Fondue became wildly popular in the US during the 1960s, first being promoted during the 1964 New York World Fair at the Swiss Pavilion Alpine Restaurant. Being a time of experimentation, people wondered, what else can I dip in that thing? There's canned soup fondue, meat and oil, meat and broth; a Swiss dish borrowed from the french for using-up stale bread and old cheese now had canned meal kits you could buy at the store along with the pot. Special ceramic fondue dishes were made during this decade too, for additional dipping into mustard, onion, and other delectable sauces. The recipe variation we'll be looking at today was invented by chef Kondrad Egli of New York's Chalet Suisse Restaurant as a promotion for Toblerone chocolate.
Chocolate or Carob Fondue Recipe, Easy Version
1 Bag (12 oz) of Carob or Chocolate Chips, Vegan if you're vegan, or get your favorite non-vegan varieties otherwise
3/4 Cup Almond Milk (Try making your own, or use any other vegan nut milk you desire)
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
Simply heat until fully incorporated, stirring occasionally, then pour into your fondue pot. If you want to fill it to the top for a lot of guests you made need to double or triple the recipe.
I made mine with carob chips because I can't sleep at night at the best of times and caffeine served so close to bed would keep me up until the sun peeks through the blinds, but chocolate's a good choice to keep guests awake on their ride home!
Vegan Chocolate From Scratch, Masocist's Version
1 Cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 Cup Cocoa Butter
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
1/4 to 1/2 Cup Almond Milk depending on desired thickness
1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract
Sweetener to Taste, 1/8 Cup to 1/4 cup max should be sufficient, agave or brown rice syrup work well here and are lower glycemic index sweeteners
Melt all of these together in a pot. It'll take a little while for the cocoa butter to fully melt and everything to fully incorporate. Watch and whisk as needed.
Fondue's popularity faded in the early 70s, but it's made on-and-off come-backs. To this day I often spot fondue forks and pots at thrift stores, colorful reminders of a by-gone era where social interaction was the norm and not the exception. There's a spirit of thriftiness to fondue and even healthiness, because the serving sizes are small and you fill up on the company of your guests rather than feeling stuffed to the gills with the buffets of too-much-food at modern parties.
Make everyone put their smart phones away (or else they buy drinks for all dining companions!) and break out the fondue pots this holiday season, if you dare. Use what's in season or around the house, go wild and weird, do in that kitschy swinging 60s rebellious spirit.