Sunday, December 16, 2012

LID: #Chocolate Fondue - Thank the #Swiss

Chocolate covered strawberries and marshmellows
By: Adam Sonnett

December 16

Chocolate Covered 
Anything Day

Now this is a national holiday I could absolutely enjoy! I love chocolate. The darker the better. Chocolate covered treats such as the marshmallows and strawberries above are considered chocolate fondue. 

A Swiss and American Invention

Although fondue began in 18th century Switzerland it wasn't until the mid 20th century that chocolate was ever used. 

Between the 1950's and 1960's Swiss born Konrad Egli, or (to his friends and frequent guests) just Konni, bought out the owners of a Swiss restaurant in New York city known as Chalet Suisse. Chalet Suisse had been owned by Alfred and Clara Baertschi. Konni had been the head chef of the establishment before he bought the place from the Baertschi family. Chalet Suisee had already had a reputation for steady, reliable Swiss regional food, carefully handled made with nothing but the best ingredients. Despite the popularity of the restaurant, Konni was wanting something more from the menu.  He wanted something that would dazzle his customers. 

During the 1960's Konni added many innovations to the restaurant including air conditioning, which added more customers during the summer. One day, while visiting the the Swiss Center, he was introduced to Beverly Allen. Mrs. Allen was working with a Swiss based chocolate company known as Toblerone to promote their new mountain shape chocolate in the United States. (I had never heard of this company until recently when I saw one of these bars at Krogers. They are delicious!

After hearing about the chocolate bar, Konni was inspired. In 1964 he created a sweet treat for his restaurant by using the chocolate in a fondue. He launched his chocolate dipped creation at his restaurants new 48th Avenue location. His creation was a sensation. It is interesting to note that Konni is also responsible for the creation of another fondue sensation - the fondue bourguignonne. Fondue bourguignonne is made by dipping meat into hot oil. Konni invented it during the 50's.

Chalet Suisee has long since closed but you can make Konni's fondue. Here's his recipe found on European Cuisines at

Chocolate Fondue a la Chalet Suisse
Please note: this recipe is not suitable for chocolate fountains, as the almonds in the Toblerone will interfere with their workings.

For four people:

First prepare the things you're going to dunk in the chocolate. At Chalet Suisse, each guest was served with:

Tiny walnut-sized puff pastries
Fresh slices of Mandarin orange
Small inch-wide meringues
Cubes of white or golden sponge cake, pound cake, or angel cake
Small fresh strawberries (sometimes wild strawberries when Konni could get them)
Slices of banana
You might also want to consider other dunkables, like pieces of ladyfinger biscuit, and other small fruits like sliced kiwi.

Once everything is assembled, start the fondue. You need:

3 ounces of regular Toblerone
3 squares of Tobler Extra Bittersweet chocolate (about one ounce each)
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons kirsch, brandy or Cointreau
Break the Toblerone and Tobler bittersweet chocolate into their separate pieces and place in the top of a double boiler, or in a small saucepan set inside another one partway full of hot water. Pour the cream into a small pan and heat separately.

When the chocolate is melted, pour in the heated cream and stir well until blended. The mixture should be very liquid and glossy. (The bits of almond in the Toblerone will usually rise to the top: this is normal.)

Stir in the kirsch or other spirit just before serving.

Serve in a small fondue pot (you can get ones made especially for chocolate fondue) kept warm with a candle or other gentle heat source.

No comments:

Post a Comment