- 2 1/4 cups NB Kinderweisse, or a Berliner Weiss of your choice
- 1 Tbsp corn starch
- 1/2 lb. Chimay Grand Cru chees
- 1/2 lb. Emmenthaler cheese
- 1/2 lb. Appenzeller cheese
- 1/2 lb. Swiss or French raclette cheese
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- Cubed day-old country bread for dipping
- Fresh fruits such as apples, grapes or pears
Remove rinds from the various cheeses, then grate them together into a bowl or container, set aside. Whisk together 2 Tbsp beer with the cornstarch to dissolve in a small bowl, set aside. Whisk together 1/4 tsp baking soda in another small bowl with 2 Tbsp beer, set aside. Add the remaining beer beer to a 5-qt sauce pot and bring to a simmer. Whisk the corn starch and beer mixture into the simmering beer and continue to simmer for a couple minutes until it becomes noticeably thicker. Reduce heat to very low and the mixture is barely bubbling.
Reducing the heat is very critical here, if the mixture is left at a strong boil when the cheese is added, the proper emulsification will not happen and may separate. When a low gradual simmer is achieved, start melting in the grated cheeses in handfuls, stirring constantly to melt and emulsify.
Feel free to modify the cheese selections, but it is a good rule of thumb to avoid non-melting cheeses like feta or "lite" cheeses. Try to select moderate moisture and fat content cheeses. A classic mix is half Gruyere and half Emmenthaler cheeses, but feel free to experiment.
After all the cheese is melted and combined, stir in the baking soda mixture and the lemon juice. Season with a pinch or two of salt to your taste. Pour mixture into a fondue pot over low heat, but take care to not let the fondue get too hot. Serve with fresh fruits and cubes of day-old country bread. Don't forget to have more beer on hand and invite plenty of friends!
On a side note, if you happen to have an automatic bread machine lying about on your basement, perhaps ion the vicinity of your fondue pot, bring it out and prepare some bread. I happened to try baking a loaf of French bread but used Safbrew T-58 dried brewer's yeast instead of the standard bread yeast. Bake per your machine's instructions. The flavor differed tremendously from standard bread yeast, I suggest giving it a shot if you have the means.