Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve

We have a quasi tradition of having a really nice dinner with the family on New Year's eve. It is a good way to keep everyone indoors and away from potential danger out and about late in the evening. So we would get a rib roast, and all the trimmings and have a fun time celebrating the arrival of a new year.

This year, the kids are all away. So will we still have a huge celebration? Nah. We'll still have some good food and a few treats, but it will be just the both of us this year. I know the middle daughter is having a few friends over, as is the youngest one, I'm sure. What will they serve? What else but their favorite: Fondue!

Yes, they love fondue! All kinds, cheese, hot oil for meats and tempura, and then a delicious chocolate dessert fondue. I think the love of fondue was set in stone with each of them when they were in elementary school. I volunteered to help with holiday classroom parties and the easiest treat on the planet is a chocolate fondue! How so? Simple.

You begin with a crockpot. On Low. Add 2 packages of Duncan Hines Chocolate Fudge frosting and warm. TaDa! It's that simple. Yes, I know Duncan Hines. Ugh. But if you want a no fuss quick dessert, there isn't anything better. Add some sliced bananas, some cherries, a few marshmallows and some chopped walnuts, pineapple chunks and almost anything else you can think of to dip into chocolate. People will be entertained for hours. Yes.

I cannot hit publish unless I add a real recipe for chocolate fondue either so here you go. The reason I hesitate to share is that is is complicated and can easily burn if you're not careful.

1 cups premium cocoa powder, sifted (I like Penzey's Natural Cocoa Powder)
1 1/4 cups spring water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup plus 5 tablespoons heavy cream
5 ounces 62% Scharffen Berger or any premium semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces

Sift the cocoa into mixing bowl and set aside. Place the water, sugar, and corn syrup into a pot and bring to boil. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes until sugar solution has reduced by about 30%. Pour the cocoa powder into the solution and blend with a whisk until smooth. Return the chocolate mixture to the stove and continue cooking over medium heat. Add heavy cream, bring to boil and allow to simmer for five minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in chopped chocolate. Pour into fondue pot and keep warm.

Oh my all this talk is making me hungry! I think we might have to break out the fondue pot tonight!

Happy New Year Everyone!