08 Dec // Hot cheese and chocolate butter

Until I live out my dream to open a 24 hour cheese toastie shop called Hot Cheese, I am getting very good at perfecting the art of the toasted sandwich at home. Bread choice is a major factor, plenty of butter for frying is also important, and there’s the eternal question of how many fillings. A crucial error is one ingredient too many; balance is key. One of the best I’ve made in recent times was on a Saturday night when a long lunch turned into a party in my kitchen, and I found myself making toasties with a rye sourdough, homemade ruby red sauerkraut, and tasty cheese, fried in butter. They were an absolute dream. Shortly afterwards, Lewis Road asked me to come up with a recipe using their new chocolate butter. Toasties were already on my mind, and so here we are.

The chocolate butter: it spreads like other chocolatey spreads you may already be familiar with, but has a definite dark chocolate flavour. I think this makes it taste a bit like ganache, but it’s spreadable, and it’s really good.

I thought chocolate butter would be the base of a sweet toasted sandwich, an idea I couldn’t escape, but decided it needed a soft cheese of some sort, and a sweet element. Mascarpone ended up being my cheese of choice, and the first of the lush summer berries came in with the sweetness. This here is a simple creation: chocolate butter, fresh berries, and creamy mascarpone. I used Lewis Road sourdough for the bread (grains, I decided, have no place in a sweet toastie) and the result is a bit like french toast, but without the egg factor, and it’s a perfectly sweet, pick-up-able, delicious, sweet treat. I’d suggest eating this any time you might have, say, pancakes: that is, breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. Or a snack. Or at 2am after your work Christmas party. Either way, get some chocolate butter and get a sweet toasted sandwich into your life.

Chocolate butter sweet toastie

2 slices Lewis Road Sourdough

A tub of Lewis Road Chocolate Butter

Small handful fresh berries (I used blackberries)

A decent smear of mascarpone cheese

A knob of Lewis Road Lightly Salted Butter

Spread one slice of bread with chocolate butter. Spread the other slice with mascarpone. Gently smash the berries into the mascarpone. Close the sandwich by pressing two slices together.

Heat a frying pan to medium-high heat, and heat the knob of butter until melted. Add the sandwich, and place another frying pan on top as a weight. Cook a couple of minutes, then carefully flip and fry the other side, until golden. NB: you can use a toasted sandwich maker or press, just butter the outside of the sandwich before toasting.

Serve immediately.