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Making béchamel sauce

A perfect béchamel sauce should be in every cook’s repertoire. Also known as white sauce, it's incredibly versatile, forming the foundation of so many classic dishes, like lasagne and moussaka, as well as other sauces. Made with only a few basic ingredients, it’s also very simple to make. Using your Cooking Chef XL will ensure your sauce has just the right consistency, with no risk of it catching or burning.

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Getting started

This recipe makes 550g sauce. It takes 15 minutes to make. Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients
40g unsalted butter 
40g plain flour 
500ml  milk 
1 tsp salt 
¼ tsp white pepper 
¼ tsp nutmeg 

Tools
Cooking Chef XL 

Melting the butter

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Attach the creaming beater to your Cooking Chef XL and add the butter to the bowl.

Lift the machine head and fit the heat shield and splashguard. 

Cook the butter at 95°C, Stir 1 for 1 minute. 

Making the roux

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Add the plain flour to the bowl. With the splashguard fitted, cook at 95°C, Stir 1 for 3 minutes. A paste should form- this is the roux.

With the machine still running, gradually add the milk. Cook with the splashguard fitted at 90°C, Stir 1 for 8 minutes, until thickened.

Finishing the sauce

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Season by adding the salt, white pepper and nutmeg to the bowl. With the splashguard fitted, mix on speed 1 for 20 seconds.

Cover until ready to use to prevent a skin forming.

Use béchamel to make lasagne, moussaka, macaroni and cheese or soufflé. Serve it with chicken on fish or slather toasted slices of sourdough with it to create the ultimate croque monsieur. Known as a ‘mother sauce’, béchamel is also a base for several other classic sauces. Flavour it with herbs like thyme, parsley or bay leaf, add mustard or grated cheese to create a mornay sauce.

Download the Kenwood World app for more delicious recipe inspiration, including this recipe for the classic family favourite, macaroni cheese.

Béchamel sauce tips

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Our fail-safe tips for mastering béchamel sauce: 

Use the right amount of butter 
The roux is made by coating the flour with the melted butter. Use too little butter and you may be left with a lumpy sauce. Use too much and your sauce may split. If your sauce does split, mix together some milk and flour and whisk it into the sauce over a low heat until silky smooth. 

Use quality ingredients
Making béchamel is not the time to choose low fat versions of butter or milk. To make a good roux and get that wonderfully rich, creamy consistency, you need fat. 

Making it free-from
You can easily substitute ingredients to make a béchamel sauce that is free from gluten or dairy. Swap plain flour for gluten-free flour, while to make a plant-based version, vegan butter or olive oil and unsweetened soy milk work just as well. 

How to store
If you’ve made your sauce ahead to use later, let it cool and then cover tightly with cling film before storing in the fridge or freezer. It can be stored for up to 3 days in the fridge. Reheat gently over a low heat, stirring continuously.