The craving for melted cheese overwhelmed me. I ordered a fondue pot. Now, most of the time I don't feel particularly connected to my Swiss heritage - I don't even back Roger Federer in the tennis (although good luck to him in the Australian Open today) - but it all came bubbling out while I was looking for a fondue pot. Non-stick aluminium? What is this fuckery? How can you possibly make a caquelon from non-stick aluminium? The cheese needs to stick and you need to scrape the brown crispy bits off with the fork, to take that away is to deny the essential nature of the fondue experience!
Anyway, I did find a good ceramic pot, just the right size for the two of us. And we set out to re-create the mushroom fondue we had in Geneva a couple of years ago. It went pretty well really!
Mushroom Fondue (serves 2)
2 cloves garlic
2 shot glasses of dry white wine
1 tbs porcini puree
125g gruyere, grated
125g emmenthal, grated
Handful of mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp cornflour, slaked in 2tbs white wine
Bread cubes and steamed broccolini, to serve
Bring the wine and garlic to a simmer, remove from heat and allow to infuse for a couple of hours. Just before serving whisk in the porcini puree and return the caquelon to a low heat (best done on the stove, easier than trying to regulate the heat of the fondue pot) and add the sliced mushrooms, then gradually add the cheeses, stirring until they have melted. Add the cornflour and stir until smooth. Place the caquelon of melted cheese over the lit burner, and dunk cubes of bread and steamed broccolini in it to eat it.
It can be very indigestible, so drinking wine with it, and a herb tisane afterwards is a good idea! Better for lunch than dinner too.