This creamy dip is great with breadsticks or crackers, but also goes surprisingly well with crunchy vegetables like celery sticks. Definitely serve it warm to get that delicious melted cheese texture.


  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • 145 g (5 oz) grated gruyère

  • 90 g (3 oz) mascarpone

  • 80 g (2¾ oz) sour cream


  • 1.

    Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium–low heat. Cook the onion with the thyme and a good grind of black pepper for 20–30 minutes, stirring often, until the onion is soft, sweet and slightly sticky.

  • 2.

    Turn the heat up to medium, then stir in the vinegar. Allow to bubble and become even stickier for a couple of minutes, stirring often so the mixture doesn’t burn, and scraping up any delicious sticky bits from the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

  • 3.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F (fan-forced).

  • 4.

    Place most of the gruyère in a bowl, reserving about 25 g (1 oz) for sprinkling over the dip. Add the mascarpone and sour cream and mix together. Season with black pepper, then stir the caramelised onion through.

  • 5.

    Spoon the cheesy onion mixture into a 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cup) capacity ovenproof dish (or four small ramekins) and sprinkle with the reserved gruyère. Bake for 10–15 minutes, until bubbling and lightly golden on top.

  • 6.

    Serve hot, with your choice of dipping ingredients.


This recipe is from 'The Little Cheese Cookbook' by Laura Herring, published by Smith Street Books (RRP $29.99).

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