I envy those of you who live in warmer, sunnier climes who can plan a barbecue weeks ahead and know there's a good chance that when the day arrives you won't be stressing about the weather and constantly scouring the sky for rain clouds! As the weather here in Northumberland can be a tad unpredictable, in our house our barbecues are usually planned a maximum of 2 hours in advance when we're sure it'll stay warm enough and dry enough not to be worried about whether we'll be cooking in our raincoats. It's then a case of dashing down to the supermarket to get barbecue supplies when, more often than not, everyone else in the neighbourhood has had the same idea so inevitably, burger buns, charcoal and any kind of meat that can be cooked over hot coals has already been snapped up.
Because of this, we don't have barbecues very often so when we do I always like to make an occasion of it and have a nice dessert to finish off. This one is delicious - a bowl of chocolate sauce with a selection of sweet, juicy fruits to dip in it - and is so quick and easy that I don't need to spend hours in the kitchen and miss out on all the fun! Also, as it can all be served on one plate with a fork (or even a wooden skewer) for each guest to use for dipping it saves on the washing up too!
This is such an easy dessert it doesn't really need a recipe but here goes...
Chocolate Fondue Recipe
Notes: This makes enough for 3-4 people to dip with around 750g of fruit. To increase the quantity is simple - just use the same weight of chocolate to volume of cream i.e. 100g chocolate to 100ml cream, 150g chocolate to 150g cream and so on.
If your making this only for adults, 1-2 tsp of liqueur could be added, for example Cointreau for a chocolate orange sauce, Amaretto for an almond flavour or Tia Maria for a mocha sauce.
For the fruit, raspberries, strawberries and banana are my favourite but other fruit such as mango and orange segments are also nice. Shortbread is a lovely option too.
100g chocolate (use milk, dark, white or a combination)
100ml double cream
1-2tsp liqueur (optional - see note above)
Selection of fruit or biscuits for dipping.
1. Place a bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure that the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl.
2. Break up the chocolate, place it in the bowl and warm it until it begins to melt, stirring occasionally.
3. Once the chocolate has melted gradually add the cream, stirring well to allow the mixture to form a smooth, silky sauce and to enable it to warm through.
4. If using, add the liqueur and stir this into the sauce at the end.
5. Pour the sauce into a bowl and arrange a selection of fruit or biscuits on a large plate. Provide forks or skewers for dipping.