Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Cauliflower (and Chestnut) Cheese

As always, I've been stressing out about uni today. I've got an exam next week, too, which seems to have crept up on me. When I get frustrated with work, I tend to procrastinate. Usually in the form of food, whether that's eating it, cooking it, or reading about it.

I'm also starting to get quite giddy about Christmas. I think that's distracting me a little too. I've finally wrapped up all the my presents and they're sitting nicely under the tree. I'm most excited about what I've got my youngest niece. It's a cute, little vegetable market stall. 

As with sprouts, there's only certain ways I like to eat cauliflower. In a creamy, cheesy sauce is definitely one of them.  But, as it's Christmas, I've added a few little twists. The main one being chestnuts, and the other are additional Christmas spices. 

To be honest, chestnuts are a bit time consuming and a bit of a bother to prep from fresh. I've found that the best way to do this is to make a small incision in each one and boil them for 10 minutes, then peel them. But, I'd totally understand if you bought them ready-peeled.

Cauliflower (and Chestnut) Cheese

Serves 4-6 as a side

750g cauliflower (net weight), cut into florets
200g fresh chestnuts (net weight), peeled and roughly chopped (see above)
75g unsalted butter, cubed
4tbsp plain flour
450ml milk
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 clove
100g cheddar, grated
Salt and pepper

Pre-heat oven Gas 6 (200°C/400°F)

Boil the cauliflower for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside whilst you make the b├ęchamel. In a pan and on a low heat, melt the butter then stir in the flour. Next, slowly add the milk whilst continually stirring. (Alternate with a whisk, if you get any lumps). Add the spices and allow to gently cook for 10 minutes, then remove the clove and stir in the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Now combine the cauliflower and chestnuts, and place in an ovenproof dish. Cover with the cheesy b├ęchamel sauce and bake for about 20 minutes, until the top has turned golden-brown and has some crispy bits.


  1. wow that sounds amazing, I love everything about it!

  2. Interesting combination. I know what you mean about chestnuts, they are a faff to prepare.

  3. WOW. chestnuts are my favorite - i want this!!!