“I’m gonna…ooh…oh, yeah…”
These are just some of the utterances I’ve heard from grown men and women as they eat the S’mores Fondue (P430) at Old Swiss Inn. It’s not a new item but if you haven’t been by in a long time, you’d be surprised to see how creative they’ve gotten with their fondues, and not just the sweet ones, either.
The S’mores Fondue is a smart riff of the classic campfire treat: roasted marshmallows sandwiched between graham crackers and dipped in a pot of molten Toblerone. I would never have paid attention to it because I’m not crazy about marshmallows but my Bin – who is over the moon for marshmallow anything – wants to deviate from our usual chocolate fondue. This is after a most satisfying late dinner of steak (for him) and baked pork knuckle (for me).
Anyway, our initial encounter with this most unusual fondue was quite dismal – stale crackers and grabbed-from-the-bag, unroasted (horrors!) marshmallows. To make a long story short, I tell K, the restaurant owner (who is a friend of mine) about our experience and some weeks later, she arranges a S’mores Fondue taste test for a select group of marshmallow lovers. I’m the odd woman out obviously, but hey, it’s chocolate.
The marshmallows are heated in two ways.
The marshmallows in the cover photo (above) are broiled in a salamander, a type of broiler found in professional kitchens. Its high heat comes from overhead heating elements that brown foods quickly. The intense, enveloping heat has imbued the marshmallows’ tops with an even, golden glow. It’s a color reflected on their bottoms too, since the marshmallows are flipped over halfway through broiling.
In this photo, the marshmallows sport cheery, charred edges – “… the BEST part of roasted marshmallows!” declares G, someone smitten by S’mores. The photo above shows marshmallows that are “heated” using a kitchen torch. The flame is high and uneven, thus the uneven browning and charred edges, or “Crusty on the outside and all kinds of good ‘gooey-ness’ on the inside!” Exclaims O, who is new to S’mores but loves marshmallows.
Our tandem of testers agree that while the salamander-broiled marshmallows are more “photogenic,” they don’t trump their kitchen-torched counterparts. As these avid marshmallow fans have made clear to me, a marshmallow can do no wrong.
Now that the marshmallow issue has been decided, all that’s left is assembly. A pair of them are scrunched in between two graham crackers and some force is exerted. Immediately and unexpectedly, a rather resolute pop! oof! is heard and we all giggle at the unexpected audio effects. There’s also a visual delight aspect since the marshmallows poof out the sides like a blowfish.
Then it’s time to do the dip, and as with all the chocolate fondues at Old Swiss Inn, this one’s made from melted Toblerone. In goes a S’more into a swirling, midnight mass of undiluted cocoa rapture. A quick swoop and swipe yields a dripping mess that I – curiously enough – want to smear my face with. “Oh, oh, don’t forget the sprinkles now!” Yells O, sprinkling some on his S’more.
All armed with our respective drippy sandwiches, we simultaneously bite in.
“Ohhh… god…just…” O groans.
“I’m gonna…ooh…oh, yeah…” G agrees.
“This is the BEST!” Proclaims my Bin, marshmallow king of them all.
“Yep, this isn’t half bad,” says K, licking her fingers.
“And I think that I’m starting to like marshmallows,” I state, surprising myself. Following the initial crunch of cracker is a pillowy gush of marshmallow fluff, fiercely soft from the flame it’s come from. Then quickly, a sweet sweep of chocolate sidestepped by a sprinkling of sprinkles.
Surrounded by unabashed lovers of the marshmallow, I discover that the shortest distance between disliking a marshmallow and learning to like it is a big pot of hot liquid chocolate and a pair of graham crackers.
S’mores Fondue at The Old Swiss Inn
G/F Olympia Bldg, Makati Ave. cor Sto Tomas St., Makati
818 8251 / 812 8751.
Open 24 hours, Mondays to Sundays.
Watch a video on how to eat S’Mores Fondue. (Thanks to Old Swiss Inn).