I've been craving my mom's Mac 'n Cheese for years now and manage to resent my whole family to death every time I smell it in the oven. It's very different to the American Vegan Mac 'n Cheese versions I've tried - a weird yellowish mustardy thing that I can't really convince my tastebuds is anything like it should be.
My attempt at duplicating my mom's egg and milk filled Mac 'n Cheese is still a long shot from what it should be, but bear with me and try it out! It was a little bland, but so was my mom's, but perhaps I'd add some shaved carrots and garlic, or something to add a little more flavour next time. Will add photos then.
Boere Style Mac 'n Cheese
1 litre Soya Milk Unsweetened
Salt & Pepper
1 Tbsp Ina Paarman Chicken Flavour Stock Powder
3 Tsp Maizena or other egg replacer
Equal parts cake flour and softened (but not melted) baking margerine - I don't know what my measurements were exactly but about a cup of each
1 bag egg-free macaroni pasta
1 block of Firm Tofu
1 Brown Onion
1/4 Tsp Marmite/Vegemite/Nutritional Yeast Flakes
Oil for frying
Nature's Choice Mock Parmesan
1 deep baking dish with or without lid - 2 litres at least
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Partially cook macaroni by boiling, remove from water and add to the oven dish. Add a lump of margerine to the pasta and mix it in to keep everything from sticking together.
Béchamel: Mix together the flour and the margerine blending them together by hand, slowly adding the flour to the margerine in a mixing bowl. I use a fork to blend them at first and once a thick paste starts forming I change to a wooden spoon.
Transfer margerine/flour mixture to the saucepan and stir over a low heat to release the gluten and melt it down, slowly adding soya milk after 3 minutes or so. Adding the soya milk slowly prevents lumps from forming, and instead you get a lovely smooth paste, stirring constantly.
Once the béchamel is more liquid than pasty, you can add the rest of the soya milk, the maizena and the stock powder. Be sure to have added water to the latter two ingredients and beaten out the lumps before adding to the béchamel. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Stir over the heat for a couple of minutes, remove and pour it over partially cooked macaroni that is already in the oven dish. You don't want the béchamel to boil down because it will reduce in the oven.
Fry up the chopped onions (and some garlic if you wish, but I didn't use garlic for a change!). When golden and translucent crumb in the tofu, unflavoured. Fry tofu for 2 minutes with onions, pour into dish with macaroni and béchamel. Stir in.
For a crusty top we sprinkled some of the Nature's Choice Mock Parmesan liberally as well as lots of Life Cheddareze. We also added sliced cherry tomatoes on top, as they bake and become a little brown and crispy, finishing it off perfectly! Ryan insists that we should have added the Mock Parmesan to the béchamel mixture as well, so we will do that next time. I will probably also make some cashew nut cheese or cream for the next batch as it will add a little more cheesyness to the dish.
We baked ours for about an hour without a lid, but it depends on your settings and how creamy you want it. Ours was exactly the consistency I was looking for! Soft and fluffy, without being runny!
Good luck making it, and please let me know how it turned out and what you changed!