Darren Purchese's gourmet snacks are sure to measure up for fans of the humble toastie.
Darren Purchese's gourmet snacks are sure to measure up for fans of the humble toastie.

Tasty twists on the toastie

JUST about everyone loves a toasted sandwich, or toastie. Whether it's filled with baked beans at brekky or ham and cheese at dinner, this popular meal has graced the tables of many Aussie homes.

Now pastry chef Darren Purchese has taken the humble toastie up a notch with his new book, Chefs Eat Toasties Too.

If you are looking for inspiration, then this book is oozing with it. Darren has concocted 50 gourmet creations that lift the prosaic toastie from the mundane to the mouthwatering.

Some of his tempting recipes include dark chocolate, olive oil and Murray River salt flakes; apple and blackberry jaffle with custard; and Bulgarian feta, caramelised onion, lemon and mint in chive egg batter.

Darren also provides a range of recipes for sides, sauces and dressings to give his pimped-up toasties extra flair, include pear and walnut chutney; dill pickles; homemade potato chips; and candied orange slices, as well as a handy guide to the many types of cheese you can use.

This book is clearly a culmination of one man's love for the toasted sandwich, and is sure to motivate you to lift your own toastie game.

Peanut butter, raspberry and milk chocolate toastie



8 slices brioche loaf

120g peanut butter

4 tbs raspberry jam

16 raspberries, halved

80g unsalted butter, softened

600g Callebaut Origin Java 32% milk chocolate melts (buttons), melted, for dipping


Liberally spread peanut butter evenly on to four slices of the brioche. Spread the raspberry jam on the remaining slices and evenly distribute the halved raspberries on top. Sandwich the peanut butter and raspberry slices together. Make four sandwiches in total and butter the outside of each.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook the sandwiches for 4 minutes on each side to obtain a golden exterior. Remove the sandwiches from the heat and allow them to cool before cutting them into strips, or in half lengthways. Serve with the melted milk chocolate for dipping.

PRO TIPS: Salty peanut butter works really well with the tart raspberries. Brioche is key and milk chocolate makes the whole world a better place. Use smooth or crunchy peanut butter, whatever your preference.

This is an edited extract from Chefs Eat Toasties Too by Darren Purchese, published by Hardie Grant Books, RRP $29.99 and is available in stores nationally. Photographer: ©Brendan Homan