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Cheese sauce - where am I going wrong??!!

(18 Posts)
MarmMummy Tue 31-Mar-09 20:42:41

Grrr.... just wasted a pint of milk and lots of cheese.....

If I make a small quantity of cheese sauce it tastes pretty good and is the right consistency, but if I make a vat of it to freeze for the DC its very hit and miss.

Tonight I melted 60g butter, added 4 tablespoons plain flour, cooked for a bit, then gradually stirred in a pint of whole fat milk. Then at the end grated about 120g or so medium cheddar in.

Its very thin, and there is butter floating on top .... and I am close to binning it.

Can it be rescued?

rubyslippers Tue 31-Mar-09 20:44:03

you need to cook the roux for at least 1 min

is it quite a thick paste?

TBH i never measure the amounts but judge it

a pint of milk is not a lot - perhaps you need more roux?

not sure about resucing - am sure it will taste nice though - milk and cheese generally does!

TheArmadillo Tue 31-Mar-09 20:47:17

I don't use exact quantities either.

If too thin add more flour or cornflower, but carefully so doesn't go lumpy. Though if it does just press through a sieve to get them out.

Next time add milk till it is the consistency you like and then stop. The cheese doesn't thicken it much.

TheArmadillo Tue 31-Mar-09 20:48:15

*cornflour obv not cornflower - that prob wouldn't have same effect blush

Ohforfoxsake Tue 31-Mar-09 20:49:24

Hmm, you could make another roux and add the thin sauce to that.

When you reheat the sauce after freezing do you boil it? If you boil the sauce after adding the cheese it causes it to split and it goes curdley.

Try freezing it plain, and add cheese when you are going to use it.

Once you've got the quantities sorted you can dump the milk, butter and flour into a pan and whisk until boiling, without making a roux and dribbling the milk in.

MaureenMLove Tue 31-Mar-09 20:50:58

I put the whole lot in cold and constantly stir it with a whisk, until it's done! I've no idea what quantity of butter or flour I use, but always about a pint of milk, but even that depends. (I save a bit of milk back, incase it gets to thick!)

This is the only tip I took from Delia Smith!

LittleMissBliss Tue 31-Mar-09 20:53:29

I just use equal ammounts of butter and flour to make a roux. heat the milk in the microwave and add very slowy constantly stiring and cook it out untill it thickens.

My top tip is to constantly stiring to prevent lumps or the bottom of the sauce cooking too quickly.

LittleMissBliss Tue 31-Mar-09 20:54:18

Then i add the cheese i should have added.

LittleMissBliss Tue 31-Mar-09 20:56:27

i agree about making another roux and adding the watery sauce you have now to it. just add slowly and make sure you keep stiring.

Also the longer the sauce cooks the thicker it gets.

gybegirl Tue 31-Mar-09 21:07:51

I went on a cooking course and the main points the teacher made about cheese sauces were; cook the roux for a good fews mins on a gentle heat, heat the milk to almost boiling before adding it to the roux (off the heat) and cook this white sauce for about 10 mins on a gentle heat before adding the cheese.
If you end up adding cornflour or more flour then mix it with a very little water before you add it to avoid lumps.

emkana Tue 31-Mar-09 21:10:02

Seems very little cheese for amount of milk you have, so I would add more cheese.

Also, good tip I read once: Add a tiny bit of mustard, makes it taste more cheesy (but you can't taste the mustard)

popsycal Tue 31-Mar-09 21:12:13

delias all in one cheese sauce recipe is fool proof

Heated Tue 31-Mar-09 21:15:02

Definitely cook the roux for a minute or two. Imo real the secret of getting a perfect non-lumpy sauce is to a) add very hot milk a little at a time, mixing it in each time and b) keep stirring it with a metal whisk, not a spoon or fork. Bring it to boil/bubble and then take it to a very low simmer. Add the cheese and stir again over a very low heat and turn off.

MarmMummy Tue 31-Mar-09 21:18:16

Ok. I think maybe the problem was that I was using ice cold milk, and kept adding it after the sauce was the right consistency.

Will make another roux now and stir current sauce in!

Emkana - yes, would normally have added more but its for 10month old DD and I didn't think she'd complain! grin

Furball Tue 31-Mar-09 21:18:58

honest try my cheese sauce - it's sooooo easy

2 tbsp sauce flour (in the flour section of supermarket)
1/2pt milk
As much cheese as you like Handy Hint
Put half a pint of cold milk in a jug, add 2 dessert spoons of sauce flour (near cornflour in supermarket) and however much cheese you want

Stir a few times.

Pop in microwave for 1 min, stir, put in microwave for another minute, stir, put in microwave for 1 more minute, stir - you should have a lovely smooth thick cheese sauce.

Wolfcub Tue 31-Mar-09 21:19:37

It works better if your liquid is hot before you add it to the roux.

You need to cook the roux out until it looks like honeycomb (use the same weight of fat to flour). Add the hot liquid bit by bit not all at once.

After you add the liquid each time you need to put it back on the heat and stir until it all comes together, keep doing this until you have correct consistency (works with hot stock as well as hot milk).

If you want your sauce to be beautifully glossy then after each ladle of hot liquid, once the mixture comes together, you need to beat the mixture with a wooden spoon or spatula - you may need to lift off the heat briefly to do this, doing this does something to the gluten in the flour which makes the sauce glossy.

Adding dijon mustard makes it lovely.

Bonneville Tue 31-Mar-09 21:26:10

I agree with those who have said put everything in cold and whisk constantly till done - none of this 'roux' business!

MarmMummy Tue 31-Mar-09 21:33:55

Hurray!!!! grin

I bow down before you wise women.... its worked!

Made a new roux, by eye, and actually much thicker, added old sauce and hey presto, glossy, cheese sauce.

My DD would send you all hugs if she was awake (now there's tempting fate) and if it wasn't such bad form! grin

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