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Old 06-24-2014, 11:42 AM   #1
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Fail to make cheese sauce for pasta

before that I've watched plenty of tutorials on youtube. Many of them have similar routine, only the amount varies. OK then, let me tell you my way to make it. My way was First putting 25g of butter and heat it gently until it melt. Then I add approximately 25g (maybe 40g I believe) of all-purpose flour to the butter and mix them quickly. Then I add some cold milk, mix it, until it burns to creamy state, I add further milk, untreated pepper, table salt to it and mix them again. Finally, I add my grated cheddar cheese (approx. 80g, one-third of a 250g processed cheddar cheese) and mix them again for some time. The result was - The sauce was unsatisfactory. I can't say that it's terrible but it is undoubtedly not tasty. It feels so heavy and I felt so full after that. I can't smell the taste of the cheddar. I believe I've added more than 500ml of cold milk but the sauce was not creamy but a lttile bit like paste.

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Old 06-24-2014, 12:04 PM   #2
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I think the flavor culprit is '250g processed cheddar cheese'. The flavor of a cheese sauce is dependent on the flavor of the cheese. In the USA, processed cheese typically is a specific product we call American cheese and has a milder flavor than a real cheddar or other cheeses.

Once you've made your Bechamel, you should add the shredded cheese off the heat. Further cooking of the sauce after adding the cheese will create a grainy, lumpy sauce. The extra heat causes the proteins in the cheese to clump together and make the sauce lumpy.
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Old 06-24-2014, 12:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenny1999 View Post
before that I've watched plenty of tutorials on youtube. Many of them have similar routine, only the amount varies. OK then, let me tell you my way to make it. My way was First putting 25g of butter and heat it gently until it melt. Then I add approximately 25g (maybe 40g I believe) of all-purpose flour to the butter and mix them quickly. Then I add some cold milk, mix it, until it burns to creamy state, I add further milk, untreated pepper, table salt to it and mix them again. Finally, I add my grated cheddar cheese (approx. 80g, one-third of a 250g processed cheddar cheese) and mix them again for some time. The result was - The sauce was unsatisfactory. I can't say that it's terrible but it is undoubtedly not tasty. It feels so heavy and I felt so full after that. I can't smell the taste of the cheddar. I believe I've added more than 500ml of cold milk but the sauce was not creamy but a lttile bit like paste.
Here's my thoughts:

First, processed cheddar is not cheddar. It may not even be a milk product. Get some good sharp cheese. Remember, the cheese is the flavor.

Second, you don't need to add salt to a cheese dish. Cheese is salty enough on its own.

Third, Why add milk after you have added the milk? If it is creamy enough, no further milk is needed.

I generally make cheese sauces with heavy cream, no butter, no flour. I add a few dribbles of sherry, add the cheese slowly, stirring, add pepper and any other spices. Thicken with powdered dried mushrooms.

Roux based sauces are fine, just not my preference, especially with pasta dishes.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:58 PM   #4
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Try this ratio: 70g butter and 84g flour to 3 cups milk. Cook the butter and flour for a minute or two over medium low heat.

Whisk in the milk, and whisk it frequently over medium heat until it thickens.
I add like a 448g of cheddar cheese off the heat to my sauce once it gets thick. Yeah, full pound. It tastes sooooooooooo good.
Add salt and pepper when you add the milk, try adding a pinch of cayenne or mustard powder too. In my opinion, this sauce needs about a teaspoon of salt.
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:49 PM   #5
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Here is the recipe I use. For one person, I would only make half.

Macaroni and Cheese
Makes 8 servings

Cheese Sauce Ingredients:
  • 55g butter
  • 30g flour
  • 500ml milk (for extra creaminess, use half milk and half cream)
  • 200g good quality cheese, any combination, shredded (sharp cheddar, parmigiano, gruyere, or fontina are all good choices)
  • 10g kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1g white pepper, or to taste
  • 1g ground nutmeg
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 225g uncooked elbow macaroni
Topping Ingredients:
  • 20g panko breadcrumbs
  • 15g butter, melted
Preparation:
  1. Preheat oven to 160C
  2. Cook pasta according to package instructions
  3. Melt 55g butter in a large saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until roux is the color of coffee with cream.
  4. Add milk, 250g at a time, and whisk until there are no lumps remaining.
  5. Add salt, white pepper, ground nutmeg, and cayenne. Mix well.
  6. Turn heat source to low and add cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and sauce has a smooth, velvety texture.
  7. Toss sauce with cooked pasta and transfer to a 2.5 liter casserole dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  8. To make the topping, mix panko with melted butter and spread evenly over the casserole.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until bubbly and the panko topping is nicely browned.
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:01 PM   #6
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Use real, good cheese

Equal amounts of fat and flour
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Equal amounts of fat and flour
By volume, yes. But Kenny is metric, so equal amounts by volume is not the same as equal amounts by weight.
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
By volume, yes. But Kenny is metric, so equal amounts by volume is not the same as equal amounts by weight.

Regardless of whether he's metric or not, equal volumes of flour and fat will always be different weights. A cup of oil weighs 7.7 ounces while a cup of flour weighs 4.5 ounces.
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Regardless of whether he's metric or not, equal volumes of flour and fat will always be different weights. A cup of oil weighs 7.7 ounces while a cup of flour weighs 4.5 ounces.
Right. My point is that in the US we typically think of equal "amounts" of fat and flour in terms of volume when making a roux. People in metric countries think in terms of weight.

My recipe above was converted to metric for a Swiss friend and has all of the (more or less) correct proportions by weight.

Kenny mentions above that he used 25g butter and 25g flour (he thinks). I'm wondering if he may have inadvertently picked this up from a source that mentioned using "equal amounts of fat and flour" to make the roux.
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
Right. My point is that in the US we typically think of equal volumes of fat and flour when making a roux. People in metric countries don't think of it this way.

My recipe above was converted to metric for a Swiss friend and has all of the (more or less) correct proportions by weight.

Kenny mentions above that he used 25g butter and 25g flour (he thinks). I'm wondering if he may have inadvertently picked this up from a source that mentioned using "equal amounts of fat and flour" to make the roux.

Right. Got it.

Kenny actually said he thought he went with 40g of flour.
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