It all started with the obligatory wedding gift - the fondue pot fromCrate and Barrel. Come on - I am sure there is more than one of you out there who received a fondue pot as a wedding gift.
I am not sure if we actually asked for a fondue pot, but we did love going to the Gaja's Cafe and eating fondue when we lived in Chicago.
In those early days of our marriage, we may have eaten fondue but we certainly did not make it. The pot was stored on the top of the back shelf in our kitchen in Chicago, backed and moved to Kansas City where it assumed the same distinguished place in my kitchen, then packed and moved again to Seattle to our first house and then our second house.
Finally one year when we realized Valentine's Day was not the day to go out to dinner, we started eating at home and out came the fondue pot. Not to cook dinner in (though you can make wonderful cheese dips and fried meats) but for dessert - oh, that delicious melted chocolate dessert.
And so it began, our tradition of having chocolate fondue on Valentine's Day . . . and as each new member of our family was added, they joined the celebration around the chocolate pot.
Now, it is a tradition - regardless of the main entree, dessert on Valentine's Day is chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate with bananas, strawberries and pound cake.
And it is extremely easy to make.
And, technically, you really do not need a fondue pot. It is just the added bling.
And in these economic times, traditions are free, butpriceless to a family. As a matter of fact, my family loves this tradition so much that I am certain some day I will be looking down from heaven and watching my kid's, kids eat chocolate fondue on Valentine's day.
If you are casein free, read on - I actually have made a casein free chocolate fondue.
Serve with bananas, strawberries and pound cake. Ener-G sells a pound cake, 123 Gluten Free has a pound cake mix, or you can make the recipe below.
Combine the chocolate and heavy cream in a medium heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Stirring constantly, cook for about two minutes, or until melted and smooth. Add the vanilla. Transfer to the fondue pot to keep warm. Serve with sliced bananas, whole strawberries and pound cake cut into one inch squares.
Gluten Free Pound Cake
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, melted
4 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups brown or white rice flour
2/3 cups potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon xanthum gum
2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
1 cup milk
Heat oven to 350°F. Combine sugar and melted butter in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla; beat until well mixed.
Whisk together the flours, xanthum gum and baking powder in small bowl. Mix well until the different flours essentially become one new flour. Gradually add flour mixture alternately with milk to butter mixture, beating at low speed until well mixed.
Pour batter into greased and floured 12-cup Bundt® pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan.
This recipe was adapted from all places the Land O'Lake's website. I have actually heard rave reviews about their recipes.
Gluten Free/Casein Free Chocolate Fondue
Here is our casein free version of chocolate fondue. Okay, tofu and cocoa powder are not going to be as rich as chocolate and heavy cream. But this satisfies the craving, it is a lot healthier and will leave you feeling a lot lighter than the real thing.