A Tale of Two Fondues

So I’ve got a food failure story for you, Midge.

Colin and I hosted a New Year’s Eve party this year. It was also a fondue party. (The Facebook invitation was chock-full of cheese puns. Have you ever noticed that “Gruyere” rhymes with “New Year”? There were three cheese puns in the event title alone. I was proud.) The number of attendees kept dwindling, due to travels or illness, so that there were only six of us there for the dinner portion of the evening. More people came later, but by then we’d moved onto dessert. This was a good thing, because the cheese fondue was the Food Failure of the night.

I was whipping it up right as people were arriving, so I’d like to blame the failure on that. Most likely, though, I was just being my usual lazy self and not looking at recipes carefully. I think the failure can be attributed to a) not tossing the cheese with cornstarch to begin with, and only adding some cornstarch later as a desperate attempt at fixing things, and b) rushing the cheese-adding process.

I mean, we’re talking about a pot of melted cheese and beer, so it’s not like the outcome was bad. It just never quite combined correctly. There was a layer of beer-y cheese, and a layer of cheesy beer above it. We had to delve our dippings deep to get at the real cheese. It worked out okay. It just wasn’t proper fondue. The layers continued to separate as time went on, so the next morning, when Colin and I were cleaning up, we found this at the bottom of the pot:

Gouda cake?

The chocolate fondue, however, turned out just fine.

And so did my caramel corn, which I made because Midge’s failure post inspired me to use my leftover Thanksgiving brown-sugar-and-butter sauce on popcorn.

Popcorn success!

2 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Fondues

  1. I’m glad I’m not the only one cooking up food failures! I also did a fondue party for NYE, although only cheese. I too was receiving guests while making the fondue, so I didn’t look at a recipe, and tossed all of the grated cheese directly into the fondue pot on top of the tiny flame. Thankfully Alvi remembered and was like, don’t we usually cook the cheese in a pan on the stove and then transfer it to the pot? Haha- YES because it takes forever over the tiny flame. Thankfully that was enough of a reminder to look at the recipe, and I was reminded to toss the cheese in cornstarch before I poured it into the pan. I’m glad your chocolate was a success, and your popcorn is enviable!

  2. Oh food failures. I had a recent catastrophe with trying to make homemade nutella with stevia that came out nasty, bittter, gross and lumpy. It was a LOT of homemade nutella too. Never again. Anyways I was going to say that I always side step the annoying having to stand there stiring the cheese i bit by bit and still stressing about getting it to emulsify by starting off with a veloute made with either milk or beer and then adding the cheese into that. I don’t think people can really tell as long as you use enough cheese and it make the process way easier.

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