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Creamy White Sauce

Cauliflower for dinner last night, so we decided to dress it in a creamy white sauce flavoured with salt, pepper and mustard. Not having cream available, how could we produce this? Most of you cooks will know how to create a b├ęchamel sauce by combining flour and butter into a roux over a gentle heat and then relaxing them with the addition of milk. The tiny aggregations of flour and butter are distributed through the liquid and then, under the influence of heat and moisture, the flour swells, producing a thick sauce.

What is my twist? I have recently been enjoying the delights of cornflour. Cooked up with milk, sugar and a touch of vanilla, it makes a wonderful white custard and, minus the sugar and vanilla, is actually recommended in some places as a way to produce a low-fat, gluten-free white sauce. I added cornflour as well as regular plain flour when making the roux and the result, while neither low-fat nor gluten-free, was deliciously thick and creamy.

Experimentation is key but it worked very well for our meal. Talking of experimentation, I wonder what effect cornflour would have in a loaf of bread? … Watch this space (0r try it yourself and let me know).

  • Phil Cheesman

    Took me years as a kid to realise that cornflour for cooking wasn’t the small bright blue cornflower… :o) Jo always used to use just cornflour (no butter) but I never liked it as much as the roux method and tried to persuade her – gladly she’s switched and swears by that now. Hadn’t ever thought of combining both…