Ingredients (per person):
Note: the choice of cheeses is crucial. See elsewhere on this site about this.
- 200 to 220 g (7 to 8 oz) of cheese (a little less for small appetites) rind cut off.
- 0.8 dl (2.7 fl oz) dry white wine (1 dl = 1/10th of a liter and there are 7.5 dl in a normal wine bottle)
- 1 clove garlic (small if you're not a fan of garlic, large otherwise)
- kirsch (about 1/2 dl for 4 to 5 persons)
- Maizena (cornstarch)
- Pepper, salt possibly
- 150 to 180g (5 to 6 oz) bread per person
Note: 0.8 dl (2.7 fl oz) of wine per person is the right amount, but as we will dilute the cornstarch in a bit of wine, make sure the total of the wine matches in the end 0.8 dl (2.7 fl oz) per person.
Prepare a small glass (1 dl - 3 fl oz) and larger one.
Cut or grate coarsely all the cheese.
Put in your pot 0.8 dl (small glass) of wine per person, add garlic (sliced not too thin) 1 clove per person (less if you do not know what is good). The traditional recipes recommend rubbing the pot with a garlic clove, but this is totally insufficient and a waste of time.
Add one more dl (3 fl oz) of wine white in both glasses, and keep the small one for you: as the cook you have the right to a drink. Put in the larger glass two heap teaspoons of cornstarch (for 4-5 people), stir and set aside for later.
Heat the pot over low heat, and after a few minutes, when the wine starts to simmer, gradually add all the cheese. From that moment on, do not stop stirring slowly with a wooden spoon. Once the cheese starts to melt, continue to stir slowly in a large 8 shape.
Adjust the heat so that the cheese melts completely. Never let the mixture boil, keep it at the point where it just simmers at the center of the pot. This is the time to taste (a small piece of bread dipped) and possibly adding a little salt (only if your cheese is very mild).
Now is the time for the most delicate operation. Make sure that the mixture is just boiling (a few small bubbles) and stirring in an 8 shape, add slowly and little by little, the cornstarch (which you have again stirred in the wine). Allow time for the fondue to come back to a simmer. This operation will ensure that the cheese and wine turn into a smooth and homogeneous mixture. Too much cornstarch and you'll get a mortar fit to plug the holes in the wall at the back of the backyard, too little and you will get cheese floating in wine. In this case, it is still easy to add a little cornstarch (always diluted in liquid - ie.: wine).
Finally, just before serving, a small shot of kirsch (in the fondue, of course) and you can serve after stirring it in. It is the tradition to add a little pepper and sometimes to grate a little nutmeg.
While eating, make sure that the lamp is frequently adjusted so that the fondue always simmers but never boils.
Bon appetit and cheers.