Fondue: The Ultimate Cheese Sauce

Artisan Vegan Cheese: From Everyday to Gourmet is finally out! Shipping out of Amazon now, and available in bookstores soon as it winds through the distribution channels, I hope my new book will bring cheese back into your life. I know I promised back in my Sneak Peek post that I would share a recipe, but never did. I know, I am guilty of being among the most non-prolific of bloggers. One of the reasons is that photography is not one of my strengths, and as I cook, I usually forget to take a photo (ask my kids why we have a fraction of the photos of them growing up as other families. Being Japanese, I’m supposed to have a camera around my neck, but somehow, that part of my heritage escaped me.).  But last night, I remembered, and snapped a shot with my phone before the dish disappeared to a hungry group.

For the last three weeks, we have had the pleasure of hosting two French boys at our home. We have been doing an informal exchange of kids with a family from Toulouse for the past four years, our girls visiting their family, their boys coming to California to stay with us. The arrangement has been mutually delightful, and it’s been fun to see their foreign language skills develop over the years. I’ve also enjoyed cooking for teens that appreciate more than pizza and fries, and have delighted watching these growing boys devour each of my vegan meals, vegetables and all. Although I assure you that they are French in every way, the older one is seriously allergic to dairy, and has therefore never had cheese. He was fascinated by my vegan cheeses, and flipping through my new book, commented that he had never had fondue before. “Can you show me how to make it?” So for their last night here, I designed a fabulous menu that started out with the Gruyere Fondue from my book, followed by Almond-Cheddar Stuffed Artichokes, Roasted Tomato Risotto, and Arugula, Orange and Pine Nut Salad. (We’d been snacking on brownies all day, so I skipped dessert.) As I watched the boys scraping the sides of the bowl with chunks of bread and roasted veggies to gather up every last drop of delicious gooeyness, I chuckled at the thought of serving vegan fondue to the French.  But then I recalled the first time I served one of my vegan cheeses to French guests over thirty years ago, and how they remarked that they couldn’t tell it wasn’t cheese. I think that’s the goal of my book: to make cheeses that are close enough to the real thing that even the French can be fooled.

So, I share the recipe for my Gruyere Fondue at last. It’s remarkably easy to make, and you can skip the culturing if you like (we did last night). Go ahead and go beyond dunking chunks of bread in it – try roasted baby potatoes and mushrooms or lightly steamed broccoli and asparagus, serve it with a salad, and you’ve got yourself a meal. After all, it is the ultimate cheese sauce.

Gruyere Fondue


To make this, you’ll need to first make the Gruyere.


The cheese:

2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water for 3 – 8 hours
1/2 cup Rejuvelac, either commercial or homemade
1/4 cup refined coconut oil, melted (do not use extra-virgin unless you want it to taste like coconut)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 – 2 tablespoons medium brown miso
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

To make the cheese, drain the soaked cashews well, then put into a high-speed blender (if you are using a regular blender, soak the nuts for 6 – 8 hours) along with the other ingredients. Process until smooth and creamy. You can use this right away, or transfer to a clean dish, cover, and leave at room temperature for 24 – 48 hours to culture and deepen in flavor. For the fondue, it’s not really necessary, as the wine will add another layer of flavor.

The fondue:

Put the cheese into the top of a double boiler or a fondue dish and mix in well, using a wire whisk:

1 cup dry white wine

Heat the mixture until very hot. Stir into the mixture, whisking well:

3 tablespoons tapioca flour dissolved in 2 – 3 tablespoons of water

Cook until the mixture is thick, stretchy, and shiny. To serve, keep it over the double boiler or a votive candle. If you prefer, you can thin it out with a little more wine or water. Serve with warm chunks of French bread or ciabbata, or an assortment of roasted or steamed veggies. Bon apetit!

 

Comments

  1. I just received your book from Amazon.com. I have my rejuvelac ‘cooking’. But, I went to the store and couldn’t find a deodorized, refined coconut oil. Is there a brand you like that can be found online?

    • Linda, both Spectrum and Whole Foods have a refined coconut oil. I usually get it at Whole Foods, but Spectrum’s should be available online. Good luck with the rejuvelac!

  2. Thank you for sharing this recipe, Miyoko! I’m still hugely looking forward to your cheese book. As soon as I have a Rejuvelac going, I’ll give this a go!

  3. ARTISAN VEGAN CHEESE ARRIVED TODAY! I am not exaggerating when I say I have NEVER been more excited about a cookbook EVER! All the photos look amazing and I can’t wait to get into it! (I even have brown rice soaking with me at work so I can get the rejuvelac started tonight!)

    Sorry, a lot of exclamation marks, but I really am super excited. Thank you 🙂

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I tasted this at the SF Veg Fest last weekend, and it was amazing. Exactly how I remember cheese fondue to taste.

    Now, I’m planning a Fondue Party centered around this recipe!

    Do you think I can cook it the day before with the wine and then put it in the fondue pots to melt the day of the party?

    • Charlie, yes, you can, but it’s almost as easy to do it right before serving. Remember that it thickens a lot as it cools, so you might have to add some more wine (heaven forbid!) when you reheat it. Enjoy!

    • Thank you for the tips! I think I will just cook it right before the party. I can’t wait!!

    • The fondue was a big hit at my party!!

      I couldn’t find refined coconut oil so I made it with Spectrum non-hydrogenated shortening, and that seemed to be great! Also, I used sparkling pinot grigio from Trader Joe’s.

  6. Hi Miyoko! I am actually from Toulouse too! What a coincidence. I heard about your book a few days ago and read a lot of raving reviews. I am going to get it as soon as I can and start cheesing. Maybe for Christmas I can have a vegan cheese plate!

  7. Miyoko, this fondue is so delicious!!! My daughter and I made the finished product last night using rejuvelac we made from quinoa. It’s become our new “favorite”! Thank you so much 🙂

  8. I made this fondue recipe from the cookbook over the weekend. It came out so well! I’m pretty sure you could fool and please any omni crowd with this vegan concoction!

  9. Alas, if I weren’t so allergic to cashews, I think I’d love every recipe. My vegan cheese quest continues.

  10. First of all, thank you for sharing all these wonderful recipes.

    Which nutirtional yeast brands do you use ? (The one I tried didn’t taste good).
    Thanks

    • I use Red Star. I buy it from the bulk bin. Make sure you’re using nutritional yeast and not brewer’s yeast. The latter is not tasty at all.

      • Have you purchased the nutritional yeast they carry on bulkfoods.com ?
        The product page says it is red star but since it is not packaged in the regular red star bottle, I want to make sure before ordering that it is the type you use, since my previous purchase of nutritional yeast was not very good.

        Thanks

  11. Nietzscha says:

    This sounds really good, but I’ve never tried making Rejuvelac… seems a bit scary! Also, would white miso be an okay substitute for the brown? I’ve got white, but not the brown. Stuff like that is hard to come by where I live (the nearest Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s is over an hour away!)

    • I understand how you feel about rejuvelac being scary. Actually, fermentation has been a way of preserving food for thousands of years. Lactic acid bacteria helps keep food alive and fresh! Try quinoa – it’s fast and easy. And yes, white miso works fine.

  12. Hello, Does it have to be coconut oil? or can you use another type of oil? Canola?

  13. I miss fondue so much. I am going to give this recipe a shot next weekend. One question: I am allergic to soy (so devastating) but want to get this as close as possible. Can you recommend a substitute, or can I try soy-free (chickpea) miso?

  14. I follow the guidelines of Esselstyn and McDougall so a quarter cup of coconut oil is a big no no. Can it be omitted? If it is primarily for flavor, could a drop of extract work? Thanks, I’m hoping Santa brings me the book!

    • Lance, I fully understand, because I am mostly oil-free myself in my daily life. I use oil only when there is an absolute culinary need, and mostly for special occasion-dishes. I also teach in the McDougall program (and have for over a decade), so I hear you! For some reason, the refined coconut oil adds the flavor that makes it taste like Gruyere. It’s still cheesy and delicious without, so you can definitely make it without it. You’ll find that most of the recipes in the book do not contain oil (just a handful do, mostly the meltable ones, although my next book will have a couple of oil-free meltable cheeses). Merry Christmas!

  15. Hi, just having made cashew queso dip, i am amazed at how nuts can taste like cheese. Your recipe looks great, but I’m wondering, since Gruyere and swiss taste nutty, how would using raw almonds work? what about using kirsch brandy, used often in the swiss fondu?

    This looks fun and I can’t wait to try it with slices of roasted venison and good artisan toast at our Christmas party.Thanks and Merry Christmas!

  16. I love your book! I was wondering if it would be possible to substitute olive oil for refined coconut oil in this recipe?

    • Well, you can always substitute, but it won’t have the same flavor. There is just a hint of the coconut in refined coconut oil, which somehow, mysteriously gives it a Gruyere flavor.

  17. Miyoko, what can be used instead of cashews and what can be used instead of canola oil in the various recipes in your book ?
    Thanks

    • Almond, it all depends on the results you want. You can substitute any neutral oil for the canola, but if you are worried about what you’ve read on the internet about canola, it’s been debunked. Organic or non-GMO canola is a fine oil to use. The best nuts for each cheese is recommended — some cheeses use pine nuts or almonds, for example. If you substitute other nuts, they will culture, but they won’t be the same. It’s like using goat milk instead of cow’s — you’ll still get cheese, but just a different kind.

      • Thanks for answering. I have a few more questions.
        1. What would be the best substitutes for cashews in terms of creaminess and for how many hours should it be soaked for ?
        2. Regarding the miso, when you say medium brown, do you mean genmai miso or shiro miso ?
        3. The cream cheese, fermented for about 30 hours, was very thick and very spreadable, but it had a bit of a chalky taste, and it was sour, not spoiled, but not at all like the subtle sweetness of cream cheese.
        Made it again fermenting for only 12 hours and it turned out much softer, not as thick, still had that strange taste, and though less sour, it still had a sour taste to it.
        How can the sourness be prevented ?
        Thank you

      • Thanks for answering. I have a few more questions.
        1. What would be the best substitutes for cashews in terms of creaminess and for how many hours should it be soaked for ?
        2. Regarding the miso, when you say medium brown, do you mean genmai miso or shiro miso ?
        3. The cream cheese, fermented for about 30 hours, was very thick and very spreadable, but it had a bit of a chalky taste, and it was sour, not spoiled, but not at all like the subtle sweetness of cream cheese.
        Made it again fermenting for only 12 hours and it turned out much softer, not as thick, still had that strange taste, and though less sour, it still had a sour taste to it.
        How can the sourness be prevented ?
        Thank you

  18. Hi Miyoko, I’ve been making cheese using your book for many months now, it’s great!
    One question, what is the best way to cut a sharp cheddar block? using a knife seems to stick to the cheese
    and it makes it difficult to cut the cheese into small cubes.
    If I could make the cheese a little firmer – harder – it may be OK.
    I love your book, all my dairy eating friends can’t believe the cheese is not made from dairy.
    Many many thanks.
    Barry – from “down under”

  19. This sounds amazing. My vegan boyfriend and I have been invited to a fondue party this weekend and I want to make some of this to take!

    Can you tell me what I can substitute for rejuvelac? I do not have the time (or, I fear, the skills) to make it. Is there any readily-available, instant replacement?

    Thanks so much. Can’t wait to try this 🙂

    • Sorry, also need to know: do the cashews have to be allowed to dry after soaking or can they go straight into the blender?

      Thanks!

    • For rejuvelac, you actually could spend 5 minutes using quinoa and have it by Friday or Saturday. It sprouts in 24 hours. But otherwise, you can try diluting the juice from sauerkraut. It’s not quite the same, however.

      • Thank you so much. Do you mean just buying a jar of saukraut, draining it and then diluting that? Can you tell me how much I would need to dilute it?

        • I make faux rejuvelac by mixing one capsule (about 1/8 tsp) vegan probiotic powder with 1 cup water. You can either let it sit and ferment a bit on its own before using it or mix it into the cheese right away and let the cheese ferment–it works like a charm!

  20. Made this tonight after seeing you at the Farm Sanctuary Hoe Down in NY. It was really tasty, but not quite as flavorful as yours. I think I’ll need to let it “culture” a bit more next time to get that extra depth of flavor, or add that extra tablespoon of miso.

    Making rejuvelac was scary, but I guess I did a good job since it tasted alright 🙂

    Can’t wait to try some different recipes from your book…I need cheddar in my life!

    • There is definitely a learning curve to cheese making. Glad you’re giving it a try! I’m glad you enjoyed the things I made at the Hoe Down!

  21. I finally made rejuvelac; not only was it easy, but it meant I could finally try out some of the recipes you do.

    This fondue tastes exactly like the Swiss gruyère kind. I could serve this to anyone and they wouldn’t know it was vegan and non-soy!

    I had to use cornstarch as I was out of tapioca and it turned out just fine.

    I bought your cookbook as well; the fresh mozzarella is in process and the basic cashew is curing still to make the tomato-basil chèvre.

    You are a true artist.

    Thank you!

Trackbacks

  1. […] As far as gooey, cheesy sauces go, I really want to try the Cashew Queso from Isa at the Post Punk Kitchen, as well as Miyoko Schinner’s recipe for her Ultimate Cheese Fondue. […]

  2. […] Most everyone seems to agree that fondue is very romantic/sexy.  If you have Vegan Artisan Cheese, Miyoko has a recipe using the cheeses in her book.  Dip whatever you want in […]

  3. […] Miyoko! Our supper club guests were swooning over your version of vegan gruyere… I demoed it, but all the credit goes to you. I will add that if you want to make this […]

  4. […] haven’t tried The Ultimate Cheese Sauce yet, but I plan to. It looks super creamy and cheesy. The ingredient list isn’t too scary, and […]

  5. […] Most everyone seems to agree that fondue is very romantic/sexy.  If you have Vegan Artisan Cheese, Miyoko has a recipe using the cheeses in her book.  Dip whatever you want in […]

  6. […] como referências 2 receitas para criar esta. Esta com batatas (aqui) e esta com castanhas de caju (aqui). Usei a mandioquinha no lugar da batata e adicionei o polvilho azedo para ficar meio azedinho, […]

Speak Your Mind

*