An easy yet indulgent cheese fondue using a mild cheese and cider instead of kirsh for a simple treat to share round the table. The ultimate retro classic with an up to date twist.
Whether you remember the 1970s or not it was a time of change: new labour saving devices, women returning to the world of work and a general sense of striving forward breaking all the rules. I don’t remember much of the early 1970s but I do remember that feeling of a warm cosy house filled with cooking smells and running around in bare feet leaping over sunbeams as they hit the carpet. Not to mention the exhilarating mix of décor colours!
Home was comfort. Home was a good place. Home with its simple pleasures – no daytime TV or mobile devices just a haven to play board games, colouring books and dolls was fun. So whilst staying at Dimmet, a 1970s bungalow in North Devon I wanted to recreate a dinner party dish that my parents would regularly host. I cooked a Cheese Fondue with lots of delicious tasty bits to eat alongside the traditional cubed bread.
Dimmet is situated in the seaside town of Braunton with it’s sweeping sandy beaches, rugged cliffs and a surfing meca. The 2 bedroomed bungalow is decorated resplendently in 1970s colours whilst keeping the kitchen, bathroom and beds safely in up to date comfort. We sat for hours chatting about our childhood memories and laughing at our tales of grazed knees (husband) and tearing around and getting told off (me).
I do remember cheese fondues to be like boiling hot vats of bubbling melted cheese with a floating layer of pure alcohol and thinking I’d just stick to the bread thanks. So I decided to make a much easier, tastier and less stressful version. This dish can easily be reheated so you can make it in advance without fear of it splitting.
- 1 round loaf of bread (I used a gluten free loaf)
- 1 wine glass of dry cider
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 225g Caerphilly cheese, grated (or any mild crumbly cheese such as Lancashire)
- 1.2 scant tablespoons plain flour (I used gluten free and it worked well)
- Small handful of grated Parmesan
- 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
- Grated nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 200c/Gas Mark 6/390F
- Slice the very top of the loaf of bread and pull out the inside leaving a good crust to act as a serving dish for the fondue. Drizzle over 2 teaspoon olive oil and smear around with the back of spoon. Place in the oven to bake for 10 minutes.
- Cut up the ripped out bread into large chunks. Place on a baking tray and sprinkle over olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden.
- In a saucepan, heat the cider and garlic clove until starting to boil.
- Toss the cheese in the flour and then add to the pan with the cider. Keep stirring until melted and bubbling.
- Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring all the time
- Add the mustard and Parmesan and continue to cook for a further minute.
- Pour into the cooked bread loaf and serve with grated nutmeg over.
- Serve with rolled up salami slices, gherkins, cherry tomatoes, griddled courgettes, rolled up bacon slices and apple slices.
For a completely different holiday, Emma and Andrew also have a shepherd’s hut in Somerset, see my stay HERE.