Chocolate fondue has long been a traditional New Year’s Eve dessert – partly because the very best way to wrap up a year is with chocolate, but also because of the serving style and social aspect of a fondue – bites-on-sticks are great for parties, and allows guests to eat as much or as little as they like, and get some fruit in with their dessert. Chocolate fondue isn’t too heavy, so you don’t feel weighed down afterwards. Best of all – it’s simple to make, and beyond the chocolate itself requires of the cook only chopping – serve with fresh strawberries, chunks of pineapple, banana, apple, kiwi and Mandarin orange segments, along with chunks of pound or fruitcake, small biscotti or other plain cookies (try to avoid those with crumbs) and marshmallows. Rummage through your cupboards and get creative – there are a lot of ingredients (pretzels, dried apricots) that go well with melted chocolate.
Easy Chocolate Fondue
1 cup cream (half & half, coffee cream or whipping cream)
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
In a small-medium saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat until steaming but not boiling; remove from heat and add the chocolate. Let sit for a few minutes, then stir until smooth. Serve in a small chocolate fondue pot set over a tea light to help keep the chocolate melted. Serves 8-12 (depending on appetites).
Chocolate-orange Fondue: add the grated zest of an orange and if you like, a splash of Grand Marnier.
Chocolate-coconut Fondue: use coconut milk in place of the cream.
Chocolate-mint Fondue: add a half teaspoon of mint extract.
Chocolate-amaretto Fondue: add a splash of Amaretto (make a separate Amaretto-free one for the kids!)
Photo credit: istockphoto/matka_Wariatka