Don’t tell the 365 ladies, but I’m pretty sure I pulled a fast one here. Or I’m in for come comeuppance down the road. What else would explain the fact that a y-chromo has somehow gotten away with National Chocolate Fondue Day? The ladies must be asleep at the wheel. Or in Mexico. Or something. Regardless, colour me happy…and with a little bit of molten brown still clinging to the corners of my widely grinning mouth!

Ah yes, chocolate. Molten and clinging to the sides of nature’s sweetest fruity offerings. Really, what could be better? In truth, sacrilege as it may be to type on these pages, to my mind the best thing about chocolate fondue is not in the eating, but in the preparation and sitting down to table. It’s about the community created around a bubbling pot of chocolate, where conversation flows sweetly and everyone takes just that little bit more time with the eating.

Chocolate fondue day came about with exquisite timing. Very near my birthday, my wife had already planned a friendly foodie gathering at our house, centered already around community consumption. Translation: we were going to be cooking up a bunch of delicious meats from Slaters and cheeses from Ottavio on a couple of borrowed raclettes. What better way then than to round out the evening drowning fresh fruit in chocolate?

How about drowning fresh fruit in Toblerone?

Mmm, my acquired personal take on chocolate fondue, cribbed from a former girlfriend (those Quebecois certainly know how to do their sweets).  Granted, I’m an admitted chocolate bastard in that I – *gasp* – don’t really go in for the finer darks and instead prefer my creamy milks, but even if you’re a purist, you really should give the Toblerone fondue a go one of these days.  (In my defence, apparently I’m not the only chocolate heathen – kirsch in this recipe…interesting call.)

Speaking of recipes, what could be easier to prepare for a large gathering than chocolate fondue (or raclette for that matter)?  Unlike the recipe linked above, I keep it pretty basic – it goes a little something like this:

1. Head to London Drugs, hoping the MASSIVE Toblerone bars are on sale.

2. Curse, just a little, when you find they’re not.

3. Take out second mortgage; purchase aforementioned hunk of triangular chocolately goodness.

4. Head home; open bottle of red; pour glass; imbibe (dear readers, this step is key!).

5. Cut Toblerone into slightly less massive chunks to facilitate melting.  (This is where the collaboration comes in – another wonderful thing about raclette – and fondue – meals is that they’re great facilitators for team prep, if you’re so inclined.  Kitchen parties are the best kind anyway, so why not give the guests a knife and a cutting board and get everyone involved in the prep.  Just watch how heavy you go on Step 4 when deciding to hand out sharp objects!)

6. Throw chocolate into pot; heat, stirring constantly.

7. Pour in whipping cream as you go, to desired consistency.

8. Transfer to fondue pot.

8.a. Strategically miss pot with your initial pour; “clean up” with your fingers.

9. Enjoy!

The team at the table

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