So next up on this trip into the world of fondue is the chocolate fondue. While the cheese fondue has its origins from the Swiss, chocolate fondue is not quite but kind of Swiss and a much newer creation. It was the paired effort of Konrad Egli, the owner of New York’s Chalet Suisse restaurant, and Toblerone Chocolate. It was created in a Madison Avenue test kitchen by the Switzerland Association to promote the chocolate and Egli wanted something that his diet conscious customers would eat as they felt his desserts were too rich. Not sure how he thought chocolate fondue was not rich though…..
So on July 4, 1964, Egli introduced the chocolate fondue to his restaurant customers and it was a pretty big hit. Look Magazine, a popular magazine of the 1960s wrote that “what began as a publicity gimmick (to sell more chocolate, what else?) has taken off like a space dish”. People at home loved to served chocolate fondue as well. Dorothy Dean in her column in 1967 claimed that the dessert has “captured the fancy of the young…and young in heart” when she suggested a cinnamon scented chocolate fondue as the perfect dish for a Christmas party. Another article in 1969 told housewives that “when you really want to shine as a hostess serve Chocolate Fondue, just as a unique party treat”.
Chocolate fondue itself is fairly easy to make. It just takes heating up a chopped up Toblerone with cream until is melts and forms a sauce where it is traditionally flavored with Cointreau or Brandy. Then the whole thing is poured into a fondue pot and items such as pound cake, marshmallows or strawberries are dipped into it. As the popularity rose different variations started to appear such as using different chocolates or flavors like Kahlua or strong coffee.
Chocolate fondues don’t need high heats to keep the mixture warm. They should be kept warm enough to keep the mixture melted but not hot enough to burn the mouth. That is why many dessert fondue pots are ceramic and have a candle warmer.
Here is a fondue recipe from the 1969 Fondue Magic: Fun, Flame and Saucery by Anita Prichard. It is super easy and comes together really quickly. If you have any leftover fondue, this would be perfect drizzled over some ice cream.
A recipe for the classic chocolate fondue of thee 1960s.
- One 12 ounce Toblerone chocolate bar (or 12 ounces of any chocolate)
- 1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate
- 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- Optional: 2 ounces of Kirsch, cognac or Cointreau
- Whatever you want to dip into the fondue such as pound cake, doughnuts, marshmallows, strawberries, bananas or raspberries.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the chocolate in the cream while stirring frequently.
- Once blended and smooth, add the flavoring if use and stir till combined.
- Pour the chocolate fondue into the fondue pot. Light the candle and then place the pot on top of the burner.
- Spear your dippers and dunkables onto the fondue fork and swirl in the fondue.
- Using the Toblerone will take a few extra minutes to completely melt versus the chocolate due to the crunchy nougat inside. Just keep stirring it will all eventually melt but it also tastes just fine with some of those crunchy bits left in.
- I have tested this both with the flavorings added and without it and both are delicious so don’t feel you have to run out to get the liqueurs listed. You can flavor it with a teaspoon of vanilla or swap the two ounces of alcohol with coffee.
Anderson, Jean. The American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century. New York: Clarkson Potter Publishers, 1997.
Dean, Dorothy. “A Christmas Party-1967 Style”. The Spokesman Review. December 23, 1967.
Dooley, Don (Ed.). Better Homes and Gardens Fondue and Tabletop Cooking. New York: Better Homes and Gardens Books, 1970.
“For Chocolate Lovers”. The Dispatch. June 14, 1969.
Lovegren, Sylvia. Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads. New York: Macmillan General Reference, 1995.
Mariani, John F. The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink. New York: Bloomsbury, 2013.
Prichard, Anita. Fondue Magic: Fun, Flame and Saucery Around the World. New York: Hearthside Press Incorporated, 1969.
Stern, Jane and Stern, Michael. American Gourmet: Classic Recipes, Deluxe Delights, Flamboyant Favorites, and Swank “Company” Food from the ’50s and ’60s. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1991.