Potted cheddar with poppy seeds
SERVES 6 PREP THE CHEESE Finely grate 150g mature cheddar. In a large bowl, work 50g unsalted butter using a wooden spoon until really soft and creamy, then fold in a large pinch of ground mace and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Work the cheese into the butter a quarter at a time, adding 2 tbsp medium sherry with the final quarter. Spoon into small pots or a shallow bowl, smoothing the surface. Dust with a thin layer of poppy seeds. Cover and chill until required (it will keep well in the fridge for a week or two). SERVING IDEAS Dollop a heaped teaspoon on to hot crisp toast triangles and flash briefly under the grill until the top just starts to melt. Or, for a retro bite with a glass of sherry, sandwich walnut halves with a teaspoon of the potted cheese.