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Luscious Dark Chocolate Fondue with Honey and Cognac

Updated on May 19, 2017
Margaret Schindel profile image

Margaret has a passion for cooking, baking and creating recipes to satisfy her cravings for delicious, indulgent and sometimes healthy food.

Sweet, bite-sized tidbits dipped in a pool of smooth, silky dark chocolate enriched with honey and cognac: the ultimate adult dessert.

Make this recipe for your sweetheart for a birthday, anniversary, Valentine's Day or other special occasion and you will melt his or her heart. It's a much more romantic gift than the usual store-bought box of candy.

Although I created this recipe specifically for adult palates, if you omit the cognac and substitute milk chocolate Toblerone instead of dark, kids will love it, too!

Source

My Sophisticated Version of a Classic French Dessert Fondue

This recipe is extremely rich, so you may want to pair it with a nice selection of light, bite-sized tidbits for dipping. I recommend dark chocolate Toblerone, which has luscious bits of nougat that add wonderful flavor, or chunks of a high-quality dark chocolate such as Scharfen Berger or Valrhona. Choose a good quality cognac or brandy. (Tip: No need to buy a full-size bottle if you're unlikely to finish it. Just pick up a miniature bottle at the liquor store.) Alternatively, you can replace the cognac with the fruit brandy of your choice. I've tried raspberry, pear and cherry brandy as well as Chambord black raspberry liqueur, and any one of them is a delicious substitute for the cognac in this recipe.

This recipe serves two for a romantic evening, or you can easily double, triple or even quadruple it to serve more guests, depending on the capacity of your fondue pot. In fact, you may want to make a larger quantity anyway, since a deeper "pool" will make it easier to coat the speared dipping morsels. And any leftover fondue (for those who have more self-control than I do!) reheats beautifully and also makes a fabulous, rich, hot sauce to drizzle or pour over cake, ice cream or fresh fruit.

What's your favorite type of fondue?

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Source
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: 2

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 3.52 oz./100 g. bar of Toblerone Dark Chocolate, chopped, or 3.5 oz. of high-quality dark chocolate, such as Valrhona or Scharffen-Berger, chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 Tbsp. Cognac or other brandy (see suggested alternatives above)
  • 1/8 tsp. almond extract
  • Bite-sized morsels for dipping (see "Delicious Dippers," below)

Instructions

  1. Place the heavy cream and honey in a heavy-bottomed saucepan or an electric fondue pot. Bring them to a simmer, stirring frequently.
  2. Add the chopped chocolate and whisk until it is completely melted and incorporated into the cream and honey mixture.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat or turn the electric fondue pot to low heat and whisk in the brandy and the almond extract.
  4. If not using an electric fondue pot, pour the fondue into a small, heat-proof bowl and place it on an electric mug warmer over low heat.
  5. Serve immediately with fondue forks, dessert forks and plates, and a nice assortment of of bite-sized dipping tidbits.

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All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then
doesn't hurt.

- Charles M. Schulz

Prevent Scorching With an Electric Fondue Pot

For maximum versatility, I recommend choosing one that has an adjustable thermostat with a wide range of settings. A year or two ago, I was invited to a party where a luscious caramel fondue was served in a Cuisinart CFO-1000 Lazy Susan Electric Fondue Maker. The reason I know the brand and model number is that I liked it so much I asked the hostess (whom I didn't even know!). The brushed stainless steel bowl was sleek and attractive, and held enough to feed more than a dozen guests, with head room to spare. There were cute little trays attached to a "Lazy Susan" ring around the bottom to hold the dipping tidbits (fruit chunks, cake squares and pretzel rod chunks). I was impressed that the caramel mixture stayed at a perfect temperature throughout the party, and even after a couple of hours, the bottom of the sugary caramel didn't scorch (or stick, thanks to the nonstick interior).

As the party was winding down, I approached the hostess in the kitchen and asked if I could take a peek at the instruction booklet (which also included some scrumptious-looking recipes). As we chatted, she told me that the set came with 8 color-coded forks, so she purchased an extra set of them on Amazon for the party. She pointed out the handy notched ring to prevent guests' forks from sliding into the pot while cooking their vegetable or protein chunks in simmering broth or oil, and that the thermostat could be set at a high enough temperature to keep the liquid at a simmer. She also noted that when she served an oil or broth fondue, she didn't use the removable Lazy Susan ring, preferring to give each guest his or her own individual bowl of tidbits to cook.

She said her favorite thing about this pot is the easy clean-up: everything except the power cord and thermostat can be run through the dishwasher! This fun and versatile appliance is definitely on my wish list.

Source

Delicious Dippers

Any food that pairs well with chocolate and can be cut into bite-sized chunks or cubes is fair game. Depending on how your guests feel about dipping finger foods into the fondue, you also can use rolled lace wafer cookies, pretzel logs and similar things.

Here are some of my favorite dunking tidbits for this recipe.

Fresh Fruit

Whole seedless grapes and strawberries are ideal. Softer berries, such as raspberries or blueberries, taste divine dipped in the warm fondue, but they tend to fall off the fork and into the pot.

Bite-size chunks of fresh fruits such as pineapples, apples, pears or peaches are great. Thick slices of fresh or frozen banana are fabulous; slice them thickly on the bias so they are wide enough to spear easily with both tines of the fondue fork.

If you are okay with finger food, you can also dip individual segments of firm, fresh oranges or clementines. (If you skewer them on the fork, the juice will drip into the chocolate mixture.)

Dried Fruit

The flavors of luscious figs, tangy apricots, tart mangoes and other fruits intensify when the fruits are dried, making them a perfect foil for the rich, melted dark chocolate.

Crystallized Ginger or Candied Citrus Peels

These chewy treats can be purchased but also are easy to make, and their tangy flavors are enhanced by a quick dip in a pool of dark chocolate.

Marshmallows

These may not be as sophisticated as some of the other dipping tidbits here, but when drenched in warm chocolate they just melt in your mouth. Full-sized marshmallows are preferred, since both tines of the fondue fork can be pushed through them to secure them during dipping and the subsequent transfer to the plate.

Firm Cake Cubes

Pick a type of cake that won't crumble when you spear it on the fork or dip it into the pot, such as angel food or pound cake.

Frozen Brownie Cubes

Buy or make an uncut pan of brownies. Freeze the brownie slab and then cut it into bite-sized cubes. Keep them in the freezer until serving time. A chocoholic's dream!

Frozen Cheesecake Cubes

Buy or make a crustless cheesecake (or slice off the crumb crust neatly). Freeze it until very firm, then cut it into cubes. (Use a very sharp knife dipped in hot water, wiping off the blade with a paper towel and dipping it in hot water again before each new cut.) Put the cheesecake cubes back into the freezer until serving time so they won't melt or fall apart when they are dipped into the warm chocolate. Sinfully delicious!

Ladyfingers

Purchased ladyfingers are fine. Homemade are even better!

Meringue Cookies

You can use either purchased or homemade. If you want to spear them with a fork, choose the kind that has a thin, crisp outer shell and is chewy in the inside. If you're baking your own meringues, try piping them into long rods so that you can hold at them one end and dip the other end into the fondue without your fingers getting inside the pot.

Crisp Lace Cookies

These are definitely finger food. Buy or make the kind that is rolled around a wooden spoon handle while hot, giving you a convenient handle for dipping.

Tip: When making any lace cookie recipe, make sure to leave lots of room between the mounds of cookie batter, since this type of cookie spreads a lot during baking; it's easy to end up with a single, huge cookie that covers then entire cookie sheet. Also, although many recipes tell you to cover the cookie sheets with greased aluminum foil, I find that using greased baking parchment works better.

Chewy Coconut or Almond Macaroons

Dip them frozen or at room temperature for a luscious treat.

Pretzel Rods

Salty pretzels and sweet, dark chocolate are a match made in heaven! Pretzel rods sturdy enough so they won't break and long enough to be dipped into the warm fondue without falling into the pot (or having anyone's fingers inside it to retrieve a dropped tidbit).

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with chocolate.

- Linda Grayson

Fondue Etiquette: Do's and Don'ts

Eating fondue involves more than just dunking and eating. Here are the rules of the road, which I picked up mostly from my parents (who traveled through Switzerland extensively and loved throwing fondue parties), although I also consulted a few online sources.

Spear Each Dipping Tidbit Securely

Spear a chunk of fruit, cube of cake, etc. with the tip of your fondue fork and push the tidbit far enough onto the tines so that the little fins on the ends pierce all the way through the food. This will help prevent your tasty morsel from falling off the fork and into the pot (or onto the table).

Keep Track of Your Fondue Fork

Most are color coded at the tips of the handles. Before you dip, check your fork to see which color is on the handle tip. That way, if you and someone else accidentally drop your forks in the pot, it will be easy to identify which fork belongs to whom.

Dip But Don't Drip

These tips will help you avoid the dreaded drip:

  1. Dip your speared tidbit it into the fondue to coat it, then lift it just above the surface of the but not all the way out of the pot.
  2. Rest the elongated neck of the fondue fork on the edge of the pot for a few seconds to let the excess drip back into the pot.
  3. Rotate the fork slowly as you lift your dipped tidbit out of the pot and onto your plate.
  4. If you're still having trouble with drips, you may bring your plate next to the pot, lift the dipped morsel so the plate is under it and keep them in that relative position as you bring them back to your place setting.

Transfer the Dipped Tidbits Before Eating Them

In general, the rule is that the fork that goes into the fondue should never go near your mouth. So transfer your dipped tidbit from your fondue fork onto your plate, then spear the coated morsel with a dinner or salad/dessert fork before lifting it to your lips.

Note: For most people, this is simply a matter of good manners (and hygiene). However, there are people who think it's fine for each participant to use the same fork for both dipping and eating. If you are one of them, I strongly recommend checking with your guests in advance to find out how they feel about it.

Don't Double-Dip!

Dipping a morsel into the pot again after you have bitten into it is considered a serious faux pas, not to mention unhygienic. So when you dip your tidbit, make sure to coat the entire piece with as much of the melted chocolate as you will want.

Forks Versus Fingers

Many people consider dipping food with their fingers to be unsanitary and ill mannered. It also can result in burned fingers. The exception is dipping items that cannot be speared with a fondue fork, such as rolled, crisp wafer cookies or long pretzel rods. In that situation, only the tip of the food should be dipped so your fingertips don't come near the communal fondue. You may want to check with your guests to see how they feel about this issue before serving them dippers that can't be speared with a fork. If no one in the party objects, go for it!

Fruit Skewers Make Great Dessert Fondue Dippers

© 2012 Margaret Schindel

Have a Favorite Chocolate Fondue Recipe, Tip or Tradition to Share?

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    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you, Nancy! I've been making this recipe in one form or another since my college days, and it never fails to please. And it takes only a few minutes and a few ingredients, too! Enjoy :)

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 2 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Sounds good to me, I love fondue, especially when it's chocolate!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @OhMe - Nancy, the electric one I recommend in the article has some awesome features. If you do decide to buy an electric fondue pot I encourage you to consider that one. Thanks so much for your visit!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 2 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Yummy. I haven't made Fondue since the 70's and now I'm thinking I need to purchase an electric one.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      @PattiJAdkins: Thanks, Patti! So glad you enjoyed my chocolate fondue recipe! :D

    • PattiJAdkins profile image

      PattiJAdkins 3 years ago

      Hi from a chocoholic. Great lens!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Sylvestermouse: Thanks so much, dear Mouse! It's wonderful to have you come for a visit and a bite of dark chocolate fondue. :D

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Wednesday-Elf: Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Elf! It's never too early - or too late - for a luscious bite of chocolate fondue. ;) Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      @BuckHawkcenter: Thanks so much for your wonderful feedback and for sharing this on Review This! I'm off to have a look. :D

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 3 years ago from United States

      Chocolate fondue sounds fabulous to me!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 3 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      It's only 8:00 a.m., yet now I'm drawn to having some chocolate fondue with my morning coffee. Everything looks and sounds so delicious! :)

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 3 years ago

      The Squidoo Chocoholic Contributor is in love with this chocolate fondue recipe. Perfect for any "sophisticated" dessert. It's been shared on Review This!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Charlotte Realtor: Thanks so much, Charlotte! It's really wonderful any time, and it makes a really romantic dessert for Valentine's Day. :)

    • Charlotte Realtor profile image

      Charlotte Realtor 3 years ago

      This would have been perfect for the holidays! We'll have it for next year! GREAT lens!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      @TransplantedSoul: My sentiments exactly! ;) Enjoy!

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 3 years ago

      Honey and Cognac? - Wow - who could resist?

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @BLouw: Thanks so much, Barbara! I hope you enjoy it!

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 4 years ago from France

      This looks delicious. Must try a chocolate fondue. I especially like the cognac bit - as I live in France not too far from Cognac.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @clevergirlname: Thanks - I hope you enjoy it! :)

    • clevergirlname profile image

      clevergirlname 4 years ago

      My goodness, I'm hungry. I need to get some chocolate fondue going.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Gypzeerose: Thanks so much, Rose dear! I'm so glad you enjoyed it and I really appreciate your adding it to your own lens on the best cheese fondue. :)

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      Back to visit this delicious lens. I added it to my own lens: http://www.squidoo.com/best-cheese-fondue - so that when I had a fondue party I have all my ducks in a row. Congrats on the purple star: I think it was the fondue etiquette that cinched that for you , it was really funny.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @AlleyCatLane: Thanks, Carolyn! Sorry - didn't mean to torture you. ;) I don't have a caramel fondue recipe, but that sounds like a great idea! :)

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @goldenrulecomics: I adore them both, myself. :)

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Nancy Hardin: Thanks so much, Nancy! I'm delighted that you enjoyed it so much. :)

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 4 years ago

      You're killing me!!! I can't have chocolate anymore since I had to give up caffeine. Do you make a caramel version? Congrats on your purple star!

    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 4 years ago

      I do enjoy chocolate fondue, though I find a little bit goes a long way. But I could eat cheese fondue all night long...

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      A simply delicious lens, love all the tips too on a successful fondue! Congratulations on your purple star! Well done!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Ruthi: Thank you so much, Ruthi! I'm over the moon about it. :)

    • profile image

      Ruthi 4 years ago

      Congratulations on the Squidoo Purple Star on this delightfully delicious fondue lens!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Ruthi: Ruthi, we definitely will have to remedy that omission in your experience! Chocolate fondue - especially this one - is an experience not to be missed by those of us who try to savor life's joys. I'm glad your Aunt Martha Bell would have gotten a few good chuckles reading about the kissing and wine related traditional forfeits for losing one's dipping tidbits in the fondue pot. (You can bet that a lot of fondue eating revelers have dropped their tidbits on purpose!) ;)

    • profile image

      Ruthi 4 years ago

      Honestly, I have never experienced the decadent pleasure of fondue! (Yes, I lead a sheltered life, then and now.) However, I can surely say your Honey, Cognac, and Chocolate Fondue has me wanting to! And yes, this would surely have my Aunt Martha Bell laughing, especially with all that tradition of kissing going on at the fondue pot!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @ArtByLinda: Thanks so much for your wonderful comment, Linda! You just put a big smile on my face. :)

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 4 years ago from Idaho

      Oh my gosh, now my mouth is watering and I am craving chocolate fondue! This is a decadent lens, love it!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Corrinna-Johnson: Thanks for your lovely feedback, Corrinna! I love the combination of nuts and chocolate, too, which s one of the reasons I like using Toblerone chocolate for this recipe, since it contains honey and almond nougat. I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe!

    • Corrinna-Johnson profile image

      Corrinna Johnson 4 years ago from BC, Canada

      Yummy lens! We eat fruit and chocolate fondue for dessert a couple times a month....sometimes I stir in a big spoonful of peanut butter.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @LadyDuck: Many thanks for your lovely comment! I hope you'll let me know how you like my fondue after you have a chance to prepare it this weekend. :)

    • profile image

      LadyDuck 4 years ago

      Beautiful lens, the week-end is approaching, I know what I will prepare for dessert!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Paul Ward: Thanks, Paul! Nice to see you here. I'm the same way...which is why I recommend getting some of the bite-size Toblerone bars to snack on while you make the fondue. ;)

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 4 years ago from Liverpool, England

      I'd probably eat the chocolate before the fondue started but I'm greedy.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @askformore lm: Thanks very much! If you love the movie Chocolat as much as I do, I hope you'll pop over to my lens about it. I think you'll enjoy it! :)

    • askformore lm profile image

      askformore lm 4 years ago

      I love fondue - all styles.

      And btw I do agree with you that Chocolat is a great movie

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Brandi Bush: I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I hope you get a chance to try making it this Valentine's Day. :)

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 4 years ago from Maryland

      I've never made chocolate fondue, but this looks so luxurious! What a perfect, romantic Valentine's Day treat! :)

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @artmarks: I hope you enjoy it! :)

    • profile image

      artmarks 4 years ago

      Your lens made me hungry :-P I need to try one of that chocolate fondue they look delicious.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @chocolatefanuk: So glad you enjoyed it!

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      chocolatefanuk 4 years ago

      Perfect for a Chocolate Fan like me, great. thanks

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @KimGiancaterino: I hope you enjoy making (and eating) this chocolate fondue, Kim! :)

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @MaggiePowell: I hope you and your kids enjoy it! :)

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