Fondue & Raclette Hire
Fondue & Raclette Hire
We have both a fondue set and party raclette (for 8 people) available for hire for just $20. We can also assist with preparing the cheese for you - slicing the raclette and grating your selected combination of fondue cheese. Pop in or call us to arrange. Delivery can be made on request.
Ah fondue. Let’s set aside any clichéd thoughts of this being a 70’s retro dish. This Swiss pot of molten cheese heaven is a timeless classic and is being enjoyed in ever increasing numbers, especially here in Australia as we enter ski season. But it’s not just for the chalet set, this dish can be enjoyed at home with friends and family alike. It’s fun, it’s interactive and most importantly it’s incredibly delicious.
So which cheese? This can be contentious, but the basic foundation of a really good fondue is full flavoured, well-aged cheeses, which melt more readily, giving the unctuous texture the dish demands. This is because, in the course of ripening, enzymes called peptidases break down the casein and other proteins into smaller fragments that are more soluble in the liquid (in this case wine).
The exact combination of cheeses varies. The most common version in Switzerland originates in the cantons of Vaud and Fribourg and is known as Moitie-Moitie, meaning half and half. It consists of equal quantities of Gruyere and Vacherin Fribourgeois, the latter adding lively, floral and nutty notes to the flavour and a lovely creaminess to the texture.
Here at The Artisan Cheese Room, we also like a combination of Emmental, for it’s nuttiness and supple texture, Gruyere or Beaufort for it’s floral richness and a full flavoured fruity Comte. And if we’re feeling extra decadent, some Reblochon to give a beautiful gloss and velvety texture.
The other essential ingredient of course is white wine. Ideally a high-acid, fruity Alpine white, which is high in tartaric and citric acids. These acids help to stabilise the emulsion, preventing it from splitting. If your wine is not very acidic, you can add a squeeze of lemon, but go easy as you don’t want a lemony tasting fondue. You can also limit the risk of splitting by adding a teaspoon of cornflour. Not essential if you are careful, but a safe bet for achieving the perfect consistency.
Garlic. This is also essential, to give that background warmth. A clove rubbed and slightly crushed around the pot before cooking adds just enough.
Kirsch. This is optional. It does enhance the nutty sweetness of the cheeses, but if you don’t like it, or don’t want to buy a whole bottle for just a couple of teaspoons, then leave it out.
Nutmeg. This again adds to the nuttiness and is wonderfully aromatic, but use sparingly or you risk a medicinal-tasting fondue.
The Recipe - Serves 4
- 1 clove of garlic
- 375ml dry white wine
- 600g - 800g combination of good quality hard cheeses (Gruyere, Vacherin Fribourgeois, Beaufort, Comte, Emmental, Appenzeller), grated
- ¼ Reblochon (about 150g), or similar, rind removed and cubed (optional)
- 1 tbsp Kirsch, optional
- Nutmeg to grate
- Rub the garlic around a heavy-based pan (or directly onto the fondue pot if you are lucky enough to have a cast iron one), crushing it gently to release the lovely oils.
- Pour in the wine and bring to a simmer.
- Add the grated cheese, a handful at a time, stirring or whisking (a silicone whisk works well) vigorously until it is fully melted before adding more.
- Add the Reblochon, if using. You should end up with a consistency that perfectly coats the back of a spoon and is glossy.
- Transfer the mixture to your fondue, if appropriate, and place over the lit burner.
- Stir in Kirsch, if using.
- Grate over the nutmeg.
- Serve with chunks of bread, cured meats and pickled vegetables.