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Gruyere and fontina cheese get melted together with garlic, nutmeg, and a splash of white wine in this fantastic cheese fondue recipe! The perfect appetizer or savory snack.
Amazing Cheese Fondue
Oh, cheese fondue – the ultimate in melty, gooey, decadent deliciousness. And guess what? Making it at home is easier than you think! It’s the perfect appetizer. Simple ingredients, minimal fuss, and maximum enjoyment. And it’s sure to be a hit because well, come on now. It’s melted cheese.
Gruyère is the base of the cheese fondue, smooth and rich. Then some fontina is added for buttery, delicious flavor. The cornstarch thickens things up, turning the cheese into a dippable delight. And we can’t forget the wine, lemon, nutmeg, and garlic that take the flavor to the next level! You’re going to love it. Serve this cheese fondue up at your next gathering and watch it fly off the table!
These ingredients create the BEST flavor and will make your cheese fondue irresistible. Exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of the post.
- Garlic: for some savory flavor that’s not too overpowering.
- Gruyère & Fontina: The cheese dream team! Gruyère’s nutty, Fontina’s buttery – together they’re smooth, rich, and irresistible. Some other substitutes are Emmental, Gouda, or Swiss cheese.
- Cornstarch: Thickens up the fondue, but also keeps everything nice and melty. No chunky fondue here.
- Wine: Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay – pick your favorite! White wine adds tang and helps the fondue have the right consistency. (See alcohol alternatives below.)
- Lemon Juice: To cut through the richness of the cheese. I also love the bright flavor it adds!
- Nutmeg: Warm, earthy flavor in a pinch.
Why Use Wine?
The reason wine is added to this cheese fondue is all about science (and keeping things creamy!). It contains tartaric acid which combines with the cheese proteins, stopping them from turning clumpy and stringy.
So if you’re skipping the wine, just add a squeeze of extra lemon juice. It has a similar tartaric tang that’ll keep your fondue smooth and dippable.
The Best Cheese Fondue Recipe
Grab your favorite dippables, because you’ll have this amazing cheese fondue ready to go in about 20 minutes. Once all of the delicious ingredients get melted together, you won’t be able to resist trying some!
- Garlic Rub: Slice the clove of garlic in half length wise and thoroughly rub the cut side on the inside of a heavy bottomed pot. Discard the garlic.
- Cheese and Cornstarch Mixture: Grate the cheese and add it to a large ziplock bag along with the cornstarch. Close the bag and shake until all the cheese is coated in the cornstarch. Then set aside.
- Simmer Wine: Add wine and lemon juice to garlic-rubbed pot and then bring to a full simmer over med-low heat.
- Mix in Cheese: Slowly add in the cheese, whisking until smooth after each addition. Continue to whisk until there are no lumps and the sauce is smooth. You may have to turn down the heat to low to avoid over-heating the cheese. Do not let it boil at all!
- Season: After all the cheese is melted, remove from the heat and whisk in the nutmeg. Taste and, if needed and desired, add some salt and cracked pepper. The saltiness prior to seasoning will depend on the cheese you end up using, so it is crucial to taste before adding additional salt.
- Enjoy: Serve immediately. Keep warm in a fondue pot over a heater, or place a pot over a small candle or sterno.
Add the cheese slowly! If you add it too fast, the temperature of the liquid will drop too rapidly and the cheese will curdle or clump.
Tips and Tricks
Making cheese fondue is pretty straightforward, but here are a few extra things to keep in mind so yours turns out wonderfully:
- Wine Substitute: For an alternative to wine, you may use an unsalted chicken or vegetable broth along with an additional 2-3 teaspoons of lemon juice for acidity. You can alternatively use a dry non-alcoholic white wine if you are able to find some.
- Simmer the Wine: Bring the wine to a full simmer. Not a rolling boil, but also not a very low simmer. If you add the cheese when the liquid is too hot or too cool, it won’t melt well and will clump together or curdle and separate.
- Shred Your Own Cheese: Don’t use pre-shredded cheese. These cheeses are coated in anti-caking agents to prevent them from clumping in the package. This coating will also prevent the cheese from melting smoothly into your cheese fondue.
- Don’t Overheat: Don’t over heat the cheese fondue after the cheese has been added! If cheese gets too hot it releases an enzyme called casein. This will cause the cheese to seize up into a stringy ball and separate from the liquid. If the cheese starts to seize and you catch it early enough, you can stop the process by whisking in a teaspoons or two of fresh lemon juice or a splash of wine.
- Keeping it Warm: Keep the cheese fondue warm over a short candle or a sterno fire. Use a fire-safe pot and one that conducts heat evenly, like stainless steel, cast iron, or ceramic.
- Dip Anything You Want! Great dipping options for this cheese fondue are cubed bread, crostini, roasted potatoes, cooked vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower, sausage, meatballs, apples or pears.
Storing Leftover Cheese Fondue
Leftover cheese fondue will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat on the stove over low heat. Whisk as it melts to help it melt more evenly. Be careful not to overheat!
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Slice the clove of garlic in half length wise and thoroughly rub the cut side on the inside of a heavy bottomed pot. Discard the garlic.
Grate the cheese and add it to a large ziplock bag along with the cornstarch. Close the bag and shake until all the cheese is coated in the cornstarch. Set aside.
Add wine and lemon juice to garlic-rubbed pot and bring to a full simmer over med-low heat.
Slowly add in the cheese, whisking until smooth after each addition. Continue to whisk until there are no lumps and the sauce is smooth. You may have to turn down the heat to low to avoid over-heating the cheese. Do not let it boil at all!
After all the cheese is melted, remove from the heat and whisk in the nutmeg. Taste and, if needed and desired, add some salt and cracked pepper. The saltiness prior to seasoning will depend on the cheese you end up using, so it is crucial to taste before adding additional salt.
Serve immediately. Keep warm in a fondue pot over a heater, or place a pot over a small candle or sterno.
Calories: 522kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 32gFat: 36gSaturated Fat: 22gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 128mgSodium: 862mgPotassium: 130mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1056IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 892mgIron: 0.4mg
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.