Cracker Pack 2019

Cauliflower Cheese

Jason Atherton, Maze restaurant, London
Serves: 4
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  • 1 large cauliflower, divided into florets
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 cloves
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 1 small onion
  • 600 ml milk
  • 25g butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • 200ml single cream
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • 250g mature cheddar cheese
  • 1 pinches black pepper
  • 1 pinches nutmeg, freshly grated


  1. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and lightly cook the cauliflower florets, then drain
  2. To make the sauce, first stud the clove through the bay leaf and into the onion and place in a saucepan with the milk. Warm the milk slowly, this will allow the flavours to infuse into the milk
  3. In a separate saucepan, melt the butter, and stir in the flour. Cook over a low heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly
  4. Add the simmering milk, a ladle at a time, continuing to stir, until the mixture is thick and smooth. Bubble gently for 5-6 minutes
  5. Remove the onion and add the cream. Stir in the mustard and 200g of the grated cheese. Season to taste with salt, freshly ground black pepper and a little nutmeg
  6. Warm 3 tablespoons of butter in a frying pan and add the cauliflower florets. Roll them in the butter, without allowing them to colour, and then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper
  7. Set the oven to 200°/gas 6
  8. Spoon a little cheese sauce into an ovenproof dish; arrange the cauliflower on top and coat with more of the sauce. Sprinkle the last of the grated cheddar on top and bake for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and golden
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