Cheese fondue with mushrooms

Serves 4-6
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Indy Lifestyle Online

Fondues are very Seventies - and the time always seems to be ripe for a fondue revival. It might be my imagination, but aren't fondue sets more prominent in the cookware departments these days? Fondue is a bloody good fun dish at dinner parties, especially when you have the courage to be a bit adventurous - as I did when I experimented with things like lobster thermidor fondue (which some readers might remember from a few years back), when I put the thermidor sauce in the fondue and cooked little chunks of lobsters on skewers.

You can vary the cheeses slightly according to what's available, but try if you can to keep them of the alpine variety.

A good knob of butter
10g dried ceps, soaked overnight
120g button mushrooms, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled
200ml dry white wine
100ml double cream
120g Gruyère, grated
120g Emmental, grated
60g Beaufort or Vacherin, grated or cut into small pieces
A loaf of crusty bread or French bread, cut into rough 2cm chunks and left out overnight

Rinse the ceps and chop them finely. Melt the butter in a pan and gently cook the button mushrooms, ceps and garlic clove for 3-4 minutes with a lid on, stirring every so often. Remove the garlic clove. Add the white wine and cream, bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes. Whisk or stir in the cheeses until they are melted. If the cheese doesn't completely melt and the mixture is still a bit stringy, don't worry, as the wine and juices will eventually evaporate and prevent the cheese from burning while you are eating. Then transfer to a lit fondue bowl or keep warm in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.

The pieces of bread are then dipped into the fondue on skewers or with fondue forks - just in case you've never done it before.

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