1 large cauliflower, divided into florets 3 tbsp butter
For the cheese sauce:
1 bay leaves
1 small onion
600 ml milk
25 g butter
25 g plain flour
200 ml single cream
1 tsp English mustard
250 g mature cheddar cheese
Pinch of nutmeg, freshly grated
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and lightly cook the cauliflower florets, then drain and set aside.
Next make the sauce. Stud the clove through the bay leaf and into the onion and place in a saucepan with the milk. Warm the milk slowly to infuse milk.
In a separate saucepan, melt the butter, and whisk in the flour. Cook over a low heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring with the whisk constantly. Add the simmering milk (without the onion) gradually, whisking all the time, until the mixture is thick and smooth. Simmer gently for 5 minutes.
Add the cream. Stir in the mustard and 200 g of the grated cheese. Season to taste (lots of black pepper)and add the nutmeg.
Warm 3 tablespoons of butter in a frying pan then add the cauliflower florets. Roll them in the butter, without allowing them to colour, and then season.
Set the oven to 200°/gas 6. Spoon a little cheese sauce into an ovenproof dish; arrange the cauliflower on top and coat with more of the sauce. Sprinkle the last of the grated cheddar on top and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and golden. Serve on its own or with a fresh salad.