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Cook the potatoes in a large pan of water for 15 mins or until soft. Drain well. Place the pan back on the heat. Melt a little butter and cook the garlic for 1 min to soften, then stir in the cream or milk and heat through. Return the potatoes to the pan and mash until smooth.
Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Spoon the mixture into a 20 x 30cm baking dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs, cheese and thyme over the top. Can be made up to this point the day before and stored in the fridge or frozen for up to 1 month. Cook for 15 mins until the crumbs are crisp and the cheese has melted. To cook from frozen, simply cook for 1 hr 10 mins.