Cheese Sauce | Béchamel Sauce Base

I cannot post my next recipe until I have posted my cheese sauce recipe. This is another recipe, where I am sure, there are lots of variations. This is mine – from Lavender & Lime.

Macaroni Cheese Made With Home Made Cheese Sauce
Macaroni Cheese
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Cheese Sauce

Recipe Category: Sauce
All Rights Reserved: an original recipe from Lavender and Lime

Ingredients

  • 375 mls milk
  • 1 baby onion halved
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 25 g butter
  • 25 g flour
  • 125 mls cream
  • 5 mls English mustard powder
  • 100 g grated cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

Method

  • place the milk, onion, peppercorns and bay leaf in a pot and heat to just before boiling point
  • remove from the heat and infuse for 30 minutes
  • pour the milk through a sieve
  • in a saucepan melt the butter and then add the flour
  • stir until golden in colour
  • add one ladle of the milk and mix until smooth
  • add another ladle of milk and mix until smooth
  • add the rest of the milk and keep on a low heat for 30 minutes
  • add the cream and mix until smooth
  • remove from the heat and add the mustard and cheese
  • season to taste

Notes

Replace the cheese with 30mls green peppercorns or 250g sliced mushrooms that have been fried in a little bit of butter

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

I make béchamel sauces on a regular basis. When not making them for the blog I just go by feel. To me, the key thing is weighing out the butter. I cut a slice off the block and weigh that. And then just match the weight of my flour to be the same. If I am in a rush I add the milk straight out of the container. This means it has zero flavour so I make sure to season the sauce more generously than usual. And if I am feeling lazy I do not bother to grate the cheese. I just chop it up roughly and add it to the sauce. This means I have to stir like crazy to get it melted. When whisking I use a special whisk, and you can see which one by reading this post. And I always use a wooden spoon for stirring. For my taste buds, Dijon mustard is a must, and well aged cheddar cheese. But you can make it sweeter by using Gouda, or change it up and use a smoked cheese. Also, the cheesier the better! Make extra if you want and freeze half. It won’t look great once defrosted – which you can do in the fridge overnight. But it is perfect for pasta bakes.

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