– dump the cheese into the fondue pot and put it on a low to moderate heat on the stove to begin to melt it. add the garlic cloves. make sure it doesn’t boil over and burn! you want a nice smooth pot of melted cheese, remember.
– pour a good glug of kirsch (or more or less according to taste) into a glass, add the cornstarch and the juice of half a lemon, and mix until the cornstarch has dissolved.
– once the cheese has mostly melted, add the wine and the cornstarch/kirsch/lemon juice mixture.
– stir constantly and smoothly until the cheese has all melted. grind in some black pepper and a grating of fresh nutmeg.
– taste, and keep stirring. add more lemon juice/kirsch etc as you like.
– the fondue is ready when it has (hopefully!) achieved a fantastic smooth foamy creaminess.
– have your burner and stand ready on the table. put the fondue pot on and adjust the flame so that it isn’t bubbling too vigorously.
– traditional accompaniments are (of course) bread, sour apples, walnuts, black tea, white wine, kirsch. these are all meant to cut the heaviness of the cheese so that it doesn’t sit like a stone in yr stomach. you would do well to observe these traditions. extra good is a small glass of kirsch for each person into which bread can be dipped before twirling in the fondue. this is an excellent way to ensure that you do not suffer the leaden findue belly afterwards.
– above all, DO NOT drink beer or red wine with fondue!!! you may find yrself hugging the white porcelain long into the night. they DO NOT mix well.
– so, once you have yr pot of bubbling cheesiness ready, give everyone a long fork (or even normal forks) and spear chunks of bread or apple to twirl in the cheese. getting a clove of garlic is good luck. losing yr bread is bad luck. anyone who eats their way to the bottom of the fondue pot is rewarded with the cheesy crust that forms on the base of the pot after all the soupy cheese is finished. i personally never make it that far, but those that have swear that it is the best bit!
– tip: while you are preparing the fondue, have yr lucky guests slice and chunk the bread, cut the apples etc. also, make sure that all doors to other rooms are CLOSED firmly and that all miscellaneous items of clothing (coast, scarves, gloves etc) are enclosed within. you will find that the cheesy fondue smell penetrates every organic surface. you will be re-living the fondue for days if you do not take the proper precautions. it really stinks! at the end of the evening throw open all the doors and windows to let in fresh non-cheesy air.
these were made very quickly and easily. they were delicous, albeit a little heavy. next time i might reduce the cream cheese and marscapone to lighten the cheese mixture.
– packet of ginger biscuits
– 100g butter, melted
– sml tub of cream cheese
– carton of natural yoghurt
– sml tub of marscapone
– castor sugar
– butter 6 ramekins, or one big dish.
– crush the biscuits in a plastic bag with a rolling pin or blitz in a food processor until a mess of crumbs
– in a bowl, add the melted butter to the biscuits. mix well.
– press spoonfuls of the mixture into the ramekins. you will only need the base to be about 4 – 5 ml thick. set aside to chill in the fridge (or freezing cold balcony, in our case)
– mix the cream cheese with the marscapone using electric beaters. add the yoghurt as you go to lighten it.
– once all the cheese and yoghurt is incorporated add 2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar, or to taste.
– spoon cheese mixture into ramekins leaving space at the top for the berries.
– warm the berries slightly in a saucepan, then spoon into ramekins, leaving out as much of the juice as you can.
– chill until ready to devour.
– DISCLAIMER: sorry, this recipe is a little imprecise! i just made it up as i went along and didn’t pay too much attention to the amounts etc. i used small sizes of the tubs of marscapone, cream cheese etc and it all seemed to work out fine. just taste it to see if it tastes good rather than strictly adhering to these quantities!
– anyway, these tasted fantastic and looked gorgeous. i used the last of bruno’s parents’ frozen blackberries and raspberries from last summer. beautiful.