New Year’s Eve Chocolate Fun-due

Because you can’t have fondue without having fun!

Jump to the InstaRecipe if you’re in a rush and/or don’t want any Dad Advice! 

December 30, 2022.  Dear Kids– We love our holiday traditions and one of our favorites is New Year’s Eve Chocolate Fun-due with Granny Grab Bag Bingo!  

There couldn’t be a better treat like New Year’s Eve Fun-due to bring in the New Year- it can be made with as little as 2 ingredients, with optional additional flavors as you wish; comes together in minutes; converts to vegan if needed; is easily double or tripled, etc; and is a great way to give new life as a dipper to the sweets and savories you have in the house for the holidays or even better, ask your guests to bring along a dipper or two. Did I mention, the leftover make chocolate truffles too?  

GET YOUR STUFF OUT

  • 12 ounces (by volume) heavy cream
  • 12 ounces (by weight) chocolate chips or shaved chocolate- milk, semi sweet and/or dark
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
  • 1/2  teaspoon kosher salt, optional
  • Dippers, like fruit, cookies, marshmallows, pretzels and so many more (see The Lecture)
I like a semi-sweet/dark chocolate mix with the optional espresso powder and salt.

COOK AND PLAY

Play “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?”  by Ella Fitzgerald and let the fun-due begin! 

1.  Cream of the Crop.  Bring heavy cream and, if you wish stir in salt and/or espresso powder, to a simmer in a small saucepan or fondue pot.  (I forgot to add the espresso powder to the cream so I stirred it in at the end- no biggie).  Add chocolate, turn off heat and cover pan for a few minutes.  Whisk a few minutes until mixture is smooth.  

2.  Dippers.  Place fondue pot on heat proof surface or on fondue pot stand and serve fondue with whatever sounds good to you, like: berries, apples, shortbread or other cookies, pretzels, marshmallows, bacon, Rice Krispie Treats, caramel squares, cheesecake bites, potato chips, donut holes, maraschino cherries, shoestring fries, fruit cake (NOT!), etc.. 

Note. I usually avoid stereo burners, even with a fondue pot, to keep the fun-due warm. In my experience, the sterno is more of a gimmick than a legitimate heat source and the fondue stays dip-able off heat for as long as I have it out- if it didn’t, I’d just reheat briefly on the stove.

THE LECTURE

The Ratio.  It’s very easy to make as little or as much fun-due as you like- just remember the magic 1:1 ration- that’s 1 part heavy cream by volume (think Pyrex measuring cup) to 1 part chocolate by weight (think scale).  In the interest of science, I filled a 2 cup measuring cup with chocolate chips (volume) and it weighed 12 ounces (weight).  On the other hand, I also weighed 12 ounces in volume of cream and it weighed 12 ounces- go figure, I think it has something to do with the “A pint’s a pound the world around!” ditty, but that enough about that. In any event, it’s a very forgiving recipe, so if you’re off on the ratio a bit you should still be good- if not, just and more cream to thin or chocolate to thicken, as the case may be.

I would always confuse volume and weight measurements in middle school science- just as Mr. Clarke. In case you did too, the cream is in a measuring cup which measures volume.; and the chocolate is on a scale, which measures weight (BTW the chocolate is also in a measuring cup which shows 16 oz. in volume, in contrast to it’s 12 oz. in weight).

Veganize It!  It couldn’t be easier- use full fat coconut milk instead of cream and use vegan chocolate for the chocolate. It shouldn’t be hard to find a dark chocolate that has no animal additives- just look at the ingredient list to be sure. Also, keep in mind dark chocolate has a bitter edge, but if your dippers are on the sweet side that might make for a nice contrast. In any event, if it’s too bitter, add sweetener to taste.

Fun-due With A Twist.  You really don’t need anything more than cream and chocolate for a great fun-due, but if you’re looking to switch it up from time to time, experiment by adding flavors that go well with chocolate to the cream- like one of the following:

  • 2-3 tablespoons of liqueur/liquor, like brandy, Frangelico, Amaretto, bourbon Baileys, Tia Maria;
  • 2-3 tablespoons peanut or other nut butter;
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter;
  • 1-2 Chai or other herbal tea bag (simmer cream with tea bag for 2 min. and remove before adding chocolate);
  • 1 tsp. vanilla;
  • or whatever sounds and tastes good to you. 

The Mystery Dipper.  Every year, we try to have a Mystery Dipper that we’ve never had before. Past Mysteries Dippers include bacon, potato chips, leftover Monkey Bread and potato latkes. This year’s Mystery Dipper was mini Toll House Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches. See what you can come up with this year.

Best Leftovers Ever!  Sure you can cover and store leftover fondue in the fridge for a few days or freeze it for a few months and reheat gently on the stove for another round of fondue, but the best use of the leftovers IMHO is for chocolate truffles. Use a small scoop to take a few tablespoons of the refrigerated (or frozen and refrigerator thawed) fun-due and drop it on plastic wrap (to keep your hands mostly clean of chocolate) to roll into balls. Roll balls in cocoa powder, crushed nuts, powder sugar, sprinkles, etc. and you have truffles!

Note. Even the best fun-duers lose some dippables in the chocolate from time to time, so if you’re the squeamish type, strain any leftover fondue through a sieve.

Granny Grab Bag Bingo.  Granny loved her some Bingo- she even had a Bingo Night when her friends would pick her up once a week during Bingo Season (not exactly sure when that ran) to try their luck at the various Bingo spots (usually churches) around town- smoked filled rooms of enthusiastic seniors, playing multiple cards with ease and speed that belied their age.  This is just one of the many fun memories we have of Granny and one we decided to celebrate in her memory with what we call “Granny Grab Bag Bingo”. Every New Year’s Eve, after a nice dinner (Usually Uncle J’s Sauce/Gravy) and some Fun-due, we break out the bingo set to play many games of bingo, with winners selecting from a grab bag of reasonable priced and often humorous gifts contributed by all players or their parents. The best part of the games are all the good Granny (and Gramps) stories that are recounted as we play.

© 2022 All rights reserved.  Dad’s Dinner Diary

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