DadBodEatsUK’s Slow Cooker Cheese Fondue Hack
Hello and welcome to another flog from DadBodEatsUK. This is my second guide on making your home into a restaurant. This time we are going to do an indulgent classic: A Cheese Fondue (don’t worry if you think you haven’t got the kit you need because I have found a hack!). Anyone who is slightly obsessed with cheese (like me), is going to love this recipe. It is actually insanely easy but as long as you don’t tell people that, they’ll think you’re really spoiling them! And to be fair, in some ways you are, because this dish gets better if you spend a bit more on your ingredients. Don’t worry though, you can adjust that to your budget, and I know that lots of people are saving a bit more than usual because we’re not allowed to do anything!
Right, dim the lights, light the candles, get out your fondue forks out and get ready to turn your home into a restaurant!
In an ideal world, you would have a lovely Swiss fondue set for this, which enables you to keep the cheese hot and runny when it’s on the table. However, I realise that this is fairly niche bit of kit. I sadly don’t have one in Liverpool but didn’t want to let this stop my quest for cheesy excellence. After mentioning this in my flat, Lucy came up with a brilliant solution: a slow cooker! These seem to be all the rage amongst many people I know, and I constantly scroll past articles with ‘slow cooker hacks’ for this and that. So, I guess this is my ‘slow cooker fondue hack’. The beauty of a slow cooker is that you can use an extension cable to put it in the middle of your table. This means you have a heat source to stop your cheese from cooling down too much which makes it claggy and much less fun to dip into. If you don’t have a fondue kit or a slow cooker, life may be more tricky, but you could create something out of tea lights, a saucepan and some kind of stand – just be conscious that tea lights might blacken the bottom.
Anyway, I am going to work from here on the assumption that you have a slow cooker, but if not then feel free to get in touch and we can come up with a clever solution for you and whatever kit you have – I wouldn’t want anyone to miss out!
Ingredients for 4 people:
- 800g-1kg Cheese (yes, really)– I used ‘Godminster Organic Cheddar’ and Manchego, but you should really use high quality Swiss Gruyere and Emmental.
- About 2/3 Bottle of Sparkling Wine – Use the rest as an aperitif!
- 1tbsp Sloe/Damson Gin (my British replacement for Kirsch)
- 1-2tsp Cornflour
- 1 Garlic Clove
- 1 Baguette (traditionally fondue is served with bread only but feel free to dip potatoes or carrots or whatever you fancy – go wild!). Also, slightly stale bread is fine for this, so a great way to use it up.
- Take out the slow cooker pot and rub all over the bottom with the garlic clove (if your slow cooker pot can’t go directly on the hob, do the following steps in a saucepan and then transfer to slow cooker pot when serving).
- Throw away the garlic (or ideally save it for something else) and then put the slow cooker pot on a medium to medium-high heat.
- Pour in about half the wine and half the broken up/grated cheese.
- Stir regularly until the cheese has melted, adjusting the heat if it starts to burn at all.
- When most of the cheese has melted, add the rest of the cheese and wine (you could put it all in at the beginning with no problems, but this method allows you to judge if you want any more or less of either).
- At this stage you should have a fairly loose and liquid, melted mixture which will smell delicious! Don’t be afraid to give it a taste and add more cheese or wine accordingly.
- This is when the cornflour comes in handy. Mix it in with the sloe gin and add a teaspoon at a time – leave a minute or two between each addition and see how thick the fondue gets because it changes very quickly and you probably won’t need all of it.
- At this stage you are nearly ready to serve, so get your bread ready to dip! For me this means warming it up slightly in the oven and cutting into bite sized pieces.
- Get your slow cooker warmed up on the table (put it on high to begin with).
- By now, your fondue should be thick enough to cling onto your dipping bread, but don’t thicken it up too much because it’ll keep getting gloopier as you dip.
- Transfer the pot from the hob into your slow cooker which should have pride of place in the middle of your table.
- Use forks, ideally fondue forks, to dip your bread into the delicious molten cheese and enjoy!
- Serve with your favourite wine or maybe even a glass of port?! On that note, try a port from Quinta de la Rosa. Their 10-Year-Old Tawny is particularly delicious and would work well with this!
Well, wasn’t that easy! This is such a simple process but leads to such delicious results. You should definitely give it a go. It’s rich and luxurious, and for me, the smells and flavours transport me straight to skiing holidays in the Alps. This is part of the reason I love cooking; it provides some much-needed escapism in a time when we can barely leave the house, let alone the country. So, go on and spoil yourself this weekend (or week – who even knows anymore?) and make your home a restaurant!
On a broader note, something I always want to get across in my flog is that recipes are there as a guide and can always be fiddled with. Don’t think you have to follow mine exactly – although it was pretty damn good! If you can’t find an ingredient, don’t give up. Think of something similar and improvise. Then you can also adjust things according to your taste. Perhaps you want to go with a more traditional style of cheese (I wouldn’t blame you if you can get your hands on it!), or maybe you want to go wild with some cheeses I have never even heard of? Either way, if you think it will work, then give it a go – that’s how great recipes come about. The only thing I would say at this point is to remember that often, less is more. Don’t overdo it with lots of mediocre ingredients, if possible, buy a couple of really good ones, and go from there!
Yours in food,