Everyone has their own idea of the perfect toastie (our favourite is the simple grilled cheese from Meltmongers in Edinburgh’s Bruntsfield). However, here’s an ingredient heavy version from Great British Bake Off 2016 winner, Candice Brown, extracted from her new book, Happy Cooking: Easy Comforting Meals and Uplifting Treats (Ebury Press, £22), which also features brown butter macaroni cheese and fig and Brazil nut chocolate mud cake, out now.
“You might think there is no place for the humble toastie in a cookbook but let me tell you, this is where you’re wrong. The toastie has come a long way recently and this guy has it all and more. Cheese, of course, plus sausage, onions and, if you get it right, a runny egg. Or if you are a bit weird like me, pick out the hard yolk and give it to your mam! You can literally put anything in a toastie, even peanut butter and cheese works”
2 thick slices of bread of your choice
1 tsp mayonnaise
2 cooked veggie or meat sausages, halved lengthways
¼ red onion, finely sliced 2 slices of cheese (I used Emmental)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 thick slices of bread
1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
3 rashers of streaky bacon, cooked
2 slices of Cheddar cheese
1 tsp mayonnaise
Preheat a sandwich toaster or place a frying pan over a medium heat. Spread half the mayonnaise over one slice of bread. Turn the bread over and, using your fingers, push down the middle of the bread to create a slight bowl shape.
Crack the egg into the bread bowl – it’s up to you if you want to break the yolk – and season with salt and pepper. Top with the cooked sausages, onion and finally the cheese.
Put the second slice of bread on top and spread the remaining mayonnaise over the outside of the bread.
Carefully lift the sandwich into the sandwich toaster or frying pan. To cook in the sandwich toaster, close the lid and cook until it’s golden brown, the cheese is oozing, and the egg is cooked. In a frying pan, cook for 3–4 minutes on each side and flip carefully. You may need to finish it off in the oven. If so, simply place it on a baking tray and cook for about 5 minutes at 160°C fan (180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4).
Remove from the heat and slice in half – be very careful as the filling will be piping hot. Spread the peanut butter over one slice of bread, then add the cooked bacon and top with the cheese. Put the second slice of bread on top and spread over half the mayonnaise. Flip on to a sandwich toaster so it is mayonnaise-side down. Spread the remaining mayonnaise over the upturned slice of bread. Close the lid and cook until toasted, golden and oozing. Please mind your mouth… it’s hottttttttt!
Extracted from Happy Cooking by Candice Brown (Ebury Press, £22) Photography by Ellis Parrinder