Consolation Meals: The Final Cauliflower Cheese Recipe


In the event you want a brand new cheese-filled consolation meals, then look no additional! This baked dish is precisely what you’ll want to heat up within the chilly months.

Learn on to get a glimpse of what it’s like throughout the chilly months on the London-famous restaurant Towpath – proper earlier than they shut for the winter.

The next is an excerpt from Towpath by Lori De Mori and Laura Jackson. It has been tailored for the net.

All pictures by Scott MacSween and Joe Woodhouse

Cauliflower Cheese Recipe

Serves 4


1 litre / 1 3/4 pints full-fat milk
2 bay leaves
8 black peppercorns
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 or 2 cauliflowers (about 900g/2lb in weight), outer leaves and difficult base of stem eliminated
100g / 3 1/2oz unsalted butter
100g / 3 1/2oz plain flour
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
200g / 7oz sharp Cheddar, I exploit Montgomery’s Cheddar, grated
salt and pepper

Cauliflower Cheese


  1. Put the milk, bay leaves, peppercorns, onion and garlic all collectively in a saucepan and produce to simply beneath the boil. Take away the pot from the warmth and let the combination infuse till every thing else is able to go.
  2. Convey a big pot of water to the boil. Add salt, then drop in the entire cauliflower. When the water returns to the boil, boil for 4 minutes after which drain.
  3. Within the meantime, soften the butter and stir within the flour. Utilizing a picket spoon, stir constantly to ensure the flour doesn’t kind lumps or stick with the pan. Prepare dinner for about 5 minutes in order that the flour is cooked.
  4. Pressure the infused milk and begin whisking within the milk slowly, a ladleful at a time. This enables the flour to cook dinner whereas thickening the sauce. When all of the milk is integrated, stir for one more 5 minutes. Style to verify that the flour has fully cooked out.
  5. Stir within the cayenne pepper and half the Cheddar and season.
  6. Minimize the cauliflower in half or quarters relying on dimension. Place in a roasting tray in order that it is vitally comfortable. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  7. Pour over the béchamel, sprinkle over the remainder of the grated cheese and depart to sit down for at the least 20 minutes. You may also do that upfront and depart in a single day within the fridge.
  8. Preheat the oven to 210°C fan/450°F/gasoline mark 8.
  9. Bake for about 20 minutes – you need the cheese to be browned on prime. As soon as brown, cut back the warmth to 150°C fan/340°F/gasoline mark 31/2 and cook dinner for an extra quarter-hour.
  10. Serve with a crisp inexperienced salad. I at all times serve the salad with a lemony olive oil dressing as this cuts via the richness completely.

Sap Not Rising

Once I was at college, I had a sense I may by no means fairly make sense of. It arrived on the finish of each educational 12 months, regardless of no matter marvellous factor I’d deliberate to do with my summer time vacation, and its depth was straight proportionate to how laborious I’d labored. What I anticipated, and what appeared completely affordable to want for in spite of everything that sustained effort, was elation. What I felt as a substitute was its uninteresting, lumpish cousin, deflation. On a extra poetic day you would possibly name it melancholy. The bittersweet disappointment that comes with endings – irrespective of how anticipated or longed for.

Couple at TowpathWhereas our cut-off date is about for the Sunday nearest to Man Fawkes Evening, the tip of Towpath evenings is a moveable feast that has extra to do with us standing on the canal with a finger to the wind than the precise calendar. Even ten years in, we’re simply fooled by just a few days of sunshine and might by no means fairly fathom the sand working out of the hourglass and months of chilly, darkish days throwing a blanket over our shenanigans. We solely really begin to consider it once we can really feel it in our bones.

There’s a sure dialog Laura and I’ve yearly when a heat September spell has the canal swarming with humanity. Certainly one of us says, ‘Do you assume possibly we must always maintain doing dinners a bit longer this 12 months?’ And the opposite replies, ‘Let’s wait a bit and see.’ And what we see is at all times the identical factor. A typically sudden, different occasions nearly imperceptible shift within the season. Summer season holidays are over, the children are again marching alongside the towpath within the mornings on their technique to faculty. There’s a sure nip within the air and the damp, musky scent of flowers previous their bloom and leaves starting to show. From someday to the following, folks begin asking us once we are closing for winter.

We will all sense an ending, even when we are able to’t put our finger on it.

At this level, Laura and I normally begin speaking about how good it will be to maintain some form of climate diary, which might ultimately grow to be a type of Towpath Almanac we may seek the advice of yearly to assist us chart our course. However we by no means do. On this we’re extra just like the birds who don’t begin flying south as a result of it’s written in a calendar, however as a result of some inside clockwork alerts that the time has come.

Life is immediately simpler once we don’t have so many shifts to fill – it takes lots of people to maintain Towpath afloat via an limitless succession of breakfasts, elevenses, lunches, teatimes, aperitifs and dinners. It doesn’t appear to matter how many individuals we rent, there’ll at all times be a sunny week the place we all know we’ll be rammed, and it’s all – however by no means sufficient – fingers on deck. We careen via summer time, our little Towpath like some tinny automotive on the autobahn, speedometer needle juddering within the crimson, till immediately it’s over and we downshift to the saner rhythms of Dolly’s 9-to-5. This coincides properly with the return to school of the handful of Towpath helpers who’d requested to work each hour god provides and immediately have extra vital issues, like particle physics or cultural anthropology, to consider.

Towpath BikersThough we nonetheless have weeks earlier than we tuck up for winter, there’s the unstated feeling that no matter flowering and fruiting the 12 months holds has largely occurred. The harvest is in. And we’re drained. All that livid pedalling, nevertheless exhausting, created an power of its personal, and now that we’ve slowed down, its mild has dimmed. And we really feel a bit flat. A bit regardless of the reverse of sap rising is.

None of that is helped by the final Sunday in October’s turning again of the clocks, that doubtful reward that offers us a single morning’s further hour of sleep in change for months of unnaturally (at the least to those that haven’t been born into them) lengthy, darkish nights. The solar stays low within the sky all day, not even skimming the highest of the buildings that face us on the opposite aspect of the canal. On a transparent day, it nonetheless shines on Towpath for just a few hours within the morning, then once more for lower than half an hour because it traverses a niche between buildings and, lastly, briefly, simply earlier than nightfall, which descends within the early afternoon and leaves the canal correctly darkish and desolate by the point we shut at 5pm. If we ever wanted our personal private reminder that we’re on a shifting planet, tilting this fashion and that on its journey across the solar, that is it.

It isn’t as if our prospects desert us when the season turns. Brilliant mornings are nonetheless vigorous. A great deal of regulars come for one final lunch. After which there’s at all times a handful of people that ‘uncover’ Towpath proper earlier than we shut, and are bereft on the considered residing with out us till March. Their enthusiasm places a bit spring in our steps. However by 3.30 the canal feels eerily abandoned. A little bit of a wasteland.

It’s as if our complete workday has been compressed into one thing a lot smaller, and good as it’s to get out early, there’s one thing oddly dissatisfying about all of it.


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