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- Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Top and tail the onions, being careful not to take too much away from the root end. Place in the water with the garlic and cook for 15 minutes until just tender. Drain well, discarding the garlic, and cool slightly.
- Push out the centres with your fingers, leaving the external two thick layers of onion to form each one into a hollow case. Set aside the cases and finely chop the centres.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/180˚C fan/gas mark 6. Heat half of the butter in a large pan over a medium heat and cook the mushrooms for 6-7 minutes until tender. Stir in the thyme.
- Sprinkle with one tablespoon of the flour and stir to combine. Stir in 80ml of the cream and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring, until thickened. Season with salt, black pepper and paprika to taste.
- Stuff the onion cases with the mushroom mixture and nestle in a shallow baking dish. Reduce the oven temperature to 180˚C/160˚C fan/gas mark 4.
- Melt the remaining butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the remaining flour until well blended. Whisk for another minute, then slowly stir in the remaining cream, whisking for 3-4 minutes until thickened.
- Add the chopped onion centres and any of the mushroom mixture that didn't fit in the onion cases. Season the sauce to taste with salt, paprika and the sherry.
- Pour the white sauce into the baking dish. Sprinkle the tops of the onions with breadcrumbs and cheese, if using. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden and tender.
Per Serving 727kcals, 54.3g fat (33.7g saturated), 45.2g carbs, 10.8g sugars, 15.1g protein, 6.4g fibre, 0.43g sodium
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