Recipe by James Martin from James Martin Home Comforts Season 3, Episode 3: Speedy Suppers

Serves 4

  • 1 cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 100g butter
  • 40g flour
  • 500ml milk
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 300g extra mature cheddar, grated
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 slices brioche, blitzed to crumbs
  • 20 rashers streaky bacon or pancetta
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup


  • Preheat the grill to high.
  • Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the cauliflower and cook for 5-6 minutes until tender.
  • While the cauliflower cooks, melt 50g of the butter in a large saucepan, then whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the milk slowly until you have a thick sauce then add the mustard and half the grated cheese and whisk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Drain the cauliflower and place into a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking then drain again and tip into an ovenproof dish.
  • Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and top with the rest of the grated cheese then place under the grill for 5 minutes until golden and bubbling.
  • While it’s under the grill, heat a frying pan until hot, add the last 50g of butter and when it’s foaming, add the brioche crumbs and fry, tossing occasionally until golden brown and crispy.
  • Tip out into a bowl, then wipe out the pan and add all the pancetta. Fry until golden brown and crispy, then add the maple syrup and toss until sticky.

To Serve

  • Scatter the breadcrumbs over the top of the cauliflower cheese then top with the pancetta and any drizzles of maple syrup. Serve straight away.