Next-level toastie tips

Next-level toastie tips

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Few things are as satisfying as a well-made toastie; crunchy, perfectly-golden bread framing whatever warm deliciousness waits inside, whether it's a torrent of cheese, or countless layers of meaty, pickled, saucy treats. Infinitely customisable, crafting a toastie is an opportunity to play wild and loose with the type of bread, the fillings, even what you use to spread over the outside of the toast to keep it from sticking. Suited to classic combinations (ham and cheese, cheddar and pickle) and the more inventive, they're an ideal way to express your creative spirit, or simply to use up what's left in the fridge. While it's hard to go wrong making a toastie - throw in your favourite ingredients, add a bread lid, clamp the sandwich press down and wait - these are a few of our favourite tips, secrets, surprises and combos that will take your toastie-making game to the next level.

  • Instead of spreading the outside of your bread with butter, use mayonnaise. It's easier to spread and transforms quickly into oil when toasted, giving your toastie a satisfying all-over golden finish. Use a lime infused mayo for an extra kick!
  • Everyone loves a cheese toastie, but adding a few spoonfuls of chutney or relish can really bring it life. We love Drunken Sailor's whisky piccalilli with cheddar, our tomato kasundi with Swiss and cranberry relish with camembert.
  • Mustard fruits are preserved in a sweet syrup infused with mustard oil, giving them an aromatically savoury note on top of their deliciously vibrant sweetness. Chop them up and scatter them in your ham and cheese toastie as an Italian-inspired sweet/savoury flavour bomb; a tip we have the amazing Jill Dupleix to thank for!
  • Alternatively, if you love your ham, cheese and mustard toasties, try subbing in a specialty mustard like Delouis' French Champagne mustard, or their mustard with Espelette pepper
  • The muffuletta is one of the world's great sandwiches, and easy to recreate as a toastie. Layer Italian artichoke paste, chopped olives, roasted peppers and sun-dried tomatoes with ham, mortadella, salami and provolone, adding as many layers as you can fit in your sandwich press.
  • Turn a toastie into a fine dining bread course, with a smear of black truffle salsa and a grating of your favourite aged cheese.
  • Give your non-stick sandwich press a workout by grating parmesan over the surface, then laying your untoasted sandwich over it. Half way through, lift the sandwich, repeat with more parmesan, and flip the sandwich before finishing the cook. You'll be left with a crispy, cheesy crust.
  • Take two slices of rye bread, spread a layer of Australian horseradish then top with corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese for a quick homemade Reuben.
  • Create a toastie/garlic bread fusion by spreading the outside of your bread with black garlic butter, and filling the inside with cheese. The perfect accompaniment to a bowl of homemade tomato soup.
  • Who said a toastie had to be savoury? Sandwich couverture chocolate and some halved marshmallows between two slices of brioche for an indulgent s'mores toastie!

However you tune-up your toasties, tag us on Instagram (@essentialingredientaus) so we can share your creations with the world!

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