Creamy Mac wins Twitter Bake-Off
This past Saturday, I hosted yet another Twitter Bake-off for anyone wanting to participate. I came up with this idea from watching "The Great British Bake Off" (streaming on Netflix) and always wanting to learn to make special bakes. Since we are on quarantine, I thought it would be the perfect time and more fun to include others. Thus the #TwitterBakeOff competitions.
We so far have baked sweet breads, cookies, pies, and pizza. The theme this past Saturday was an American classic: mac and cheese. The competition was fierce, but there was one clear winner; @LisaMcGov's creamy mac & cheese.
Reminder to join us this Saturday where we try to make Dutch Baby Pancakes. All entries must be included onto my (@ebeth360) Saturday's baking thread by 10 PM ET.
The judge commented that Lisa, "Made it the right way with béchamel, has just the right amount of topping and it is still incredibly creamy." Lisa was so kind to share her prize-winning recipe with us below:
Lisa McG’s Mac & Cheese
Ingredients - for the Bechamel Sauce
½ cup butter
½ cup flour
1-quart half & half or milk
pinch cayenne pepper
½ package of cream cheese
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
1 cup breadcrumbs (homemade or packaged)
and 1 lb. penne pasta Method:
In a large pot put on your salted water for pasta. Meanwhile, melt butter and add flour. Cook roux, stirring constantly until golden brown and toasty smelling.
Add spices (at this time you could add whatever spices you like or some kind of flavor paste) Add cold half and half or milk a little at a time whisking the entire time (I usually add about half the liquid and then bring to a boil and add the rest to the thickness desired this prevents it from being too watery- I like my sauce extra thick so it holds together after baking)
Add salt and white pepper to taste. Continue to cook for 10-15 min stirring so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of pan. Add cream cheese and stir until melted.
Preheat your oven to 375.
Cook your pasta and drain. Put your hot pasta back into your large pot you cooked it in.
Add about ½ the shredded cheese to the bechamel cream cheese mixture, take it off the heat and stir till melted.
Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta (if you think there’s too much sauce just save some for later to make cauliflower or broccoli and cheese later in the week) I like mine extra saucy.
Pour into a heavy baking dish.
Sprinkle breadcrumbs and the rest of the cheddar cheese on top.
Bake until golden brown
Let rest for at least 10-15 min