The gift of fondue
I'm trying to come up with a birthday present for my mom, a woman who doesn't really need anything. She recently bought herself an electric fondue pot for family get-togethers (we're really into cheese) and I am thinking about putting together a fondue-themed gift basket. Any suggestions for what to include other than a fondue cookbook, a bottle of kirsch and maybe some good cheese? Her pot came with fondue forks and she won't need sterno. Thanks for your help!
How about a bottle of wine? Is she interested in chocolate fondue? Maybe a few bars/chips of good chocolate?
Find a good recipe for fondue, assemble all the ingredients and put them together in a basket for your mom. I've made this recipe many times:
You could buy the Champagne, the three different cheeses and another bottle of Champagne to drink with the fondue. It's very rich and absolutely delicious. Sometimes I think the hardest part of making fondue is gathering all the bits together to make it. The rest is dead simple.
With the exception of subbing another fizzy wine in the fondue itself - Prosecco or Cava - I follow the recipe exactly. Because I usually make it for at least 4 to 6 people, I generally double the recipe and it still turns out great. I'm not a huge fan of kirsch, so this version appeals to me. Not so in your face alcoholic, but still very creamy, really good.
This would be my recommendation, along with a suggestion to be creative. So many people think that fondue is always made with 50% Gruyere and 50% Emmentaler. In fact, many other Alpine cheeses could be, and are, sometimes used, for example:
Fontina Val d'Aosta (but not supermarket Fontina, which bears little resemblance)
Raclette (yes, Raclette can be used in a fondue)
American Alpine-style cheeses like Pleasant Ridge Reserve and Tarentaise
If there's no good cheese shop near you, there are numerous mail order options.
There are also fondue plates. I always thought the compartments were for condiments when doing a hot oil/meat fondue, but this link shows them also used to divide dunking
items for a cheese fondue.
Maybe some themed paper napkins like this link for a basket stuffer.