The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Oven roasted cheese toasties recipe

oven baked cheese toasty“August has been terrible, this year. It seems to have rained every day.”
My prospective client stared out of the window into the greyish, damp gloom.
I’ve only had outside work for the last few weeks. I know the Met Office site better than our redundant garden table, where we used to eat our supper most summer evenings years ago.

This morning I rambled through the blog archives. August was cold and wet last year and 2006 had its low points too. When summer weather turns chilly, an indulgent treat can lift the spirits in just one bite.

Waiting for the rain to clear this morning, I decided to make oven roasted cheese toasties. The original recipe for these is from Darina Allen’s wonderful book Irish Traditional Cooking. I’ve tweaked and played with the recipe ever since I escaped to the kitchen during a chilly winter rat shoot in the cottage garden. I can’t remember if we bagged a rat but there was definitely a tussle over the last cheese toasty.

Easy, scrummy and the perfect brunch.

Darina Allen’s recipe is not available online so here is my version. Her book is a real gem. I bought it in Dublin when it was only available in Ireland. Now you can find it in the UK and it’s a great investment – packed with inspirational, anecdotal recipes and a real feel of the best of Irish culture and food.

Oven roasted cheese toasties (for 2-3 hungry hunters)


  • 2-3 slices of fresh crusty white bread chopped in half
  • 150g of good mature cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 large eggs
  • Half a teaspoon of dry mustard powder
  • Lashings of freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 220c or 200c fan

  1. Beat the eggs.
  2. Add the mustard powder and the grated cheese and mix well with a fork.
  3. Spread the mixture on the bread, right up to the edges, so it will melt beyond the top.
  4. Season with freshly ground black pepper and bake on a baking sheet at the top of the oven until puffy and golden brown (about 15 minutes).
  5. Prepare for rapturous applause.

  Leave a reply


  1. Have been looking for new recipes to try out, and stumbled across your website when looking for rasberry vodka recipes. Went through every page stealing recipes I plan to try out, and started off with this one, and it really was lovely. Will start working through the rest…

  2. Hi,

    I tried your cheese on toast recipe the other day – I’d never added beaten egg to it – it was scumptiously scrummy. I didn’t add mustard as none of the family like it and we don’t keep any in the cupboard – but even without the mustard it was gorg.

    Mant thanks for the recipe
    Marcel xxx

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Frannie

    Thanks for dropping by. The cheese on toast is a favourite and the damson and sloe gin is worth waiting for. Delighted that you discovered us!

    Hi Jo

    Our hearts went out to you this evening. So sorry to hear about your woes. Danny grew up beside smallholders in Ireland, if something went wrong it was a disaster and the family went hungry.

    Not suggesting that this is happening to you but a poor harvest can severely dent a budget that could be ‘better’ spent.

    I feel in my bones that you guys will make a go of your project. It will work out. You clearly have worked out the worst possible scenario.

    Every living thing appreciates summer and needs sunshine. From geese to goats to hay and humans.

    Do hope that it works out for you soon!

  4. Jo @ LittleFfarm Dairy

    Alas, it’s not only us who are suffering, in terms of the weather, & food for thought:

    Our animals, too, are feeling the summerless strain. The goats are getting crotchety at having prolonged periods indoors; & we’re rapidly running out of fodder & bedding for them. Straw is like gold dust (& ironically not a dissimilar price)here in Wales, because as few arable crops are cultivated we have to import the stuff at around £90 per tonne (with a minimum order of 22 tonnes).

    However, there’s no sign of a consignment arriving any time soon owing to the poor harvest in England; even though we have literally run out of bedding – & ideas. Plus we haven’t yet been able to cut any hay; so although we still have a few bales left – which we’re having to use as a combination of bedding & fodder – the prospects are frankly, not favourable; with all this bad weather, everyone’s crops are blackening & rotting in the sodden fields where they stand.

    I relish the prospect of those cheese toasties (especially when made with our own farmhouse cheese – yummy!) as they at least provide us with ‘comfort food’ – yet every mouthful becomes a guilt trip when you’re worrying about feeding your ‘extended family’ over the Winter.

    And at the last count we have around seventy hungry caprine, ovine & equine mouths to feed; plus in excess of two dozen geese, hens & ducks – who may have to end up in their turn, feeding us if we suffer a bad winter…..not good; not good, at all.

  5. frannie

    Came across your website by accident and I am so pleased that I have discovered you! I have already made your Damson Gin, added sherry to my old sloes, picked more Damsons for your chutney (making it on Wednesday) and have had your cheese on toast for supper. All that in less than a week!!

  6. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Rebecca

    I’m so sorry I missed your comment.

    Oh your homemade tomato soup sounds wonderful!

    Hi Sylvie

    Thanks for dropping by! I’m off now to see how I can win another Irish Cookbook. Thanks.

  7. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Kate

    How disappointing.

    D says,
    ‘Toms take up so much time.’
    I really enjoy my evening communing. So in my terms the time is well spent.

    We had a similar experience in June one year. Lost everything but had time to replace the plants.

    Poor you. The weather has been terrible this August. We discovered that we have potato blight this morning (so no floury pots for Danny yet again this year) but the tomatoes are fine so far.

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