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Old 29.10.2016, 20:45
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Bought my first fondue pot and I need some help!

I just bought a beautiful ceramic fondue pot, and I have a few questions on how to care for it. I have had fondue many time but have never made it myself.

First, I have noticed when my Swiss friends make fondue, they will first melt the cheese while stirring quickly on the stove top. Should this be done directly in the ceramic pot or done first in a metal pot then transferred to the ceramic pot? Also, can you melt the cheese directly in the fondue pot with just the fuel flame?

Next, when I am done using the pot, how should I wash it? I have read things about not soaking the pot. What's the post effective way to clean the stuck cheese off it?

Finally, I have seen many fondue recipes have lemon juice in them, but I have never recall seeing this added. Is adding lemon juice advisable?

Thanks in advance for your responses!
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Old 29.10.2016, 21:06
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Re: Bought my first fondue pot and I need some help!

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I just bought a beautiful ceramic fondue pot, and I have a few questions on how to care for it. I have had fondue many time but have never made it myself.

First, I have noticed when my Swiss friends make fondue, they will first melt the cheese while stirring quickly on the stove top. Should this be done directly in the ceramic pot or done first in a metal pot then transferred to the ceramic pot? Also, can you melt the cheese directly in the fondue pot with just the fuel flame?

Next, when I am done using the pot, how should I wash it? I have read things about not soaking the pot. What's the post effective way to clean the stuck cheese off it?

Finally, I have seen many fondue recipes have lemon juice in them, but I have never recall seeing this added. Is adding lemon juice advisable?

Thanks in advance for your responses!
If your stove is a ceramic surface one, then you don't want to put the Caquelon on the glass surface as it will scratch, so you will need a pot to make the fondue in. If you have gas I think you need to use an Aluminum plate between the gas and the Caquelon to spread the heat a bit - this plates are usually to be found where the Fondue burners and such are. If you have an old fashioned style black ring electric stove then you can make it straight in the Caquelon. I bought a single black element tabletop hotplate just for making Fondue in.

Depending on what kind of burner your Fondue set has you might be able to make it straight on the set, but it would have to be a Butane burner with a fairly large fuel tank.

I normally put the wine, a bruised clove of garlic, and the lemon into the caquelon, then warm that until it is just about to simmer, then I put the cheese in and stir. Watch the heat, and keep stirring the whole time. Once it has melted and starts to froth up, reduce the heat (this takes practice to avoid it boiling over), add a knifetip of Baking soda and stir for another 20-30 sec. Either cut the bread ahead of time, or have someone else do this while you are stirring.

Light the burner, transfer to the table, add ground pepper and/or nutmeg, eat.

I normally let the caquelon cool down to room temp and put it into the dishwasher. If you get the temperature and the amount of fondue just right there won't be any cheese left, or only a little bit of Chrout stuck to the bottom. Soak in cold water then scrub.

Over time the glazed surface on the old caquelons would craze and the ceramic would absorb water if you soaked it, but most of the modern ones are dishwasher safe. Yours will have come with instructions about if it is dishwasher safe or not.

How much lemon you add depends on how tart you like your Fondue, what wine you are using, and what the cheese mix is like. With practice you will get a feel for it.
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Old 30.10.2016, 01:46
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Re: Bought my first fondue pot and I need some help!

Alcohol (which typically is the fuel in the burner even if you use paste) burns with a low temperature and generates relatively little heat. As a result it would take very long to heat the caquelon/cheese on the burner, too long to make it worth trying.

The lemon is used to make the whole mixture somewhat acidic if the wine itself isn't sour enough, you need it for the creamy look of the melted cheese. I think you can add more anytime, though I don't remember needing to.

Washing the caquelon with cold water while you scratch off the remaining cheese (if any) makes the process easier, coldness makes the cheese stiffer. After that it's Ok to put it in the dishwasher (if dishwasher-safe).

You can use flour instead of baking soda to thicken the whole thing. Dissolve the flour in cold water (do stir), then pour the water into the caquelon. You can add more later on if the cheese is too liquid, just note that the flour requires a bit of cooking (perhaps 10-15 minutes) for the thickening effect to appear. Baking soda is the more practical option, but if you forgot to buy ....

If it turns out you should have made more cheese you can add a few eggs towards the end for scrambled eggs. Or if you're like me you do that anyway just because you relish the mixture
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Old 30.10.2016, 11:12
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Re: Bought my first fondue pot and I need some help!

When we were skiing in St. Anton a few years back we discovered a place that 'toasted' their bread for the fondue. Very lightly toasting gave it a texture perfect for a fondue. We've done this at home a few times.

IIRC fondue bread should be almost stale, fresh bread doesn't work as well.
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Old 30.10.2016, 11:15
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Re: Bought my first fondue pot and I need some help!

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I normally put the wine, a bruised clove of garlic, and the lemon into the caquelon.
Lemon?

No lemon here, and a head of garlic, not a clove.

Tom
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Old 30.10.2016, 11:18
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Re: Bought my first fondue pot and I need some help!

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You can use flour instead of baking soda to thicken the whole thing.
Baking soda?

Normal is corn-starch (Maizena), though potato starch works as well, flour if need be.

In all cases, dredge the shredded cheese in it, don't mix with water, etc.

Tom
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Old 30.10.2016, 11:22
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Re: Bought my first fondue pot and I need some help!

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You can use flour instead of baking soda to thicken the whole thing. Dissolve the flour in cold water (do stir), then pour the water into the caquelon. You can add more later on if the cheese is too liquid, just note that the flour requires a bit of cooking (perhaps 10-15 minutes) for the thickening effect to appear. Baking soda is the more practical option, but if you forgot to buy ....
I completely forgot about Maizena (Corn starch), or flour to thicken. I don't always use Maizena, usually the cheese is right, and I get the proportion of wine close enough, but when it is too runny a teaspoon of Maizena in a shot of Schnapps.

The Baking soda does almost the opposite of Maizena... it makes the Fondue Luftiger, and the Umame/salt taste works well to set off a cheese mix that isn't quite as sharp as one might like.
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Old 30.10.2016, 11:26
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Re: Bought my first fondue pot and I need some help!

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When we were skiing in St. Anton a few years back we discovered a place that 'toasted' their bread for the fondue. Very lightly toasting gave it a texture perfect for a fondue. We've done this at home a few times.

IIRC fondue bread should be almost stale, fresh bread doesn't work as well.
Day old (which is what the Swiss think of as stale) is best. I like it if the bread is cut a few hours before the meal and the edges have just gone a bit crispy. I'll have to try toasting.

Mushrooms, broccoli, celery are also quite nice.
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Old 30.10.2016, 11:30
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Re: Bought my first fondue pot and I need some help!

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Lemon?

No lemon here, and a head of garlic, not a clove.

Tom
Down here in the valley, the Migros mix with a 0815 Fechy is a bit bland. Lemon tarts it up a bit.

I'm with you on the garlic... we are in the minority.
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Old 30.10.2016, 11:51
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Re: Bought my first fondue pot and I need some help!

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First, I have noticed when my Swiss friends make fondue, they will first melt the cheese while stirring quickly on the stove top. Should this be done directly in the ceramic pot or done first in a metal pot then transferred to the ceramic pot? Also, can you melt the cheese directly in the fondue pot with just the fuel flame?
A strove top's never going to work with some hobs such as induction.

What we do is melt the cheese etc in a metal saucepan on the stove and meanwhile warm the caquelon in the oven.

Then, when the cheese is ready, you can transfer it to the warm caquelon and put it immediately on to the table burner.


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Next, when I am done using the pot, how should I wash it? I have read things about not soaking the pot. What's the post effective way to clean the stuck cheese off it?
Doesn't your dishwasher have a fondue setting?
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Old 12.11.2016, 16:44
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Re: Bought my first fondue pot and I need some help!

What do you think can I use mozzarella cheese as well for making fondue? Thx
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Old 12.11.2016, 16:48
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Re: Bought my first fondue pot and I need some help!

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What do you think can I use mozzarella cheese as well for making fondue? Thx
Yes, but instead of wine you should use water. Don't forget to omit the garlic and pepper, just to ensure it's completely tasteless.
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Old 12.11.2016, 18:14
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Re: Bought my first fondue pot and I need some help!

Yes, using Mozzerella as the fondue cheese is well known in the Italian speaking part of Switerland - Ticino.

When done this way, the completely burnt bit of cheese at the bottom of the pan is called cinderella.
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Old 12.11.2016, 18:59
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Re: Bought my first fondue pot and I need some help!

Perfect, I'm one of those who don't like the strong tasting cheese or wine in the fondue...
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Old 12.11.2016, 19:04
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Re: Bought my first fondue pot and I need some help!

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Perfect, I'm one of those who don't like the strong tasting cheese or wine in the fondue...
Have you thought of replacing the fondue with custard? And the bread with jam roly-poly? Actually, that would be great!
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Old 12.11.2016, 20:32
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Re: Bought my first fondue pot and I need some help!

A little bit of cheese fondue chemistry .

Is lemon juice required? Answer: No if you have the right wine.

The right wine must be fruity and a little bit acid. Usually they have malic acid, tartaric acid and citric acid. They play a fundamental role in avoiding the "splitting" of the cheese fondue: when the droplets of fat don't mix with the proteines you get a mass of cheese floating on oil. All the acids help split the proteins molecules and facilitate the emulsion with fat.

So if you add lemon juice you just add an insurance against the fondue "splitting". If you have a good wine like fendant then you don't need it. It's you last resort in an emergency case.
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