“ Brand: John Lewis / Type: Fondue „
I can't say I have ever had a dinner party and thought, 'I must get the fondue set out' but I have on occasion in the evening if the family fancies a pig out, used this fondue set.
I have never had a cheese fondue in it, choosing instead to put Camembert in the oven and dip bread etc into it that way. I have only ever used this for chocolate fondues, after all chocolate is the bane of my life and I don't think you can go wrong with chocolate anything.
I was bought this as a gift around two years ago and not only does it make a nice ornament in my kitchen, it is very useful too. It comes in two parts, the top 'bowl' and the bottom section where you store the tea light candle. It is made of cast iron so keeps the heat well once it has been heated and with the help of the tea light candle it keeps the chocolate at a runny consistency. You get six 'forks' which you use to pick up whichever items you require to dip into your mixture. The wooden handles are a nice design feature of this although frequent washing of these does tarnish the wood somewhat. The metal prongs are tarnish free however and are easy to clean after use.
The 'bowl' section is a nice size and easy to dip your items into when it is filled with whatever delicious food you choose to have. This is also easy to clean, a quick wash out with hot water and washing up liquid has it clean and sparkling in no time. The bottom section I wipe over as it tends not to need a total submersion in water. The whole thing together is very sturdy and even if the 'bowl' is full it doenst feel unsteady at all.
As I mentioned before, I usually use this to enjoy a chocolate coated calorie fest, those of a delicate nature please look away now. In a saucepan I melt both milk and dark chocolate, I add double cream and as much Toblerone as I have and melt this down, sometimes I add white chocolate, sometimes I add more milk than dark, there is no hard fast rule to this recipe, I just melt whatever I fancy and it always turns out good. Due to using my chocolate factory, I know that adding oil to this mixture stops it from setting and makes it a lot glossier in appearance. You do not need that much and it does not alter the taste of the chocolate at all. This is a good tip; I wish I had known a long time ago, this (along with the lit tea light) helps keep the chocolate mixture runny. I then like to use strawberries, marshmallows, banana, biscuits etc to dip into this mixture and enjoy. I really want one of these now but due to the pre wedding diet, I sadly cannot enjoy this, hopefully someone out there will have one and tell me their thoughts. I won't be too jealous honestly....sniff sniff!
WHAT IS IT?
A fondue set for home entertainment. It comes to 2 pieces so you can take the dish off and heat the chocolate or cheese sauce on the hob and then you use a tealight to keep it liquid for as long as you need.
The fondue set is black cast iron and it is raised in the centre of the base for you to put your tealight to keep the flame close to the bottom of the dish. You get 6 forks with it and those are long and sharp so that what you skewer with them won't slide straight off, the handles are light wood when the set is new but go dark after not very many uses.
HOW DO YOU USE IT?
Break chocolate or cheese into pieces and add extra liquid if you are using cheese. Heat and melt them to a liquid consistency on the hob and then transfer the dish to the base, light a tealight and place it on the raised section. This will keep the chocolate or cheese melted and stop it setting and going solid again. You can dip anything into the fondue like strawberries or biscuits into melted chocolate and breadsticks or ciabatta into cheese fondue.
WHAT I THINK
I like this fondue set very much because it is made from cast iron so feels heavy. I have used mine a lot and it has not got any stains on it even on the bottom where it goes on the hob. The chocolate and cheese sauce melts quickly and stays melted until I decide to blow the tealight out.
The forks are good to hold and even though they're thin they hold heavy items like whole strawberries. They make a horrible noise when they scrape against the cast iron dish.
It is easy to clean but sometimes if I let the liquid get too solid again then I have to soak it in very hot water with a lot of detergent. I wash mine mostly in the dishwasher now because this is allowed and it always comes out very clean.
This fondue set costs £49 and it is only available in black.
5 Dooyoo Stars.
Fondue is experienceing something of a revival in recent years. The staple of the 1970's dinner party (or so I have heard as I am not old enough to remember this) but I do remember my mum and dad and my Grandparents having one back in the day. My grandparents always had one out for a party so when it came to our wedding list at John Lewis a number of years ago I just had to put one on my list.
To explain a fondue I will quote an article I read, "Fondue is a Swiss and French dish of melted cheese served in a communal pot (caquelon) over a spirit lamp (rechaud), and eaten by dipping long-stemmed forks with bread into the cheese. It was promoted as a Swiss national dish by the Swiss Cheese Union in the 1930s and became popular in North America in the 1960s. Since the 1950s, the name "fondue" has been generalized to other dishes where a food is dipped into a communal pot of hot liquid: chocolate fondue, where pieces of fruit are dipped into a melted chocolate mixture, and fondue bourguignonne, where pieces of meat are cooked in hot oil.
Fondue chocolate fountains are very popular at weddings nowadays and I have used mine to melt chocolate in but I have to admit I much prefer the savoury fondue for when I have people over. I love to have this dish as a starter as I think it's a really different and interesting thing to do and you can serve it with people still standing up so everyone gets a chance to talk to each other and mingle whilst you serve this dish.
This fondue set from John Lewis is lovely and as it is cast iron it has a really nice look to it too, black and quite sleek although it is really heavy so once you have got it out of your cupboard make sure you place it where you want it to go before you put the liquid in it and it becomes hot otherwise it is very hard to move!! The fondue set burns from underneath so you can have the pot on throughout the night and it keeps you liquid inside nice and warm. The great thing is if you want to kick start the heating process you can heat up the pot of the hob of your cooker and then place it on your table.
This pot has a fairly big capacity but I find I do have to add more liquid once or twice if I have quite a few people over. The dimensions are listed as H18.5 x W21 x D16cm. The pot comes with 6 wooden handled prongs that you stick in your ingredients before you add them to the liquid inside. This have nice long handles so they can easily be propped up against the side of the pot if you are cooking something. For example, my grandparents have a recipe where they add hot oil to their fondue and then coat mini sausages in a batter and then add them to the pot for a few mintues to cook them, they are absolutely delicious! Other things you can do is add cheese and warm it up and then dip in bits of bread, brocolli, cauliflower etc or add chocolate and have it with lovely strawberries, raspberries etc.
The pot is easy to wipe down if you spill ingredients on the outside of it during the night and then afterwards you can put it in the dishwasher to give it a proper clean.
Go on, give fondue a try tonight!