The ultimate cauliflower cheese

I've never questioned the traditional way of making cauliflower cheese with a gloopy cheese sauce... until now!

The ultimate cauliflower cheese
The ultimate cauliflower cheese

I've been making cauliflower cheese for years, so I never questioned the traditional way of making it with a gloopy cheese sauce. Besides, I was always rather proud of my white sauce making technique, which added to my confidence that I was doing it 'right'.

Occasionally I tarted it up with a bit of Colman's English mustard, and sometimes I added some mushroom or onion for variety, but it was always a pretty basic cauliflower cheese, not too far removed from the ones I was served as a child.

A few years ago, when we were on a diet, I decided that it would be healthier to bake the cauliflower, sprinkle it with grated cheese, and put it back into the oven for a final few minutes. This worked, but again, it was nothing special, and the cauliflower was rather dry and tasteless.

During the last seven weeks, my priorities have changed again - I've been trying intermittent fasting, with great success so far! As I'm only allowing myself one extended meal a day, I'm keen to make all my food 'window-worthy', in other words, as tasty and healthy as possible.

I also had my DNA checked to reveal the optimum nutrition for my body. I wasn't surprised to discover that my body doesn't process carbohydrates well, but I was amazed to hear that it's above average at processing fats. Go, me! When I heard this news, I immediately eliminated bread from my diet, and set out on a mission to rediscover cauliflower cheese.

This recipe is utterly delicious. I found that the somewhat bland and disappointing taste of cauliflower was completely transformed into a gourmet experience. Thanks to the gruyere and maple syrup, it has a slightly nutty flavour, with a hint of sweetness. I really do recommend that you give it a go!


  • 2 small cauliflower heads (or one extra large).
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup.
  • 300ml creme fraiche.
  • 100g grated gruyere cheese.
  • 1 tablespoon wholegrain honey mustard.
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan or 'fake' hard cheese parmesan.
  • 20g finely chopped chives


Break the cauliflowers into bite sized florets, and arrange them in a large heavy oven dish.

In a cup, mix together 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. Sprinkle the cauliflower with this mixture.

Bake the cauliflower in the oven at 180 degrees, for about 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix together 300ml of creme fraiche, 100g of grated gruyere cheese, and 1 tablespoon of wholegrain honey mustard.

In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of parmesan, (or 'fake parmesan' hard cheese), with 20g of finely chopped chives.

Take the cauliflower out of the oven (leave the oven on and the door shut). Tip the cauliflower into the cheese mixture, and stir it around until the florets are all well coated.

Tip the cauliflower back into the oven dish, and sprinkle it with the parmesan and chopped chive mixture.

Pop the cauliflower back in the oven and bake it for about 10 minutes to finish it off - it should just be turning golden brown.


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