The variety of cheeses you can use for this recipe is almost infinite: Tomme de Savoie, Emmenthal Savoyard, Basque Tommette, Tomme de Béarn, Manchego, Farmhouse Cheddar, young Gouda and, of course, the marvellous Swiss cheeses Gruyère and Vacherin Fribourgeois suggested here. Alongside the baguette cubes, you can serve small new potatoes – steamed whole in their skins for about 20 minutes, then halved – to dip into the fondue, just like the bread.
1 garlic clove, peeled
400g Vacherin Fribourgeois
15g cornflour or potato flour
300ml dry white wine, ideally a Swiss Fendant du Valais (Wallis)
A knifetip of finely, freshly grated nutmeg
50ml kirsch (optional)
1 large crusty baguette, cut into large dice
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Rub the garlic clove around the inside of a fondue pot or heavy pan (ideally enamelled), dipping it from time to time in salt so that it sticks well to the surface. Coarsely grate the cheeses.
Mix the cornflour or potato flour with about 50ml of the wine until smoothly blended. Add the grated cheeses to the pot, pour in the remaining wine and add the cornflour or potato flour mixture.
Place the pot over a low heat and stir frequently with a wooden spoon until the cheeses melt. As soon as they do, stir constantly, adding the nutmeg and a little pepper, to taste. As the fondue comes to the boil, add the kirsch, if using, and make sure your guests are seated and ready.
To serve, place the pot on a fondue burner or portable spirit burner in the middle of the table. Using long forks, each guest spears one piece of bread at a time with the fork and dips and turns it in the fondue before eating.
The fondue burner must be set to low and have an adjustable heat setting, so that the temperature of the fondue can be controlled.
Extracted from Cheese by Michel Roux (Quadrille, approx €23). Photography © Lisa Linder.