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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 1:00 am

Tell mom you love her with chocolate fondue

Culinary Institute of America

If you are a mother: Happy Mother's Day! Please tear out this page (or print, or forward, depending on how woman-on-the-go you are) and put it somewhere your family will find it. Now, stop reading or you'll ruin the surprise.

If you are a kid, father, or person who loves a mom: it's almost Mother's Day. Do you have a plan? Keep reading, because you do now.

If the stereotype is accurate, moms love chocolate. They can't get enough of it. And while maybe that's silly, chocolate is, in general, a crowd pleaser and a pretty safe bet. Add a little pizazz and some personalization, and you've got a Mother's Day to remember.

The Culinary Institute of America has a long history of creating mom-friendly treats, and this recipe for Double-Chocolate Fondue is no exception. This isn't your everyday fondue. It melts bold, rich, dark chocolate with sweet and creamy white chocolate, plus a little bit of coconut and a little bit of spice. In no time, you're dipping, scooping, and swirling your way to Mom's heart.

You may have an old fondue pot in the basement (if not, borrow one from your grandparents, who almost definitely have a fondue pot.). A fondue pot warms the chocolate over a small tea light to keep it dippable. Fondue has come a long way, though, so you may also have an electric fondue pot or even a small slow cooker that will do the same job. If you have none of these, you can carefully set a hot pot of water at the table, and set the fondue in a heat-safe bowl on top of the pot. Whatever keeps it warm will do the trick.

We're serving our fondue with some of our favorite sweets, like chocolate cake, berries, nougat candy, and caramelized bananas. We've included a recipe for the bananas (quick, easy, and worth it), but, really, the best part of fondue is customizing the dippers. What does your mom love the most? Marshmallows, pound cake, pretzels, and chocolate chip cookies are some classics, but there's really not much you can't dip in molten chocolate.

There are a few special ingredients in this recipe that take the fondue from “yum” to “Happy Mother's Day!” But not all moms are alike, and fondue is not one-size-fits-all. If you're a kid and you want to share this treat with your mom, you can substitute the coconut rum and vodka for vanilla or almond extract (or, if you're not a kid, use her favorite flavors, like hazelnut or raspberry liqueur). And if mild salsa makes her cry, you probably shouldn't add that spicy chili.

Now that you have a recipe, it's time to assemble the team and make a plan. You can prepare your dippers ahead of time and measure out your chocolate ingredients. That gives you the whole day to spoil her before you prepare this dessert “surprise.” We all know you're still reading, Mom.

Double-Chocolate Fondue

Dark Chocolate Fondue (recipe follows)

White Chocolate Fondue (recipe follows)

Caramelized Bananas (recipe follows), optional

Other dipping items, such as cubed cake, fresh fruit, and prepared nougat candy

Prepare the dark chocolate fondue. Keep warm over a gentle hot water bath.

Prepare the white chocolate fondue. Keep warm over a gentle hot water bath.

Prepare the caramelized bananas, if using, and transfer to a platter with the remaining dipping items.

Transfer the dark chocolate fondue to a fondue pot, slow-cooker, or serving bowl. Use a spoon to drizzle the white chocolate fondue over the chocolate, to make a decorative pattern. You may also choose to serve the white chocolate fondue in a separate serving bowl. Serve warm, using a hot water bath, if needed. Makes 8 servings.

Dark Chocolate Fondue

Makes 4 servings

14 ounces dark chocolate (about 61 percent), roughly chopped

2 cups heavy cream

1 tablespoon honey

1 Thai chili, optional

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1-1/2 tablespoons vodka

Place the chocolate in a medium heat-safe bowl. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring the cream, honey, and chili (if using) to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat and set aside. In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and vodka until smooth.

Return the cream mixture to the stove and return to a boil. Add the starch mixture and stir to combine.

Carefully remove the chili from the cream mixture, then pour over the chocolate. Let rest for 2 minutes to allow the chocolate to melt slightly, then gently mix with a wooden spoon until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. If needed, you can rewarm the mixture over a gentle hot water bath to melt any remaining chocolate.

White Chocolate Fondue

Makes 4 servings

12 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon coconut rum

Place the chocolate in a medium heat-safe bowl. Set aside.

Bring the cream to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Pour over the chocolate. Let rest for 2 minutes to allow the chocolate to melt slightly, then gently mix with a wooden spoon until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. If needed, you can rewarm the mixture over a gentle hot water bath to melt any remaining chocolate.

Add the coconut rum and stir to combine.

Caramelized Bananas

Makes 8 servings

3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced into 3/4-inch slices

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Dip each cut end of the banana slices in the sugar.

Melt the butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook the bananas, sugared sides down, until golden brown and gooey, about 2 minutes on each side.