This is the culmination of a couple of months of highly enjoyable Saturday lunchtime experimentation. I tried a wide range of cheese combos, breads, and variations including ‘proper’ welsh rarebit (way too sloppy), grilled, baked. Yes, the recipe below is simple – but if you’re going to make it, you might as well make it right…
- Cut a nice chunky slice or two of the bread and get it under the grill. Sourdough takes a while to toast, I find the best result is a light toasting one side, and a darker, crunchier toast on what will be the bottom is best. Or you could pop it on a griddling iron instead, the char-grilled tastiness will blow your mind!
- Meanwhile grate up the cheddar and mix in a bowl with the creme fraiche and the mustard, cayenne pepper and grind in a bit of black pepper
- Butter the light side of the toast, and load up with the cheese mix and top with parmesan (will give a crisper top)
- Get it under a hot grill until you see that lovely golden brown bubbling top.
- Turn the grill off and leave it there a couple of minutes if you can bear to. Letting it cool will not only benefit the inside of your mouth, but the edges of the cheese will harden slightly and crisp up even more
- Score the top of the cheese and splash a little mushroom sauce over the top, or sprinkle over some freshly chopped chives.
Cheesy Science...Higher fat and moisture content (as found in cheddar) disrupt a cheese’s structure. This leads to a “collapse and ooze” type of melt rather than a stretch. Ageing will have the same effect, loosening the bonded proteins that are better fused and more elastic in younger cheese.
This means if you just use a vintage cheddar it’s going to melt sloppy (as in the photo). Not unpleasant at all, but in all honesty, a younger cheddar works better on toast as it will kick out less fat and therefore help to keep the toast crunchy.