Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fondue au Crème

Have I mentioned that I love fondue (witness: partial fondue collection!) and that I recently had the pleasure of judging a food competition at a fondue party? What an honor, and what a delicious and delightful evening! Every entry was special, and there were all sorts: from a traditional Swiss-style cheese fondue, to meatballs, to sweet dessert fondues. (Mmmmm…..) It was so hard to pick a winner, but ultimately I did, and it was a chocolate concoction of melted Toblerone and Grand Marnier, with fruit to dip. O earthly delight! O sticky mess!

I also brought a dessert fondue, and though it was not judged, I was able to participate in covering poor Jennye’s house with soot and goey residue. Residue that, even with the aid of oven cleaner, I was not able to fully remove from the fondue set till a whole week later! OK, I’ll admit that the real problem was that while I was sampling all the food entries, I went off and ignored my own for two hours… and, lest we forget, fondue is cooking with fire. So the sauce at first caramelized (yum!), and then scorched (what’s that smell?) and then literally burnt, with huge bubbles of blackening frosting forming in the little Corning Ware dish I had set over a teeny votive candle (yuk and double yuk!).

Despite becoming inedible after the melt-down, this desert fondue is actually quite tasty; something akin to dipping cake into warm, molten frosting. I whipped up a quick brownie mix and cubed that, as well as a frozen Sara Lee pound cake, and set that all out with fresh strawberries and little forks. (If cooking in luke-warm sauce, you can experiment with forks other than the long metal kind that must be used with hot oil.) I did add a drop of vanilla, but I think the idea of lemon would be nice as well. You could add more sugar to firm up the mixture if you like, but the key is to watch the flame and NOT let it scorch. And of course, enjoy!

Fondue au Crème

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup heavy cream

Combine sugar and cream in saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Boil about half a minute. Pour into fondue pot or chafing dish. Keep heat as low as possible to prevent scorching. Flavorings such as vanilla, almond or lemon may be added. Serve by spearing pieces of cake or fruit on forks and dipping into mixture. Makes 4 servings.

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