Reporter takes on Northcote's 'Michelin starred' Warburtons toastie recipe at home - here's how it went
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And I still do - somehwere.
We seem to go through fits and starts of using it, and then it sliding back into a cupboard for years. But it's time had come again this morning, when I was tasked with recreating Lisa Goodwin-Allen's Michelin-starred cheese and tomato toastie at home.
What's it all about?
Lisa has teamed up with Warburtons and their toastie loaf to feature a very posh toastie on her autumn gourmet menu at Northcote.
Click here to read all about it and get the recipe for yourself
Last week, she sent out a recipe for everyone else to try at home.
How did it go?
Well, if you're after a quick turnaround comfort food, this isn't it.
The instructions - first for the tomato relish, and secondly for the cheese filling - are extensive, as far as a toastie goes.
So extensive infact, I didn't realise part of it had to be frozen mid-making - but more of that later.
The ingredients were the first problem for me. Lisa specifies Tunworth cheese - an English camembert, and Black Cow cheddar.
A quick online search revealed Waitrose stocked both. So off I popped to the Capitol Centre, but no, neither were available there. So I had to go for the closest alternatives I could find.
I decided to get the rest of the ingedients while I was there, only to discover that Waitrose and Warburtons have had a falling out, and none of their products are on the shelves.
So, a second supermarket trip for me to pick up a toastie loaf.
Now, being a Hello Fresh subscriber, I'm used to having just about every pan and utensil out when making a meal. But for a toastie, I wasn't expecting such a mess.
I went through two pans, three chopping boards, about a dozen knives, a cheese grater, a toastie maker, and what felt like a whole canteen of cutlery. To make, essentially, a snack.
Firstly, you make the relish, or compote, which sits on top of the toastie.
While that gently reduces, you make the cheese filling, featuring an egg yolk (that I made a mess of), cornflour, milk, and the two types of cheese.
I was surprised to learn that I only needed 5g of the camembert, and as the mixture curdled, this is when I started to become disenchanted.
All that effort (and money) for 5g. And it stinks.
But, of course I defer to Lisa's knowledge, and I ploughed on. Till the point where I read I now had to freeze the cheese mixture in 3cm ‘semi spear moulds’ - or half an ice cube tray if you didn't have one. Not surprisingly, I didn't. So I had to rummage around in the freezer draw for a while.
Impatiently, I gave the mixture 50 minutes to set, becoming grumpy at the time it was all taking.
At that point it was more-or-less set, but still a bit soft when I got it out, and manoeuvered two cubes per 'triangle' it into position on the bread now butter-side-down in the Breville.
With the bread lid on top, I set the machine off to work for the specified four minutes.
When it came out, still perhaps a little pale, I placed a generous spoonful of relish on the top, along with some grated cheddar - all as per instruction.
Lisa recommends a dizzle of olive oil too, but that’s not my cup of tea.
And the result?
It was ok. Just ok. Really not worth the hassle sourcing the ingredients, two hours making it and cleaning up.
The cheese was all melty, creamy and strong, but I found that all together, it was a litle soggy.
The relish just didn't do anything for me, and I thought it would have been better inside the bread envelope.
I'm sure the real deal is amazing, knock-your-socks-off stuff, and yes, I'm sure my execution could be improved.
But if you have a couple of hours spare, then I'd recommend doing something else!