Vegan chocolate hazelnut fondue isn't just any ordinary fondue - it's a creamy, dreamy concoction with simple plant-based ingredients that come together to create an easy-to-make, luscious treat. Perfect for vegans or anyone who loves a good dip, this fondue invites everyone to plunge their mini pitchforks into a pot brimming with rich, smooth chocolate hazelnut bliss.
Back in the days when I was a vegetarian and the kids were small, fondue nights were something we all loved. They were a break from the norm, filled with fun and special family bonding. The whole crew would get involved in getting the dippers ready, turning our kitchen into a lively hub of excitement and kid chatter.
We were fondue enthusiasts, with not one but three fondue pots at our disposal – two from our wedding and one from a birthday gift! This setup allowed us to indulge in a variety of fondues: a cheese one for my vegetarian preference at the time, a chocolate one for that sweet treat, and a fondue bourguignonne with meat cooked in hot oil or broth, which I steered clear of but was a hit with the kids and my husband.
Transitioning to veganism, I was determined to keep this tradition alive. This recipe, along with Vegan Chinoise Fondue, has allowed us to maintain this tradition, seamlessly adapting it to our vegan lifestyle and capturing all the joy and togetherness it has always brought us. But don't think this is just for kids. This is great for a date night, Valentine's Day dessert, or a game-day special treat.
You might be wondering, "Vegan chocolate hazelnut? Can that really be a thing?" I totally get it – I was once skeptical yet intrigued myself. However, with vegan hazelnut spread and chocolate readily available in most major grocery stores now, creating this recipe has become a breeze, using just a few simple ingredients.
Why You'll Love This
- Rich and Flavorful: The combination of luxurious chocolate and nutty hazelnuts creates an irresistibly rich taste.
- Shaking Thing Up: This offers a delightful departure from your usual meals, adding a fun and exciting twist to your dining routine.
- Dairy-Free Delight: Perfect for vegans and those with dairy allergies or sensitivities.
- Versatile Pairings: It pairs wonderfully with various dippers, from fruits to vegan marshmallows and pretzels, so it is excellent for kids and adults.
- Interactive Fun: It's not just a dessert but an engaging experience perfect for any gathering.
- Simple and Easy: Generally easy to prepare with just a few ingredients.
- Customizable: This can be easily adjusted to suit different sweetness levels or dietary needs.
- Comforting and Cozy: Ideal for a cozy night or special occasion.
What Is Fondue?
Fondue is such a cozy, fun way to share a meal. It started in Switzerland and is about dipping yummy bites into a communal pot – think gooey cheese or creamy chocolate. But if you're on a plant-based journey, know fondue can be vegan, too! Now, everyone can join in, no matter their diet. Vegan cheese fondues are just as melty and delicious, made with plant-based cheeses and other vegan goodies. And for the sweet tooth? Vegan chocolate fondue is a dream, perfect for dunking fruits and vegan treats. It's the same fondue fun, just more inclusive.
Note: If you're really into fondue and want to enjoy it in a restaurant, The Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant, has an entirely vegan menu that is really good. They are in different cities across the U.S., so check your area for the nearest one.
Does this vegan fondue taste like traditional fondue?
Vegan chocolate hazelnut fondue tastes remarkably similar to traditional fondue but has unique twists. The key lies in the quality of the vegan ingredients used. High-quality vegan chocolate and a rich, flavorful vegan hazelnut spread can create a fondue just as creamy and indulgent as its traditional counterpart made with dairy chocolate and cream.
The main difference is in the subtle nuances of flavor. Dairy-based chocolate has a distinct creaminess and a particular flavor profile that comes from milk solids and fats. Vegan chocolates, on the other hand, often rely on alternative fat sources and may have different sweeteners, which can slightly alter the taste and texture.
However, I honestly think you'll find that this vegan chocolate hazelnut fondue is not just a great alternative but a delicious option in its own right. It can offer a complex flavor profile with the nuttiness of hazelnuts complementing the chocolate beautifully. For those used to traditional chocolate fondues, the vegan version can be a delightful new culinary experience. Let me know what you think in the comments.
There are only a few easy-to-find ingredients!
- Vegan Chocolate: Choose a high-quality vegan chocolate that you love. You can even use vegan morsels for this recipe. I use two Lindt Classic Recipe Non-Dairy OatMilk Plain Chocolate Candy Bars sold in most major grocery stores that I've seen.
- Vegan Hazelnut Spread: There are several brands out there offering delicious vegan alternatives to Nutella. The vegan hazelnut spread can be found at Whole Foods or online. Try the Justin's brand.
- Plant-Based Milk: This gives the fondue a creamy texture without dairy. Choose a milk that is naturally thicker, such as oat milk, for best results. If you don't mind a slight coconut flavor, use coconut cream or coconut milk from a can.
- Vegan Butter: This adds richness.
- Flavorings: A pinch of salt, a splash of vanilla extract, and a dash of cinnamon enhance the flavor.
- Dippers: Fruits like strawberries and bananas are great, along with vegan marshmallows, brownie chunks, or animal crackers. See below for more ideas.
This is simple to make, but I love to give you visuals to peruse. For details, check out the recipe card below.
Gently warm the plant-based milk in a saucepan until it's hot but not boiling. The key is to heat it slowly.
While that heats up, chop the vegan chocolate into small pieces for even melting.
Place the chopped chocolate and vegan butter into the warm milk. Gently stir the mixture over a low heat.
Gently fold in the vegan hazelnut spread, stirring until thoroughly blended into the mixture, achieving a silky, even consistency.
Stir in a pinch of salt, a dash of vanilla extract, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Carefully transfer the fondue into a fondue pot set over a low flame, ensuring it stays warm and maintains a smooth, fluid consistency.
Dipping Time: Arrange your vegan dippers around the fondue pot and start enjoying with fondue forks or skewers!
Vegan Fondue Tips:
- Consistency is Key: You can thin the fondue with more plant-based milk if it is too thick.
- Stirring Matters: Regular stirring will prevent the fondue from getting too thick or clumpy.
- Burner: Ensure the fondue burner is low so the chocolate does not burn.
- Flavor Variations: Feel free to experiment with different types of vegan chocolate or add some espresso powder for a mocha twist.
- For more information: I have a Vegan Guide To Fondue if you want to learn more about fondue etiquette.
Ideas For Dippers
These dipper options will surely add variety to your chocolate dipping menu:
- Fresh Strawberries: They're classic for a reason - their juicy, sweet tang complements the rich chocolate beautifully.
- Banana Slices: This is my absolute favorite! The creamy texture of bananas goes wonderfully with the smooth fondue.
- Apple Wedges: The slight tartness of apples offers a refreshing contrast to the sweet fondue.
- Orange Segments: They have citrusy zing that cuts through the chocolate's richness.
- Pear Slices: Their subtle sweetness and soft texture make pears a nice choice.
- Kiwi Slices: Their unique tartness and vibrant color are a fun addition.
- Raspberries: These little berries burst with flavor, adding a lovely tartness.
- Blackberries: For a juicy, slightly tart dipper with a beautiful deep color.
- Cherries: Fresh or maraschino cherries add a lovely, juicy sweetness, not to mention a pop of color in your spread.
- Vegan Marshmallows: Soft, sweet, and perfect for those who love a classic fondue experience. They are sold online and at Whole Foods.
- Pretzel Sticks: Their saltiness is a perfect counterpoint to the sweet chocolate.
- Vegan Graham Crackers: For a bit of crunch and a hint of cinnamon reminiscent of smores.
- Dried Apricots: Their chewy texture and sweet-tart flavor are surprisingly good with chocolate.
- Vegan Biscotti: Ideal for those who love a crunchier dipping experience.
- Vegan Donut Holes: Soft, sweet, and deliciously indulgent.
- Rice Krispie Treats (vegan): This playful option will surely be a hit with the kiddos. Buy vegan premade rice krispies at Whole Foods, or make these treats from scratch using a recipe from Nora Cooks.
- Vegan Brownie Bites: Because who doesn't love double the chocolate?
- Salted Popcorn: Yep, I said it, popcorn - I'm all about the salty, crunchy, and sweet combos.
- Salted Potato Chips or Tortilla Chips - Yep, just as odd as salted popcorn, but it's really good!
Serving Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Fondue is not just about the dip. It's about creating an entire experience that's as delightful to the eyes as to the taste buds. Here are some fun and creative serving suggestions to elevate your fondue experience.
- Fondue Party Spread: Arrange a colorful and inviting spread with all your dippers beautifully displayed on platters around the fondue pot. Use different heights and textures - like wooden boards, slate tiles, or elegant plates - to create visual interest.
- DIY Dipper Skewers: Set up a 'make-your-own skewer' station. Provide guests with bamboo skewers and a variety of dippers to create their personalized combinations. It’s interactive and fun!
- Dessert Charcuterie Board: Create a large charcuterie-style board combining the fondue dippers with other vegan treats like nuts, vegan cheeses, and dried fruits for a diverse and exciting dessert option.
- Theme Nights: Tie your fondue night to a theme - like a movie night with classic cinema snacks as dippers (think, popcorn), or a tropical evening with exotic fruits and tiki decorations.
- Outdoor Fondue Party: If the weather permits, take your fondue experience outdoors. A fondue set up in your backyard or patio under the stars can be magical. Add some cozy blankets and string lights for ambiance.
- Seasonal Touches: Adapt your fondue experience to the season. For instance, in autumn, include pumpkin pie bites or apple slices as dippers; in summer, focus on fresh berries and chilled dippers.
- Serve With Other Fondues: Serve with Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Fondue for a variety of dips.
How To Store Fondue
To store, let the fondue cool to room temperature, as putting it hot in the fridge can alter the texture and flavor. Then, transfer it to an airtight container – glass is preferable since it is convenient for reheating.
Your fondue can stay fresh in the fridge for 3-5 days. It will be hard when removed. Gently reheat it in a double boiler on the stove, stirring regularly, or microwave it in short bursts, stirring between each. If it's too thick after refrigeration, mix in a bit of plant-based milk while reheating to achieve the perfect consistency.
What If You Don't Have a Fondue Pot?
If you don't have a fondue pot, there are several alternative methods you can try.
- Crockpot or Slow Cooker: These are great for keeping your fondue warm. Just set it to a low-heat setting. The only downside is it doesn't provide the same tableside experience.
- Double Boiler on Stove: This method is excellent for melting and keeping your fondue warm. Use a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Then, transfer the fondue to a heatproof serving bowl for the table.
- Microwave: For a quick solution, you can use a microwave-safe bowl. Heat the fondue in intervals, stirring in between, to ensure even melting. Serve immediately, as it won't stay warm for long.
- Tea Light Warmer: Use a ceramic or metal bowl over a tea light candle warmer. While not as effective as a fondue pot, it can provide warmth to keep it from solidifying too quickly.
- Cast Iron Skillet: If you have a small cast-iron skillet, it retains heat well. Warm the fondue in it and then serve; it will keep it warm for a reasonable amount of time.
- Electric Skillet or Hot Plate: These can be set to a low temperature to keep the fondue warm at the table.
You can reheat the fondue over low heat on the stove, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Alternatively, you can use a microwave in short bursts, stirring between each to ensure even heating.
Yes, you can prepare the fondue ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. Just gently reheat it before serving, adding a bit of plant-based milk if needed to adjust the consistency.
There are plenty of gluten-free dippers you can enjoy with this fondue. Fresh fruits like strawberries, apple slices, and bananas are naturally gluten-free. You can also use gluten-free pretzels, cookies, or marshmallows.
It's best to keep the fondue warm for no more than 1-2 hours to maintain its texture and flavor. Use a fondue pot or a warming tray to keep it at the right temperature.
Yes, a splash of liquor like rum, brandy, or a liqueur can add an interesting twist to your fondue. Remember to add it at the end of cooking to preserve the alcohol content and flavor.
It's important to use high-quality vegan chocolate for the best flavor and texture. Dark chocolate typically works well, but ensure it's labeled vegan, as some dark chocolates still contain dairy.
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- 7 ounces of vegan chocolate (~200 grams)
- ½ cup vegan hazelnut spread
- 1 cup of plant-based milk (oat milk or coconut milk/cream)
- 1 tablespoon of vegan butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- dash of cinnamon
- dippers: Fruits like strawberries and bananas are great, along with vegan marshmallows, vegan brownie chunks, cookies, or animal crackers. See the post for more ideas.
- Prepare the Chocolate: Chop the vegan chocolate into small pieces for even melting.
- Heat the Coconut Cream: Gently warm the coconut cream in a saucepan until it's hot but not boiling. The key is to heat it slowly.
- Melt Chocolate and Butter: Add the chopped chocolate and vegan butter to the warm cream. Stir over low heat until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Add Hazelnut Spread: Mix in the vegan hazelnut spread until well combined and silky.
- Flavor Enhancements: If you're using them, add a pinch of salt, vanilla extract, or cinnamon now and mix well.
- Transfer to Fondue Pot: Pour the fondue into a fondue pot with a low flame to keep it warm and fluid.
- Dipping Time: Arrange your vegan dippers around the fondue pot and start enjoying with fondue forks or skewers!
There are several brands out there offering delicious vegan alternatives to Nutella hazelnut spread. Try the brand Justins, which is found at most major grocery stores.
Choose a high-quality vegan chocolate that you love. You can even use vegan morsels for this recipe. I use two Lindt Classic Recipe Non-Dairy OatMilk Plain Chocolate Candy Bars sold in most major grocery stores that I've seen.
Choose a plant-based milk that is naturally thicker, such as oat milk, for best results. If you don't mind a slight coconut flavor, use coconut cream or coconut milk from a can.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: dessert
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: Swiss-Inspired
- Diet: Vegan
- Serving Size: ¼ cup
- Calories: 208
- Sugar: 17.1 g
- Sodium: 437.9 mg
- Fat: 14.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 20.7 g
- Protein: 2.2 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: hazelnuts, Valentine's Day, gameday, chocolate