Classic Swiss Fondue

Despite the bad press from the 1970’s and 1980’s that ‘Fondues’ conjure up, I can definitely recommend trying this recipe. The classic combination of cheese and wine, melted together in one big pot. This is communal eating at its best.


250g    Gruyère cheese, grated

250g    Emmental cheese, grated

250ml  Dry white wine

1          Garlic clove, crushed

1 tsp     Lemon juice

2 tsp     Cornflour

2 tbs     Kirsch (or water)

Black pepper


To serve

Lots of cubes of French bread

Mixed platter of fresh salami, Parma ham, cooked meats

Preparation and cooking

Start by getting yourself a large heavy based saucepan, or better still, a fondue pot if you have it. Place the pan over a low to medium heat, and add the wine, crushed garlic and lemon juice and gradually stir in the grated cheese.

Use a wooden spoon to constantly stir the dish, until the cheese melts and begins to combine with the wine as the mixture gently bubbles. This will take a good 5-10 minutes, but do not let the mixture stick to the bottom of the pan or burn.

In a small bowl, blend the cornflour and kirsch (or water) to make a smooth mixture, which you then slowly add to the hot cheese and wine to thicken the consistency of the fondue. Add a little at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes bubbling gently, then season with freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately.

Use 5cm cubes of French bread on the end of long forks to dip and coat into the cheese mixture. Serve with a platter of mixed meats and fresh salad to offset the richness of the fondue.


There are so many variations on fondue, but here is another one to try, called the “Somerset Fondue”. Use 375g of cheddar cheese instead of the Emmental and Gruyère, replace the wine with cider, don’t use the garlic, and use Apple juice instead of the kirsch. Add ½ teaspoon of English mustard powder with the cornflour.


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