Have you ever try a Croque Monsieur? Basically it is a French cruises of grilled ham with cheese sandwich in Bechamel sauce (a white sauce, is made with a roux of butter and flour cooked in milk). Recently, I have tried out one which I think is a super one at Zimt Patisserie Bakery Cafe at Surrey Hills. The texture of its Bechamel sauce tricked me to think that I'm eating a tofu texture, so soft and silky with the taste of milk and the cheese in it is so subtle that you wouldn't notice it exist! The used of Gruyere cheese is one of the key to its taste.
I tried to replicate one at home using the recipe from Foodnetwork with minor modifications, and I only used 1/4 of the recipe because the original recipe is for 16 slices of breads. The end result is lovely but the texture of the Bechamel sauce is not the one which I tried at Zimt Patisserie Bakery Cafe :( I did some research on the Bechamel sauce, there is website mentioned about the control of the butter, flour which will determine the thickness of the sauce, well, I need to try out more if I need to get the same as the Croque Monsieur at Zimt!
Recipe adapted from Foodnetwork
(used 1/4 of the recipe to make 4 slices or 2 serving)
2 tbsp unsalted butter (used 1 tbsp)
3 tbsp all purpose flour (used 1 tbsp)
2 cups hot milk (used 80ml)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
a pinch of nutmeg
5 cups Gruyere cheese, grated (used 150g)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed (used 4 slices with crusts on)
Dijon mustard (used honey mustard)
some ham, sliced (used 4 slices)
1. Preheat oven to 220C.
2. Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 mins. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter flour mixture. Cook, whisk constantly until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat and add salt, pepper and nutmeg, 1/2 of the Gruyere cheese, the Parmesan and set aside.
3. To toast the bread, place bread on the baking sheets and bake for 5 mins.
4. Lightly brush half the toasted bread with mustard, add slice ham and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere cheese.
5. Top the bread with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the Bechamel Sauce. Sprinkle with remaining Gruyere Cheese and bake the sandwich for 5 mins.
Note: I didn't follow how it assembled the sandwich, I just place a piece of toasted bread, brush with mustard, top with ham, top with Bechamel sauce, then a piece of ham, top with more Bechamel sauce and another piece of toasted bread. Sprinkle remaining Gruyere cheese on top.