What set this apart from the icky fondues of my past was first and foremost the quality of chocolate. Scharffen Berger uses their 70% Bittersweet chocolate, mixed with butter, creme fraiche and vanilla. The piece of crusty bread for dipping added texture and introduced that wonderful taste pairing of chocolate and yeast (think chocolate croissant.) But of course, what really put this over the top was the sprinkle of sea salt which made the chocolate taste even more intense. Chocolate fondue, all grown-up.
It's not hard to reproduce this at home. Scharffen Berger has a great recipe on their site. You don't even need a fondue pot (although they are kind of fun.) Place the fondue in the middle of the table in a heavy bowl or even the pot it was made in. Then just tear up a loaf of crusty bread and pass little bowls of flakey sea salt (I like Maldon.) The tiny spears are optional.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Fondue from the Scharffen Berger website.
Related: Hot or Not: Chocolate Fondue
(Image: Dana Velden)