Listen up, fellas. There are two words that make women go weak in the knees on Valentine's Day, and those two little words are "chocolate fondue." (In all fairness, there are plenty of fellas that go weak in the knees for it too.) I'm here to help you prepare a perfect fondue feast for your sweetie and earn you big time brownie points. It's actually quite simple; the power is in the presentation. My first tip is regarding the chocolate. The higher quality the chocolate, the better your fondue. If you're going to splurge somewhere, splurge on the chocolate. You won't regret it. My next tip is to prepare all of the "dippers" before you prepare the fondue, which only takes about 10 minutes to prepare. This will ensure that everything is ready to go as soon as the fondue is ready. It's time to roll up your sleeves and get started!
Foolproof Chocolate Fondue
adapted from Ghiradelli
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate bar, chopped into small pieces
6 oz. milk chocolate bar, chopped into small pieces
dash of salt
dash of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chocolate liqueur (optional)
In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, vanilla, and butter. Heat over medium heat until the mixture just simmers. Remove from the heat and stir in the bittersweet and milk chocolates and chocolate liqueur until completely melted and smooth. Finally, stir in a dash of salt and cayenne pepper. Serve over a heat source that will keep the fondue warm, but not hot.
I like to put together a fondue spread that has a wide variety of color, flavor and texture, including sweet, spicy, sour, tart, salty, chewy, juicy, and crispy. I arrange my dippers like a rainbow. Let's break it down:
I've got strawberries, fish candies, cinnamon candies, orange wedges, dried mangos, bananas, potato chips, kiwi, pear slices, grapes, pretzels, and bacon. Use my ideas as a springboard for your own spread. Include your valentine's favorites, as well as some unusual picks (trust me, chocolate dipped potato chips and bacon are to die for). Most of all, have a lot of fun with it.
HINT: To keep bananas, pears, or apples from browning, dip them in lemon juice immediately after cutting.
HINT: If your fondue starts to harden or become too thick, microwave it at 60% heat for 20-second intervals until it's back to the desired consistency.
Other sensational dippers include homemade marshmallows
, graham crackers, brownies
, pound cake
, coconut macaroons
, green apples, candied orange peels
, and pineapple.
Go now. Make someone's knees weak!