Truffle fondue is a simple dish that always brings enormous pleasure. Imagine a large warm container full of ropy cheese, the taste of crispy bread pieces and the distinctive scent of truffles filling the room; a truly magical moment of taste and shared enjoyment.
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How to make truffle fondue
Preparation time: half an hour (plus soaking the cheese)
Before you start: soaking the cheese
Remove the rind from the Fontina and cut the cheese into very thin strips or, alternatively, into very small cubes. Put it into a container and cover it completely with milk, leaving it to soak in a cool place for at least 5-6 hours.
I always do this the evening before, leaving the cheese in the milk overnight; I have read recipes that talk about half an hour to an hour maximum of soaking, but I prefer to stick to the advice in old recipe books. :)
I personally believe that soaking the cheese, if done well, gives that extra touch that makes the end result even creamier. I also like to think that a longer soaking helps to avoid lumps; none of this is proven by science, but I can assure you that the result is exceptional :)
So, including soaking the cheese, these are the procedures you need to follow to prepare a good truffle fondue:
In an old recipe I found this somewhat cryptic phrase: 'Place the casserole dish in a pot containing boiling water'. Basically, after combining all the ingredients, you should melt the mixture in a bain-marie. Unfortunately I don't have the right equipment, and have never tried it, but with a low enough flame the fondue turns out very well and without lumps, so I don't feel the urge to try this version. :)
What you can read here is a very traditional version of the white truffle fondue, but there are many ways to make it and countless variations. For example, using black truffle is not bad at all, considering the fact that white truffle is only available at a certain time of year and is certainly much more expensive than the black one. Remember, however, to grate some of the black truffle and add it to the mixture in the last few minutes of cooking, as this will allow the truffle to release all its rich flavour.
Another possible option is to insert 2-3 full eggs and only a couple of yolks. The result is probably a creamier texture, but I couldn't observe any significant differences so far. Others, however, do not like the Fontina cheese and add Fontal or other mild-tasting cheeses; finding the right mix of cheeses can be very worthwhile, especially for those who are already familiar with this recipe.
But what pairs well with fondue? Polenta, the boiled cornmeal classic, of course. Its delicate flavour perfectly complements the creamy cheese, enhancing the flavour of the truffle. And if you want to complete the dish with the right wine, I recommend buying a good bottle of Barolo or, in general, a solid, full-bodied red wine, preferably produced in Piedmont.