Recipe 7 - Gratin de macaronis au fromage - Rachel Khoo

Gratin de macaronis au fromage... sounds so decadent... so French... so exciting!

Rachel Khoo's book... heaps of lovely recipes in this one

In reality its good old Mac Cheese... but for all intents and purposes (and for this post!) we will call it Gratin de macaronis au fromage. Otherwise we will have to call it the ultimate comfort food.

There are heaps and heaps of recipes for Mac Cheese, lord knows I have tried at least 5-6 difference variations and its one of those recipes that I like to see how other people do it.

Rachel Khoo's recipe is not dissimilar to my personal recipe.  She uses French Gruyere, I use French Gruyere, and surprise surprise we both use pasta!  How her recipe differs to mine is the Béchamel sauce.  Mine is a little bit Greek and hers a bit French... The results are both similar and both taste amazing!

yummy smelly French Gruyere


300g macaroni (I used penne)
200g Gruyere cheese grated

Bechamel Sauce:

30g butter
30g plain flour
500ml full cream milk lukewarm
1/4 onion skin removed
1 clove
1 bay leaf
a pinch of nutmeg (I prefer freshly grated)
salt and white pepper

the flavour of the onion in the béchamel is so mild 

Preheat oven to 180 degree celcius and start the Béchamel sauce.

For the sauce melt butter in a large pan over medium heat.  Once the butter has melted add the flour and mix it until it is all nice smooth.  Remove it from the heat and let is cool down for a couple of minutes and then slowly add the lukewarm milk whisking it constantly so it remains smooth and not lumpy.  Place back over the medium heat.  You then add the onion, clove and bay leaf and slowly slimmer for about 10 minutes whisking it frequently.

While the sauce is slowly simmering cook pasta according to the packet instructions.

When the sauce is ready remove the onion, clove and bay leaf and then you add the nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Set it aside to cool down.

Once the pasta is ready drain it and place it in a baking dish ( I have used individual dishes, looks cute and also serves a purpose).

Set some cheese aside to sprinkle on top and then mix the rest of the cheese in the cooled down sauce.  Pour the cheesy sauce over the pasta, mix it and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top... cook it in the oven for about 20 minutes until its all golden and yummy.

Ready to go into the oven

Voila! All cheesy, bubbly and yummy!

Something I learnt from Rachel for this recipe and any others with sauce and cheese is this..."Make sure you add the cheese when the sauce is warm rather than hot.  If the sauce is too hot, the fat will separate from the protein and form a layer on top."  There you go!  I've learnt something today...

the end result!

Enjoy as I have!

Chat soon.



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