The Cottage Smallholder

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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.

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  1. Kate(uk)

    We had a hail storm of such intensity last week that when the hail turned to rain the water fell straight off the roof, completely by-passing the gutters overflowing and piled high with ice.The garden was white. Needless to say my yellow tomatoes, being of a delicate disposition, have not recovered. After a week of looking bad, leaves needled with ice-made holes and rain every day, they have succumbed to blight.
    August- AUGUST?

  2. Those look great. I guess those and a good bowl of soup would just about make up for any weather! Have a look at my blog if you get a second if you’d like a chance to win another Irish cookbook.

  3. Rebecca

    I too feel that the weather has been less than summery lately. Those toasties, however, look wonderful. Comfort food at its best. Right up there along with homemade tomato soup, which we made last night after coming home from the cinema (Mamma Mia). I love the smell of tomatoes anyway – but the smell of tomatoes slowly cooking away on the gas hob makes me want to grab a blanket and curl up on the sofa in front of a roaring fire. Even in August.

  4. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Sharon J

    I almost made them again this morning!

    Hi Bibliiochef

    These are so simple to make – far easier than the traditional full English breakfast and everyone seems to love them.

    Hi Pat

    We are growing into this sort of food. Never had these as children!

    Hi Samantha

    I love cheese too! Hope that these turned out well for you. The eggy cheesy softness of the bread and the crisp topping is exquisite.

    Hello Wendy

    It’s so cold here ATM, particularly in the evening and early morning. I’ve started to cook much more wintery dishes but with a summer vegetable slant.

    The Min Pins are fine and it’s only a week ro go before Mrs Boss will be a mum for the second time this year!

    Hi Pamela

    These are wonderful. Soft in the middle and crunchy on the top. I don’t eat a lot usually but it’s equal shares when we have these 🙂

  5. I shall have to try this. I’m often disappointed by cheese toasties – either the toast burns before the cheese is sufficiently melted or you get perfectly toasted bread and cold cheese inside. The weather has been so unsummer-like up North that I even made leek and potato soup for supper last night with friends. Perfect apricot tart for afters though.

  6. You are really catering to us poor sun-deprived readers lately. The really tasty Shepherds Pie the other day and now this scrummy looking cheese recipe. Across the country people are getting their cheese-graters out now for some comfort food! Love to the MinPins and Mrs.Boss x

  7. samantha winter

    Hi Fiona
    Num Nums as our 6 year old grandaughter used to say when something is tasty.
    I must try this for a naughty lunch tomorrow. I am a cheese freak!!

  8. I think you and I must be having the same thoughts Fiona. We have been enjoying good old sliced white bread and grilled cheese sandwiches here this past month. Also peanut butter and jelly ones too. Guess you can never out grow them.

  9. bibliiochef

    August and comfort food seem to go together this year, even in North America. This looks great. Hmmmm.

  10. Sharon J

    That sounds absolutely scrumptious. Guess what we’ll be having for lunch tomorrow?

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