Take a Dip: Bittersweet Chocolate Fondue with Peppermint

A delicious variation is to substitute ­orange mint for the peppermint and Grand Marnier or another orange- flavored liqueur instead of the cognac.

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 Serves 6 to 8 

This combination is not overly sweet.  My favorite dipper is cubes of sourdough walnut bread.

• 1/4 cup packed peppermint leaves, coarsely chopped
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate
• 1 to 2 tablespoons cognac, dark rum, or water

1. Dippers: cubes of angel food or pound cake, banana or apple slices, whole strawberries, Bing cherries, kiwi fruit or pineapple chunks, marshmallows, graham crackers, and/or thin salted pretzels

2. Bring the mint and cream just to a simmer, then steep, uncovered, off heat for 30 to 60 minutes. Strain the cream and set aside.

3. Break or chop the chocolate into 1-inch chunks. Heat it with 3/4 cup of the cream until melted, stirring occasionally; do not simmer. Thin with additional cream if necessary.

4. Stir in the cognac, rum, or water and heat for a minute or two longer. Transfer to a fondue pot with a burner just large enough to keep the fondue warm but not bubbling.

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