This super easy yet delectable fondue recipe takes about 5 minutes to prepare from ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. It can be made last minute just before your guests arrive. It is vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free so no one has to be left out. (Just be sure to buy or prepare gluten and dairy-free items to dip also.) It’s so quick and tasty that it’s great for a family movie night, and you can make it as healthy or sinful as you like with your choice of foods to dip into it. You might even want to make some just for yourself. The coconut is great for your skin, so it’s less guilt rousing than breaking into that stash of Rocky Road!
~ 12 oz bag vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips (vegan = no milk fat added, but you can use whatever kind of chocolate chips you have on hand)
~ 2/3 cup coconut cream (from 1 can coconut milk, preferably organic)
There are a variety of chocolate chips to choose from, but the healthiest are the vegan varieties because they omit milk and butter fat (artery clogging and potential allergens). They are just as yummy… seriously. Many well-known companies add cheap sweeteners like corn syrup and milk fat solids to trick your taste buds into believing you’re getting more chocolate than you actually are. But chocolate ingredient labels may be used like “decoder rings” to tell you in advance just how authentic the product really is. Personally, I want to pay for real sugar and real chocolate, and not worry about anyone’s allergies.
Use your favorite brand of canned coconut milk to obtain the cream needed. Some recipes will advise you to refrigerate a can overnight, in order to separate the cream solids, but I’ve found that unnecessary unless you’ve stored it in a hot garage or had it in the trunk of your car. I just open it straight from the pantry and spoon out the thick part, leaving the liquid behind. For this recipe, don’t worry about strict amounts. Adding some liquid or using a few less chips won’t harm the taste (which is good because who can’t help “sampling” the chips before cooking).
Using coconut milk means not needing to bother with a double-boiler. Just use a ceramic or nonstick green pot because it helps dramatically with clean-up. Simply spoon in the coconut cream and stir constantly over low heat. It will liquefy when warmed.
Now add the chocolate, a little at a time, until it has melted down. Keep stirring to the bottom of the pot. It will thicken as all the chips are completely melted and mixed in.
Pour into the bowl of your fondue set. It will stay a thick warm dip so long as you keep a tea-light candle lit under it.
You may use any fruit or baked good you like, but please note that gluten-free is an all or nothing situation. Any glutinous crumbs left in the chocolate will contaminate it for any guests with celiac or wheat allergies. If you’d like to have both types of foods, you would need to separate a small bowl of fondue to keep it safely wheat-free. Although it’s become unfortunately popular to chide those going gluten-free, many are doing so without a choice. Serious health concerns must trump jokes made by uneducated individuals. Taking a little time in order to preserve the safety of a guest is a gracious blessing to anyone with allergies, and that concern is worth far more than any store bought gift.
Fruits such as sliced bananas, grapes, cherries, and strawberries are magnificent when dipped in chocolate and are a great alternative to the higher calorie baked goods. It’s an extra treat to include toasted coconut and chopped nuts to spoon onto the chocolate coated confections. (Just remember to ask your guests about tree nut allergies ahead of time.)
Most grocery stores have a gluten-free section, so it’s easy to include allergy free cookies that are ready-made. You can see two yummy varieties from “Enjoy-Life” pictured here. The brownies were quickly made from a gluten-free mix using shelf-stable “Ener-G Egg-Replacer” (1 egg = 1.5 teaspoons + 2 tablespoons warm water). Aside from being allergy friendly, the best thing about having replacer on hand is not running out of eggs, wondering if they’ve gone bad, or having to clean up potential salmonella germs. There are also many brands of gluten-free cake mix that may be baked successfully with egg-replacer. Just mix it, bake it, and cut it into dippable cubes. Or easier still… ask the bakery what they have available. Bon appétit!
See more from my Quick & Easy Informal Gathering Fondue Dessert Party Idea here!