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Mary Berry Cauliflower Cheese Recipe

How to make Mary Berry cauliflower cheese is a quintessentially British dish that encapsulates comfort in every bite. It marries the tender cauliflower florets with a rich, cheese-laden sauce to create a simple yet deeply satisfying meal.

This classic recipe has been made famous by none other than Mary Berry, a household name when it comes to home cooking in the UK. Her take on cauliflower cheese is not only effortless to whip up but also brings a touch of elegance to your table, suitable for a quiet dinner at home or as a show-stopping side.

mary berry baked cauliflower cheese uk recipe

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Cauliflower cheese is a comforting British classic that is both simple and satisfying.
  • Mary Berry’s version of the recipe adds a touch of sophistication to this homely dish.
  • The recipe is versatile and can be adapted to personal tastes or dietary requirements.

Exploring Cauliflower Cheese

Cauliflower cheese is a cherished British culinary creation, combining tender pieces of cauliflower with a rich, velvety cheese sauce, which is subsequently gratinated to achieve a deliciously golden crust. This versatile dish may grace your table as a hearty main or a complement to a traditional roast and other meat dishes. For an economical and flavourful meal, use up odds and ends of both cauliflower and assorted cheeses.

Mary Berry: A Household Name in British Baking

Famed for her deft touch with home classics, Mary Berry’s version of the cauliflower cheese elevates this comfortable fare to new heights of flavour. Below is how you can recreate her beloved recipe, with additional advice to enhance its already sumptuous taste.

  • Savour: Mary Berry’s Blueberry Loaf Cake
  • Discover: Mary Berry’s Carrot and Coriander Soup

Ingredients for Mary Berry’s Classic Cauliflower Cheese

To prepare the dish, assemble:

  • A sizeable cauliflower, segmented
  • 500ml of milk
  • 4 tablespoons of plain flour
  • 50g of butter
  • 100g of mature cheddar, finely shredded
  • Season with salt and black pepper, according to your preference

How to Prepare Cauliflower Cheese à la Mary Berry

Ingredients:

  • 1 large cauliflower
  • Salt and water for boiling
  • For the cheese sauce:
    • 50g unsalted butter
    • 4 tablespoons plain flour
    • 500 ml milk
    • 100g strong Cheddar cheese, grated
    • Salt and pepper, to taste

Equipment:

  • Ovenproof dish
  • Saucepan
  • Whisk

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 220°C (200°C for a fan oven, or Gas Mark 7) and lightly grease your ovenproof dish.
  2. Thoroughly wash the cauliflower and sever the florets into manageable chunks.
  3. In a large saucepan, bring salted water to a boil and cook the cauliflower florets for around 15 minutes until tender yet firm. After boiling, drain thoroughly.
  4. Position the cauliflower in the greased dish.
  5. For the cheese sauce: in a pan, gently melt butter over low heat. Stir in flour to create a roux (paste), preventing lumps.
  6. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly, and simmer till the mixture thickens into a creamy sauce. Season with salt and pepper according to your taste preference.
  7. Incorporate most of the cheese into the sauce until melted, reserving a portion for topping.
  8. Drench the cauliflower with the cheese sauce, ensuring all florets are amply covered.
  9. Sprinkle the remaining cheese across the top.
  10. Place in the top part of the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes or until the surface turns a rich golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.

Serve promptly to savour this sumptuously melted, classic British side dish.

Personalising Your Cauliflower Cheese Dish

To infuse additional flavour and texture into your dish, try these simple modifications:

  • Introduce bacon, ham, or chicken for a hearty protein boost.
  • Mix in vegetables like broccoli or carrots to enhance both colour and nutrition. Try my broccoli and cheese bake.
  • For a savoury spice kick, stir mustard, nutmeg, or garlic powder into your sauce.
  • Experiment with various cheeses – consider gruyere or blue cheese for a tantalising twist.
  • Top off with breadcrumbs or crushed nuts for a delightful crisp finish.

Serve alongside a green salad with crusty bread for a complete meal. These customisations not only refresh your leftover cauliflower cheese when you reheat it but also beautifully accompany a roast or pie as a side dish.

Reasons to Prepare Mary Berry’s Cauliflower Cheese

Embarking on the preparation of Mary Berry’s cauliflower cheese offers a host of benefits that cater to your comfort and convenience:

  • Quick Preparation: Assemble the dish swiftly with minimal ingredients.
  • Comforting Taste: Immerse yourself in the creamy and rich textures that are sure to delight.
  • Adaptable: Tailor the dish to your preferred flavours or dietary requirements with ease.
  • Versatility: Serve it up as a hearty main or an appetising side – the choice is yours.
  • Convenient for Leftovers: A perfect solution to utilise remaining items in your kitchen.
  • Simple: Anyone can enjoy making this with its straightforward method.
  • Vegetarian Friendly: An excellent choice for those following a meat-free diet.
  • Health Conscious: A balance of indulgence with nutritional value.

Discover the comfort of a home-cooked, cheesy indulgence that’s both satiating and delectable.

Common Queries Regarding Cauliflower Cheese Preparation

Tips to Prevent a Runny Cheese Sauce

To ensure your sauce maintains a thick consistency and doesn’t water down your dish:

  • Start with a roux made of equal parts butter and flour cooked together till golden.
  • Gradually add milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.
  • Cook the sauce until it reaches a thick consistency before mixing in your cheese.

Essentials for the Perfect Cauliflower Cheese

For an authentic taste of this comforting dish, make sure to have:

  • Cauliflower, divided into florets and blanched
  • Mature Cheddar cheese, grated, for a rich flavour
  • Béchamel sauce, the base for the cheese sauce
  • A pinch of English mustard, enhancing the cheesy taste
  • A sprinkle of breadcrumbs, optional, for a crunchy topping

Serving Cauliflower Cheese as a Main Course

Absolutely, cauliflower cheese can be the star of the meal:

  • Serve a generous portion, as it’s quite filling.
  • Pair with a side salad or crusty bread for a complete meal.
  • Adjust the serving size according to your appetite.

Crafting a Deluxe Cauliflower Cheese

For an indulgent twist:

  • Use a mix of cheeses such as Cheddar, Gruyère, or Stilton.
  • Add a dollop of crème fraîche to the sauce for creaminess.
  • Top with pancetta or breadcrumbs mixed with parmesan for added texture.

A Swift Cauliflower Cheese Recipe for Two

For a quick meal:

  • Divide a small cauliflower into florets; boil until tender.
  • Prepare a simple cheese sauce with 50g Cheddar, 1 tbsp flour, 1 tbsp butter, and 150ml milk.
  • Combine, sprinkle with more cheese, and grill until golden.

Differentiating Mary Berry’s Cauliflower Cheese Pie

Mary Berry’s version elevates the classic with:

  • Incorporating an all-butter pastry base.
  • Adding a layer of eggs and cheese for a quiche-like filling.
  • Presented as a complete pie, bringing a twist to the traditional presentation.

Remember to always adjust the ingredients based on personal preferences and dietary requirements.

mary berry baked cauliflower cheese uk recipe

Mary Berry Cauliflower Cheese Recipe

Rachel
A classic comfort vegetarian dish of cauliflower drenched in creamy cheese sauce.
No ratings yet – be the first to rate this recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine British
Servings 4
Calories 355 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lrg Cauliflower (Cut into florets or chunks)
  • Salt and water (for boiling)

Cauliflower Cheese Sauce

  • 200 g Strong Mature Cheese (add more if you want)
  • 500 ml Milk
  • 4 tbsp Plain Flour (or corn flour)
  • 50 g Unsalted Butter
  • Salt and Pepper (to season)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 220°C (200°C for a fan oven, or Gas Mark 7) and lightly grease your ovenproof dish.
  • Thoroughly wash the cauliflower and sever the florets into manageable chunks. In a large saucepan, bring salted water to a boil and cook the cauliflower florets for around 15 minutes until tender yet firm. After boiling, drain thoroughly.
  • Position the cauliflower in the greased dish.

Cheese Sauce

  • In a pan, gently melt butter over a low heat. Stir in flour to create a roux, to prevent lumps.
  • Gradually add milk, whisking constantly, and simmer till the mixture thickens into a creamy sauce. Season with salt and pepper according to your taste preference.
  • Incorporate most of the cheese into the sauce until melted, reserving a portion for topping.
  • Drench the cauliflower with the cheese sauce, making sure all florets are amply covered. Sprinkle the remaining cheese across the top.
  • Place in the top part of the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the surface turns a rich golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.
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Nutrition

Calories: 355kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 18gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 301mgPotassium: 205mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 521IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 520mgIron: 0.3mg
Keyword cauliflower florets
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FAQs

Storing Cauliflower Cheese in the Freezer

Is it possible to freeze this dish? Absolutely, it can be stored in the freezer for a duration of up to three months. It is essential that the cauliflower cheese is allowed to cool thoroughly prior to being sealed tightly in either foil or cling film and placed inside a container suitable for freezing. When you’re ready to enjoy it again, defrost it gradually in the refrigerator and then reheat in the oven until it is thoroughly warm and the cheese has regained its bubbly texture.

Preparing Cauliflower Cheese Using a Microwave

Can you cook this dish using a microwave? Indeed, this method is a great time-saver if you don’t have access to an oven. Place the cauliflower in a bowl that is safe for microwave use, add a small amount of water, and heat for about ten minutes or until it softens. In a separate microwaveable bowl, melt butter, combine with flour and milk to create the sauce, and mix in the cheese. Afterwards, coat the softened cauliflower with the sauce and microwave for an additional five minutes or until the cheese has fully melted.

Creating a Vegan Version of Cauliflower Cheese

Can the dish be adapted for a vegan diet? Certainly, there are plant-based substitutes available for the dairy elements. Utilise vegan butter, plant-based milk, and a dairy-free cheese alternative for the topping. Incorporating nutritional yeast, a splash of lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar can enhance the sauce with a burst of zesty flavour and a cheesy richness.

Making Cauliflower Cheese Without Gluten

Is it feasible to prepare a gluten-free cauliflower cheese? Yes, select from gluten-free options like cornstarch, rice flour or almond flour to thicken your sauce. To finish, opt for gluten-free toppings such as breadcrumbs, nuts, or seeds to add texture to your dish.

Adapting the Recipe for a Keto-Friendly Diet

And for those following a keto diet, how can you adjust this recipe? By using low-carbohydrate replacements such as almond or coconut flour to thicken the sauce, and substituting the milk with high-fat choices like cream, almond, or coconut milk, the dish can be made to fit a ketogenic lifestyle. Consider increasing the cheese quantity and reducing the cauliflower to better align with fat and protein intake goals.

Remember, the goal is to enjoy the essence of this dish while tailoring it to your dietary requirements, whether that’s for health reasons or personal preference. The versatility of cauliflower cheese makes it agreeable to numerous adaptations without losing its comforting appeal.

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