Chocolate fondue is one of the most agreeable of desserts: it demands little of the cook — if you can melt chocolate, you can make it — and pleases just about everyone in return. At its essence a very, very thick hot chocolate, it also lends itself beautifully to experimentation, in terms of both the flavors you can infuse it with and the items you can dip into it.
This version of chocolate fondue comes from Fany Gerson, the founder of La Newyorkina and one of our very favorite pastry chefs. She infuses the chocolate with dried chiles, which impart a pleasingly spicy note that cuts through the fondue’s richness. If you don’t want to use dried chiles, Gerson recommends using chile powder instead — just add a pinch as you mix in the other ingredients. Although “the flavor won’t be as earthy or intense,” she says, “you will be able to control the spice a bit more.” For dipping, she recommends everything from ice cream balls to potato chips — but again, the only limitation here is your imagination.
Spicy Chocolate Fondue Recipe
Serves 6 to 8
For the fondue:
1¼ cups heavy cream
1-2 small dried chiles such as chipotle, morita, or arbol (if you want it really spicy)
4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Large pinch salt
Frozen ice cream balls
Step 1: In a small saucepan over low heat, heat the heavy cream until it’s hot to the touch.
Step 2: Meanwhile, toast the chiles in a dry saucepan over medium heat to extract their aroma, a minute or so on both sides. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the chiles cool for a few minutes, then add the cream. Bring to a simmer, then turn off the heat and cover. Let sit for 10-20 minutes to extract the chiles’ heat and flavor.
Step 3: Once the chiles are done steeping, strain the cream through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl. If you want a spicier fondue, you can combine the cream and chiles in a blender and then strain the mixture. For a milder fondue, strain out the whole chiles and reheat the cream.
Step 4: Transfer the strained cream to a large saucepan and heat until it comes to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add the chocolates and salt. Whisk until melted, then transfer the mixture to a fondue pot to serve warm.
Fany Gerson is the James Beard Award-nominated chef and founder of La Newyorkina, Fan-Fan Doughnuts, and Mijo Mexican Kitchen.
Haley Hunt Davis is a Los Angeles- and Atlanta-based commercial photographer and director specializing in food and product.
Ryan Norton is a Los Angeles-based food stylist and recipe developer.
Prop styling by Avary Mitchell
Recipe tested by Ivy Manning