Recipe: Nan's ultimate cheese toastie

A FRIEND OF mine recently asked me how to make the ultimate cheese toastie and I couldn't see past my nan's version, 'cheese dreams'. I don't know where the name came from, but I would hazard a guess that it was from her travels to the States in the 80s and 90s when grandad worked over the pond. 

These days, it seems to be on the menu of many a street food joint - and it rarely comes cheap.  Nan used to serve us this recipe for breakfast when we were little, but it's such a perfect comfort food that it really works any time of day.  Naturally, I like to use the finest cheddar and Keen's is my choice for the ultimate cheese toastie. Now in their fifth generation, the family have been making award-winning cheese in Somerset since 1899.  The nuttiness and slight mustardy notes, as well as its melting qualities, mean that this cheese gives an exciting range of flavours during the eat.  

The beauty of this is you get a crunchiness from the crust, a gooey cheese filling and also a richness from the bread where the butter has been absorbed.  I like mine with a big dollop of ketchup on the side, just to cut through the richness.  


2x slices of bread (I used a white loaf from Bayne's, sourdough works really well, too), preferably a day or two old
1x free-range egg, beaten
75g, cheddar, grated
25g unsalted butter


1) Arrange the grated cheese evenly over the surface of the bread.  It's amazing how much you can cram in if you squish the cheese together - the cheesier the better.

2) Cut the bread into halves or quarter depending on size.  Melt the butter in a non-stick pan.

3) Dip the bread in the egg mix and place into the foaming butter.  Cook for around 1 1/2-2 mins per side.

4) Serve with ketchup