If you have been following me for very long you have quickly learned that I love cheese and bread. I can never get enough of either. And they both are perfect with wine. While I do not eat it often the epitome of this pair is fondue. But I never eat fondue because it is a big pain in the butt and can be very messy.
Decades ago at a party, had an appetizer that was a baked cheddar bread bite that was amazing and I have never forgotten it. I never was able to find a recipe so it has remained in my mind. Since cheddar is not my favorite cheese, I started mulling the idea of a fondue cheese bite. This has been percolating in my head for a very long time and when I saw this pre-made fondue in the grocery, I knew it was time to figure this out.
I knew the fondue on its own would be too thick to absorb into the bread. So I needed it to be thinner but not lose any of the flavors. This is my first attempt and from the empty platter at yesterday’s “family dinner at the beach”, I think this appetizer is a hit.
It is super easy to make throwing it together in about 10-15 minutes. I might tweak it next time with less butter and maybe add some white wine. I also may make the fondue cheese from scratch. But for a quick, easy and delicious appetizer this is definitely a do-over.
Crispy, Crunchy, Easy, Cheesy, Gooey, Baked Swiss Fondue Bites
1 14 oz. Packet Emmi Fondue
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup whole milk, half & half or heavy cream (I used a blend of half & half and heavy cream since I did not have enough of either)
1/3 lb. Swiss made Gruyère Cheese, hand shredded
1-1/2 stale Baguettes, sliced 3/4” to 1” thick
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Layout out the baguette slices on your cookie sheets or sheet pan and allow to come to room temp.
Melt the butter in a small bowl. Shred the Gruyère cheese. Set aside.
Remove fondue from packaging (including the liquid) and place in a large glass bowl. Place in microwave and heat on high for 30 seconds to just soften.
Pour melted butter into the bowl with fondue.
Pour in 1/4 cup of your dairy. Using an immersion blender, cream together the cheese mixture until loose but creamy. Add additional 1/4 cup dairy to achieve proper consistency (of pancake batter).
Place several stale baguette slices into the batter and completely cover. Be sure the mixture fills the holes in the bread getting into all the nooks and crannies. Repeat until all the bread or all the batter is used up. If your baguette is American style, see note below*. If you have leftover cheese mixture, spoon it onto the slices that could use a bit more.
Grab some shredded Gruyère and pile on top of each slice. Use any remaining cheese to sprinkle all over the cookie sheet. More is better here!!
Finally, sprinkle a pinch of nutmeg onto each slice.
Bake in your 425-degree oven on the middle rack for 15 minutes.
Switch over to broil and toast the tops until the edges and top are slightly golden and crispy.
Take out of the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before you remove from the cookie sheet or sheet pan.
Should the bites cool down, it’s best to pop in the oven to rewarm.
I use a Stainless steel Hand Grater because it makes perfect little ribbons of cheese that are light and airy when you grab a bit to top each slice.
About Your Baguette
Baguettes in this country are sold in two vastly different styles. Old World style has a hard, deep brown, and crispy crust with an interior that has various sized random air pockets throughout the loaf. These are typically sold at European bakeries or hand-crafted bread shops, and farmers markets. The other is American-style. These loaves tend to have a softer crust and a tiny bubbled, uniform interior as well as added preservatives. If your baguette or other loaf is American style it may take longer to become stale. You can speed the process by lightly toasting the slices in the oven a day or two earlier.
*Note Referenced Above Regarding Your Baguette
Lastly, the tiny, uniform air pockets of an American style baguette make it harder for the cheese mixture to penetrate the slice. You may wish to soak the slices in the mixture for a bit to allow for better penetration. (about 10-15 minutes).
Download a PDF of the Recipe Here: Crispy Crunchy Easy Cheesy Gooey Baked Swiss Fondue Bites
Well, That is all for now!