A four cheese cauliflower cheese

A heady mix of gruyere, cheddar, brie and parmesan

Sticking to the tried and tested

Heston Blumenthal made a TV programme all about cheese recently and one of the dishes he ‘re’-made was the humble but utterly delicious cauliflower cheese. I went online to look at his recipe but in all honesty, I don’t have 5 hours spare to make all the component parts of his recipe. Maybe I’ll attempt his recipe one day because I’m sure it’ll taste like the best cauliflower cheese ever, but for now, our tried and tested recipe has never failed to delight.

My husband swears that a traditional cauliflower cheese needs to be flavoured with some dried mace so we always use it. Ever since eating a cheese fondue after skiing in France, I also always make a cheese sauce which uses white wine and some kirsch – the kirsch just adds a depth to the sauce that is simply irreplaceable.

What I don’t do when I make cauliflower cheese is that I never boil the cauliflower. I hate soggy vegetables so I blanche my florets in boiling water for 5 minutes, drain them thoroughly before microwaving them for four minutes. I find that this leaves the cauliflower with a tiny bit of bite as it’s not pumped full of water.

Blanched and just cooked vegetables keep them soggy-free.

I had a tiny bit of broccoli left so I bunged that in as well – no point wasting good veg.

Smothered in unctious cheese sauce.

I’ve made enough sauce for today’s cauliflower cheese recipe with a little left over to have over some macaroni too. Bonus! 🙂

Our four cheese cauliflower cheese.

Have a great week.

Lots of love


Milk flavoured with bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves and mace.

A four cheese cauliflower cheese

Click here for a printer-friendlier recipe

1 large cauliflower, cleaned and cut into large florets

100 grams grated gruyere cheese

80 grams cheddar (a strong mature cheddar preferably)

50 grams ripe brie (I took the skin off but feel free to leave it on)

50 grams grated parmesan

½ cup white wine

1 teaspoon kirsch

Salt & pepper to taste

1-2 bay leaves

This is my kind of soul food.

1-2 pieces of dried mace

3-4 cloves

A few black peppercorns

700 ml milk

60 grams butter

60 grams flour

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius.

In a saucepan, put your bay leaves, mace, peppercorns, cloves and milk onto a medium heat. Bring the milk up to boil gently (but don’t let it boil). Just when the milk is about to come up to boil, take it off the heat and allow your milk to steep for at least 15 minutes (ideally 30 minutes). Strain your milk and retain the mace, discarding the bay leaves, cloves and peppercorns.

In another saucepan, melt your butter and add your flour, mixing well. Cook your flour for 2 minutes before gradually adding your flavoured milk and mace. Use a whisk to ensure that the flour completely dissolves into the milk.

Add the gruyere, cheddar and brie and stir well to ensure the cheese melts into your sauce before adding the white wine and kirsch. Season to taste.

Pour the cheese sauce over your cauliflower florets, top with the grated parmesan and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on the top.

Cauliflower cheese made with four different types of cheese.

17 Responses to “A four cheese cauliflower cheese”
  1. a320b757 says:

    That looks lovely. I was going to make Hestons Cauliflower risotto when I get home, but that takes three days and about 10 cauliflowers! So I might give his 5 hour recipe a go. I’ll let you how it comes out. Can’t look any better than yours.


  2. Can't live without.... says:

    This is the first i heard about cauliflower cheese ….and i am sold!

  3. Cauliflower with cheese sauce was one of my childhood nightmare foods — I hated everything about it from the boiled cauliflower to the pale cheese sauce. Your oven version looks much better.

  4. Stephanie says:

    Wow this looks amazing!

  5. ChgoJohn says:

    Now this is the way to serve cheesy cauliflower! Your pics are so enticing and I bet the cheeses combine to make quite a sauce !

  6. I have never cooked with the spice mace. Sounds very interesting and love the little browny bits on top of the melty cheese. Yum! Take care, BAM

  7. Clare Cooks! says:

    This sounds amazing. I have a ton of cauliflower and broccoli to use up. I think I know what’s for dinner tonight!

  8. A lovely, perfect mix of good ingredients…I have a head of cauli in the fridge waiting for the rest.

  9. Now that is truly some good looking cheesy cauliflower…happy cauliflower, I think! I love the addition of the kirsh, kind of like fondue. Great sounding recipe, noodle!

  10. Eva Taylor says:

    I love the combo of the cheeses BFN. It takes a great fondu to fall in love with cheese sauce; we had our’s in Switzerland in the early 90’s. When I asked the \couple who made it for us what cheeses they used they had suggested that we order the cheeses from Switzerland and courier them to Canada. Really? They were clearly in a different snack bracket than we were! I’m not about to put a second mortgage on my house for cheese; fortunately we have wonderful authentic cheeses from all over the world in Toronto, so I needn’t have worried. I don’t like soggy veggies either, blanching is a great way to prepare these cauliflowers.
    Eva http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com

  11. ceciliag says:

    even your ahite sauce sounds cool and i LOVE cauliflower cheese,, in fact i am going to make something like this tonight (i don;t have too many cheese in the fridge) but I can give it a crack!! c

  12. Funny you posted this today. Last night I was reading yet another foodie book where an instructor from the CIA said that the true test of a good chef is if they can make a terrific cauliflower cheese. This one looks fantastic!

  13. zestybeandog says:

    My hubby hates cauliflower but I have a feeling this he would like! Cheese always pleases!

  14. This is a recipe for us. Normally I only add the béchamel and some mozzarella cheese; but next time I’ll do it your way 😉 Thanks!!

  15. This looks like a great and cheesey way to get my nieces to eat veggies!

  16. thelegaltart says:

    I have just nominated you for a Kreativ Blogger Award! http://thelegaltart.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/kreativ-blogger-award/ This recipe is just to die for!

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