Fondue + kids = fun
A friend gave me one of Rachael’s fondue sets for Christmas last year. I used it right away for a New Year’s dinner for my husband and me – we had a cheese fondue feast that we thoroughly enjoyed. Away it went in a somewhat out of the way cupboard until over the holidays this year when we had another family over for New Year’s Eve.
We made Rachael’s chocolate fondue recipe for the kids for dessert (it couldn’t be easier) – and the adults couldn’t resist and dove in as well (even though we hadn’t had dinner yet….oh well). What a hit. I put a platter in the middle of the table with cut up strawberries, bananas, pineapple, plus graham crackers, pretzel rods, brownies and yes, even marshmallows.
I gave each kid a skewer, gave the “no double dipping” speech, and let them go to town – closely supervised, of course. Fondue is hot – the chocolate and the pot, plus it is over a sterno flame – so parents must be at the table with young kids.
The kids loved it and the most interesting part was that they preferred the fruit I had cut up to the sweet treats – bonus. We had so much left over that my kids enjoyed it the next day as well (it reheated over a low flame perfectly) and I learned that no fruit is off limits when it comes to chocolate fondue – they loved the cut up apples as well (see above:-)). I have now moved my fondue set to a very accessible cabinet because I know I will use it on a regular basis – if you have one, dust it off during these chilly winter nights – your family will love it. (Rachael’s fondue set is available at http://www.cooking.com/products/shprodli.asp?Keywords=rachael+ray&CurDept=1000&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Erachaelray%2Ecom%2Fshop%2F)
Here is Rachael’s Chocolate Fondue Recipe (I omitted the liqueur and the nuts):
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, reserve 1/4 cup to thin if fondue begins to thicken
- 4 bittersweet chocolate bars, chopped, 3 1/2 ounces each
- 2 tablespoons Frangelico or Amaretto liqueur, optional
- 1/4 cup finely chopped hazelnuts or almonds, optional
Suggested Dippables, choose 3 or 4 selections of the following:
- Hazelnut or almond biscotti
- Salted pretzel sticks
- Cubed pound cake
- Sliced bananas
- Stem strawberries
- Sectioned navel oranges
- Ripe fresh diced pineapple
Heat 1/2 cup cream in a heavy non-reactive saucepot over moderate heat until cream comes to a low boil. Remove the pan from the heat and add chocolate. Let the chocolate stand in hot cream 3 to 5 minutes to soften, then whisk chocolate together with the cream. Stir in liqueur and/or chopped nuts and transfer the fondue to a fondue pot or set the mixing bowl on a rack above a small lit candle. If fondue becomes too thick, stir in reserved cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, to desired consistency. Arrange your favorite dippables in piles on a platter along side chocolate fondue with fondue forks, bamboo skewers or seafood forks, as utensils, for dipping.