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Old 06-05-2008, 07:38 AM   #1
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Making bechamel stronger

So my family is used to eating packet white sauce which definately tastes different to my bechamel. The packet one has a stronger taste and is spiced more strongly I guess. Not to mention all the wierd stuff in it.

So, how do I go about making mine more potent. At the moment my bechamel is always smooth with no lumps, the taste is subtle milky taste with an onion flavour since I heat the milk up with a 1cm section of onion in it. I just tried adding 1.5 TBS of thickened cream 35% fat to 500 ml of bechamel and really couldnt taste much difference.

I have also added some cheddar cheese to it which turned out ok for a cheese sauce.

I am going to try putting a clove of garlic into it next to see how that goes.

But what else can I do.

I have thought of adding some sort of milk powder to boost the milky taste. Do I add this to the flour that goes with the roux?

My basic Bechamel.

500 ml full cream milk
30g butter unsalted
30g plain flour
spiced with salt and pepper

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Old 06-05-2008, 07:44 AM   #2
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I think it's mostly just a matter of experimenting with different seasonings in it. Saying you want to make it more "potent" is a little vague.
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:05 AM   #3
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Skip trying other dairy products. As bowlingshirt said, experiment with different herbs and spices. Garlic would be good.

Always add a bit of ground nutmeg to a bechamel.
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:08 AM   #4
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Ok, so how would I go about making the milk taste stronger in the same amount of liquid?

I am going to try garlic next to see how that goes. Then?

What are common spices to add to it. I will give nutmeg a go also.
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:20 AM   #5
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I use nutmeg and parmesan in mine. Lots of fresh black pepper too.
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:24 AM   #6
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alll of the above plus maybe a splash of white wine.
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:29 AM   #7
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Or a teaspoon or so of mustard
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:43 AM   #8
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If you want more flavor you need to add more spices/herbs, etc. You cannot make milk taste stronger. Milk is the "beige" that you need to spice up. Like Andy said, adding more dairy will actually make it more mild. The packet stuff is full of preservatives and inundated with dried spices/herbs (I guess, as I've never used it). Homemade is going to be more mild and smoother tasting, which to me, is a good thing. I think salt is more the issue than anything. If you look at that packet I bet the sodium content is quite high.
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:46 AM   #9
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I always add a little grate of nutmeg, and how about a few drops of Tabasco, or the hot sauce of your choice? Not to make it HOT, just "kick it up a notch." (and btw, that's what Emeril means when he says that..... just a smidge -- or two -- of hot sauce where you don't expect it).
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:51 AM   #10
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I don't recommend trying to make your homemade bechamel taste the same as the packet.

However, if you want to add some flavors, that's another story. You can spend the rest of your life trying different combinations of flavorings in bechamel. The possibilities are endless.
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I don't recommend trying to make your homemade bechamel taste the same as the packet.

However, if you want to add some flavors, that's another story. You can spend the rest of your life trying different combinations of flavorings in bechamel. The possibilities are endless.
Lol hell no, it's just that for me to be making an acceptable bechamel that the family and kids will eat it needs more flavour.

I quite enjoy the subtle smooth taste of the bechamel I make now. But would like it a little spicier etc. I will try the above tips and see how I go.
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:38 PM   #12
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Some good ideas there. Depending on what I'm using it for, dry mustard, worchestershire, nutmeg, cayenne.
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:56 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by knight76 View Post
Lol hell no, it's just that for me to be making an acceptable bechamel that the family and kids will eat it needs more flavour.

I quite enjoy the subtle smooth taste of the bechamel I make now. But would like it a little spicier etc. I will try the above tips and see how I go.

Good luck. Keep us posted.
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Old 06-06-2008, 01:46 AM   #14
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Not strictly traditional, but try adding reduced white wine & sour cream. That will give it a lot more intensity.
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Old 06-06-2008, 01:53 AM   #15
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I don't really cook with alcohol but the sour cream sounds interesting to give it a different taste, wouldnt that over power the subtle milky taste bechamel is supposed to have?
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Old 06-06-2008, 06:18 AM   #16
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I like white pepper (a generous potion) and nutmeg (not so much - it can be overpowering) - both freshly grated/ground.

And I prefer shallots to onion in sauces.
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Old 06-06-2008, 06:51 PM   #17
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For our taste buds here, a bechamel is just too boring, bland. I almost always add something to bring it into tune with what I'm making.
Parmesan for alfredo w/shrimp or chicken and noodles, or for pizza.
White cheese powder for mac and cheese, or real cheddar depending on the event.
Smelly cheese for special dips and sauces.
Motz, brick and havarti for stringy and rich additions to italian food.

I love a little hot sauce to bring it up a notch-though I don't always cook for 'just me'. With all the cheese things, I guess you'll think I'm a cheese head, so, I am.
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Old 06-08-2008, 12:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blissful View Post
For our taste buds here, a bechamel is just too boring, bland. I almost always add something to bring it into tune with what I'm making.
Parmesan for alfredo w/shrimp or chicken and noodles, or for pizza.
White cheese powder for mac and cheese, or real cheddar depending on the event.
Smelly cheese for special dips and sauces.
Motz, brick and havarti for stringy and rich additions to italian food.

I love a little hot sauce to bring it up a notch-though I don't always cook for 'just me'. With all the cheese things, I guess you'll think I'm a cheese head, so, I am.
As a topping for fish try chopping some cucumbers after seeding. Run through a food processor and then strain well. Add drained/strained cucumbers to sauce - delicate and wonderful!

Also, try reducing some soy sauce, quite a bit, and use that as a topping for scallops or fish. Taste as you go so it's not too strong.

Also, try adding Dijon mustard to taste - again for fish or whatever.
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