Friday, December 14, 2007

Fondue. It's what's for dinner...and dessert

Merry Christmas to me! I had a "white elephant" gift exchange with friends the other day - and unlike most of the others that I'd previously participated in - this one actually featured nice gifts instead of fugly ceramic bowls, cheesy holiday socks, bottles of cheap liquor and Santa Claus ornaments.
So guess what I got? A fondue pot! I'm so excited. If you've never experienced a fondue meal before, it's a Swiss communal dish that often features groups of people, a metal or ceramic pot and a small burner. Most often, cheese or chocolate is melted in the pot and used to coat various bits of food - such as bread, fruit or pastries. It's delicious.
Back in college, a trek out to the local fondue restaurant often constituted date night. It was big bucks for us poor kids. And even last summer, I got all excited when I discovered the chocolate fondue fountain at a friend's wedding reception. So finally having a pot to call my own is pretty sweet.
Anyhoo, I just did a quick search of the Internet and have already found a handful of tasty-looking sugar-free fondue recipes. I can't wait to give it a whirl. Hmmmmm....maybe I'll have to throw an impromptu holiday get-together this weekend to show-off my budding fondue cooking skills.

Sugar-free Chocolate Fondue

2/3 cup dry unsweetened cocoa
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup skim milk
1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract
1/2 cup Splenda granular

In a heavy saucepan, combine cocoa, cinnamon and milk; stir or whisk until there are no dry lumps of cocoa. Stir and cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat; boil gently, stirring often for 5 minutes or until mixture is thick and smooth. Cool slightly. Stir in vanilla and Splenda. Pour into a small enameled fondue pot or heat-proof ceramic bowl.
Yield: 8 servings (1/4 cup each)

Hershey's Fudgey Chocolate Fondue

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
1/2 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1/3 cup Splenda Sugar Blend for Baking
1/2 cup evaporated milk or light cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat; immediately stir in cocoa. Add Splenda and evaporated milk.
2. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and hot. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Fondue will thicken slightly as it cools. Serve warm with Assorted Fondue Dippers. About 1-1/2 cups fondue.


Anonymous said...

You're so lucky for getting a fondue pot! It makes for the best dates, or dinners/desserts with friends, whichever. Happy fondue-ing!

Katie said...

I know, right? What a great gift! I'll definitely enjoy whipping up some recipes in that bad boy.