28 December 2014

Celebrate The Art of Cheese with a Twist on a Retro Cheese Fondue with Herbed Crostini and Apples

#castelloart @castellousa

This post is part of “The Art of Cheese”, a partnership between Honest Cooking and Castello Cheese.

As seen on Honest Cooking - Retro foods like macaroni and cheese, tuna casserole, chicken pot pie and crepes Suzette have made a much needed come back in recent years. Dishes that last saw the light of day when comfort foods ruled the roost have been reinvented with new twists and flavour profiles. If you thought prawn cocktails had vanished into the netherworld along with shoulder pads and Bananarama chart hits, think again.

Retro foods are having a moment in culinary circles, as gourmands and trend-setters delve into the past to breathe fresh life into timeworn classics. Handed down from generation to generation on stained recipe cards and in tattered notebooks, comforting retro foods are staples for anyone wanting a hearty meal and a little taste of home. Decadent foods can and will always be a part of our future but you can still be magnetically drawn to the table by recreating tasty, heart healthy versions of these retro foods such as a heartwarming cheese fondue. 

In the fall as part of "The Art of Cheese Campaign" I was sent a shipment of Castello® Aged Havarti. My first inclination was try it in its simplest form to determine its characteristics.  On the tongue it was discovered this milky white cheese has a nutty flavour with a hint of saltiness. It was a perfect pairing for a dab of Blackberry Fennel Jam and some crisp fall apples. Next I tried crisp homemade flatbreads warm from the oven, sprinkled with a generous amount of aged havarti and drizzled with honey. Pure heaven. 

This creamy tasting cheese has a rich buttery aroma. Castello® Aged Havarti cheese is based on an authentic Danish recipe for this classic cheese dating back to 1952. They follow traditional cheese making methods and age the cheese over a 12 month period. During the yearlong maturation, a crumbly and yet creamy texture forms, as well as a rich, buttery flavour with underlying tangy notes. Castello® has a tradition of creating innovative new cheeses, dozens of varieties, intriguing flavours and unusual shapes – all that tell their own unique story.

I knew all along that a nutty cheese fondue would be in my future as soon as my cheese arrived. This fondue is a revamp of one of my family favourites with the addition of garlic, fresh basil and sun dried tomatoes. Understanding the melting properties, flavours and textures of different cheeses can help you select the cheese that's just right in recreating your own rewarding version of this dish. It is important to choose a cheese that melts well such as this Aged Havarti from Castello®All this luscious cheese is scooped up by garlic and herb-flavoured oven-crisped croutons and crisp seasonal apples.

Castello Cheese
**Cheese Fondue with Herbed Crostini and Apples**


3-1/2 cups (1 lb/450 g) Castello Aged Havarti, grated
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 cloves garlic
1 cup white wine
¼ cup cornstarch, enough to coat the cheese
1-2 sun-dried tomatoes, finely diced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, julienned
Kosher or sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Grated nutmeg to taste
Shot of Tabasco
2 tablespoons Kirsch or Sherry
2 - 3 crisp seasonal apples, sliced


½ baguette
¼ stick butter
½ teaspoon garlic, crushed
Fresh herbs of choice (basil, oregano, sage, rosemary)

To Make Fondue: Smash the garlic cloves and rub inside of heavy saucepan; then discard the garlic.

Put saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat and add the white wine, scraping with a wooden spoon to dissolve the garlic residue. Toss the grated cheese in a small bowl with cornstarch, add the cheese mixture to the saucepan a little at a time unit melted; stir to prevent scorching. When melted, add the sun-dried tomato, basil, Kirsch or Sherry, nutmeg and Tabasco. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve with crostini and sliced apples for dipping. Remember, if you drop a piece of bread or apple into the fondue you have to kiss the person next to you.

To Make Crostini: Slice baguette into ¼-inch slices. Melt butter, granulated garlic and herbs, then brush or drizzle on the bread slices. Bake at 350°F for approximately 10-15 minutes, turning over once, until golden brown.

Serves 4 

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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  1. Pretttyyy sure I could eat an entire pot of this cheese with no problem. It looks amazing! :)


  2. I pinned this but the way I love cheese I am not sure it was a good idea. This sounds delicious.

  3. Love this "grown-up" fondue.
    Happy New Year.

  4. Mmmhhh, delicious! This retro fondue must taste really good.

    Best wishes for the New Year!



  5. I've never met a cheese that I don't like, including the smelly ones. I am so glad fondue is coming back. We probably got three as wedding presents in the late sixties.
    Happy New Year Val,

  6. Was just thinking of cheese fondue to use up left over cheese and wine! Perfect timing of this post. Thank you!

  7. I love fondue! I have the pot and wish I could use it more, but I'm married to the guy who hates cheese. I only ever use it for large parties. This sounds so good. I always traditionally think of fondue using bread for dipping. I know I also use chicken strips and vegetables, but I don't know why I never thought of apples or other fruits.

  8. Dear Val hope you had a lovely Christmas!
    I want whish you a beauty and Happy Newyear!!

  9. This is such a classic and so delicious! A big pot of fondue in front of a fire in the winter sounds perfect.

  10. I have not had a cheese fondue in ages! What a stunning idea for a Sunday night at home :)

  11. Love that you added sun-dried tomatoes and nutmeg, such a elegant dish.

  12. I completely agree Val . . . it's time for the oldies but goodies (retro now) to have a splash of a comeback. I haven't had fondue in years and need to blow off the dust of the old pan and make this for a good night in! Love it! Wishing you a wonderful, happy, blessed and delicious 2015!

  13. My family loves fondue and it's a tradition to serve it on Christmas and New Year's Eve. I usually just cube up a good loaf of French bread but your little toasts sound so much better, Val. Best wishes for a healthy and very Happy New Year.

  14. I'm planning a fondue recipe as part of a sponsored post and this has given me lots of inspiration, thanks, it looks soooo incredible!

  15. Love cheese fondue, love retro food.... Made my mother's scalloped potatoes with ham the other night

  16. Ahhhh the "Art of Cheese" - definitely some of my favorite words EVER! I recently visited a friend of mine who made fondue for me - I had forgotten how delicious it was. I look forward to trying your recipe soon probably paired with a delicious Chardonnay. Thanks for sharing!


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