4 slices dense -- hearty brown bread
1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
5 tablespoons dark ale (NOT beer)
2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper
salt and pepper -- to taste
Preheat a broiler.
Toast the bread slices in a toaster to golden brown.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the cheddar and the dark ale.
When the cheese melts, add the butter, Dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper and the cayenne, and whisk together until smoothly melted and combined, 1-2 minutes.
Cut each piece of toast in half, diagonally, and arrange on a pie plate.
Pour the cheese mixture over the toasts so they are covered completely.
Place the platter under the broiler and broil until the cheese bubbles and starts to scorch in places, about 2 minutes.
Remove from the broiler and serve piping hot.