I had my first ever cheese fondue whilst on holiday in Grenoble over three years ago and it's been a long wait to have one again. Grenoble is known as the Capital of the Alps and a popular ski resort so fondue can be found in many restaurants across the city. Fondue is great served after a long day on the slopes but you can enjoy it at home too so I'm sharing my recipe for a Swiss/French fondue.
You will need
225g chopped or grated gruyere cheese
225g chopped camembert (remove the rind)
225g emmental cheese, grated
300 millilitres white wine
2 tsp cornflour
3 tablespoons kirsch (optional)
1 clove garlic (peeled)
Pinch of black pepper
Whatever vegetables you have - tomatoes, peppers etc
Rub the fondue pot with the garlic clove, you can either discard the garlic or leave it in the pot for some extra flavour.
Put the chopped and grated cheese into the fondue pot with the wine and heat until boiling on the hob, by which time the cheese should have melted.
Turn the pot down to a simmer. Mix the cornflour with the Kirsch in a small bowl, and add to the fondue pot. I used wine instead of Kirsch which is just as tasty but less traditional.
Season with the pepper, stir well and place the fondue pot over a flame at the table.
Once everyone is at the table tuck in and prepare to enter a CHEESE COMA. Cheese fondue is the best but you may need a little nap after consuming this amount of cheese. I think as long as you have gruyere in the mix you can add whatever cheese you have at home and create your own fondue mix. It might not be typically Swiss if you add cheddar but who cares?
A cheese fondue mixture should be kept warm enough to keep the fondue smooth and liquid but not so hot that it burns. When the fondue is finished there will be a thin crust of toasted cheese at the bottom of the pot. This is called la religieuse (French for the nun). It has the texture of a cracker and this can be lifted out and eaten. Martyn bought us a fondue pot but you could keep a pan and your cheesy mix warm by popping it on a grill rack or wire cake cooling rack with some tea light candles underneath.
Remember, don't drop your bread in the fondue because if you're a woman you kiss your neighbours around the pot and if you're a man you buy a round of drinks for everyone at the table.