Traditionally, fondue was nothing more than melted chocolate kept warm in a pot called a Caquelon, which was set over a sterno or other source of fire. This version is a ganache, which is thick enough to cling to the treats dipped into it, but thin enough to stay liquid without the fire. I've poured the chocolate into individual ramekins, so each person has their own "pot" of warm chocolate to dip into. Set out an assortment of fruits, cake, cookies, meringues and/or dried fruit.
2 tablespoons brandy, coffee or flavored simple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
In a saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium heat to a gentle simmer. Remove from heat and add the brandy, vanilla, butter and chopped chocolate. Swirl the cream so that the chocolate is covered. Allow to sit for 2 minutes.
Gently whisk until completely smooth, serve immediately.
For a party, set out a large variety of treats to dip into the chocolate. I used 3-inch cocktail skewers to do the dipping. At the last minute, divide 4- or 6-ounce ramekins with the warm ganache.
If it is just a party of two, then set up a smaller selection of dip-able treats with one larger pot of chocolate in the middle.