The Chocolate or Cheese Fondue revolution
Cheese fondue or chocolate fondue are the most wonderful camping food and should not be underestimated.
It is definitely a misconception that fondue is too fussy or won’t be filling enough to be a good camping meal. But fondue is actually incredibly easy and doesn’t need to require any speciality kit if you don’t want to buy anything new. It is a great option for when some people in your group are super hungry, and others would rather have a smaller meal. You can have savoury fondue with cheese and loads of tasty dippers, or a sweet fondue desert with melted chocolate and loads of delicious biscuits and fruit for dipping.
Cheese fondue- ways to cook
There are a couple of ways you can make cheese fondue whilst camping. The first is to use a cast iron skillet to make the fondue. This is great because the heat retaining skillet will mean the cheese stays melted even once you take it off the heat. Although it will get cold eventually so be sure to tuck in right away. Using a skillet to make your fondue is also great because it doesn’t involve buying any more camping kit than the average camper usually has. Even if you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can also make the cheese in an ordinary or heavy bottomed saucepan. Although, if you did want to invest in some kit to take your fondue up a notch, then you can buy a fondue set. These often come with burners so you can control the heat of the cheese or chocolate more easily than on a campfire. If you’re taking the car camping, then it won’t be an added burden as there’s no need to pack light. Fondue kits are also useful because they come with prongs that you can use for dipping, and somewhere to prop them up.
Making the cheese fondue
Add 125g grated gruyere cheese and 125g grated Emmental or young cheddar cheese to your a bowl and toss with 2 tsp corn-starch to coat.
At this stage, you could also add a pinch of mustard powder for added flavour.
Then rub a garlic clove on the inside of your skillet or fondue set.
Finely chop the garlic and add to the skillet, along with 125ml dry white wine and 1 tbsp whisky.
If you’re cooking over a campfire, or any heat source that is difficult to control, then just bring the liquid to a simmer.
Otherwise, bring to a boil then lower the temperature, bringing to a simmer.
Then add the grated cheese in small batches, stirring constantly, and be sure not to allow the fondue to boil. Once until all the cheese has melted and the fondue has thickened, take off the heat and season to taste, you could even add some Worcestershire sauce if you’d like- then serve immediately. Either people can dip straight into the pan, or you can pour the cheese into individual mugs or cups so that everyone can have their own portion. If you’re camping with kids, this also means that no one can get burnt on the skillet.
Easy Cheese Fondue Dip
There’s no rules to camping and making your life easier is often a better way. So, feel free to pack some Camembert and wrap in foil to bake in the coals in the same way you would other foods. Only put in the coals by the outer edge of your fire to make sure it doesn’t burn. You’re just trying to melt the inside remember.
Remove from the fire.
Open the foil carefully and present like a flower.
Hand out a pieces of crusty loaf and rip up bread to dip in.
Easy and yum.
Whilst you’re melting the cheese, prepare the dippers. You could either do this in advance or get someone to help you. One of the easiest dippers to make is just to toast some bread and have this with the cheese. Sourdough works especially well when you toast it until crispy. If you’re not sure how to toast bread whilst camping, be sure to check out Jazz up your beans and cheese on toast – fast happy food, in which I explain all the different ways you can make toast.
You could also set up a pan of water and heat it until it boils, then add some chopped up pieces of potato, cauliflower, broccoli and carrots. Just cut the potatoes into small chunks, and add the potatoes, carrots and cauliflower first, then the broccoli a couple of minutes later to make sure everything cooks at the same time. Or instead, you could just cut the broccoli a bit bigger than the rest of the veggies, and put everything in at the same time, so it all cooks evenly.
Or, if you’d like your veg a bit more crunchy, you could make these barbecued cauliflower pieces. Before you start making your cheese fondue, set up the campfire so that it has burnt down to white hot, or glowing embers, making sure there are no flames so you don’t burn the food. Place a grill or rack above the campfire. Then cut one cauliflower into bite sized florets. In a big bowl, toss them with 2 tbsp olive oil, one crushed garlic clove and 1 tsp smoked paprika.
Then cook the pieces on a grill or rack over the fire for 10-15 minutes (it’ll depend on how hot your fire is). Whilst it’s cooking, prepare the cheese. Then, once the cauliflower is done, remove from the heat and add to a serving plate. If your rack or grill has bars that are too far apart then you can just skewer the florets and cook them like kebabs, turning regularly until they are cooked.
You could also dip sliced apples, some sliced bell peppers, or some meat such as sausage, salami or chicken. You can even dip in some leftover meat you’ve cooked the night before. If this isn’t enough cheese for you, then be sure to check out, Macaroni cheese or vegetable stew– so many decisions.
To make a chocolate sauce for your fondue, you can use the double boiler method to heat the chocolate without letting it boil. Fill a small pan with one or two inches of water, then place the pan over your campfire or camping stove to heat the water. Chop a chocolate bar and add to a steel, enamel, titanium, or pyrex bowl.
One 100g chocolate bar can be enough for 2-3 people, so don’t overdo it!
Once the water starts to boil, you can place the bowl on top of the pan.
Then add 60ml of milk or cream, one tablespoon at a time, and stir constantly, until the chocolate reaches your desired consistency.
Remove from the heat and enjoy with your favourite dippers- if the chocolate begins to solidify, then just put it over the pot again to melt the chocolate.
You can also use a cast iron fondue set to melt the chocolate.
You can dip anything you feel like in the chocolate fondue.
But fruit works especially well, why not try banana slices, strawberries, apple slices or raspberries.
You could also dip tropical fruit like pineapple, mango or papaya slices, or freeze-dried fruits if they are a bit more difficult to source while you’re camping.
Just remember, if the fruit is small enough, you should use wooden or metal skewers to dip it into the fondue.
For those with a sweet tooth, you can also dip, cookies, marshmallows, mini stroopwaffles, sweets, pretzels, or even churros if you can get your hands on some.
I hope this has given you the guidance you need to try out a cheese or chocolate fondue on your next trip, or both!
Here’s me signing out and thank you so much for reading.