A Taste of the Past
A Taste of the Past


All the recipes are now split into their own pages.  They are listed on the side bar at the right.  The recipes available are listed on this page here but the menu is not a clickable link yet. I am still working out how to do that.

Bread Recipes


Plain white bread 



Jams and Preserves

Plum jam recipe - suitable for skinned fruits such as blackcurrents

No Cook Berry Jam - suitable for soft fruits like strawberry and blackberry

Cakes and Desserts

Basic Sponge Cake Recipe

Rock Cakes

Easy Cup Cakes

Different Cake Flavour Suggestions

No Cook Jam Cake

Cinnamon stars or Marchpane

Easy Chocolate Sauce

My Recipe Blog

This web site offers me a great way to make an easy web site but I am limited on the number of pages I can have so I am experimenting with linking a blog and using it as a recipe book and comments place.  It also has better indexing.

A Taste of the Past

Help! My jam went wrong. (Mon, 30 Jul 2018)
It is blackberry time again when lots of people are tempted to make jam.  Making jam is always a good idea and not something to be frightened off. The most common question I get asked is why a batch of jam went “wrong.”   My answer is always pretty much the same.  Unless you wandered off, forgot your jam and came back to a blackened, burnt, solid lump of jam toffee (and a tricky washing up task) then your jam probably did not go wrong. For every "mistake" there is a perfectly good classification of preserve to rescue the day.  Just make sure that when you venture into the kitchen feeling like a domestic goddess ready to take on the world that you don't actually announce that you are going to make jam.  Tell them you are preserving and once you have finished and are admiring the fruits of your labour, decide what it is you have made. Conserve A conserve is runny jam, often described as loose set with larger pieces of fruit. If your jam doesn’t set over night, bung the jars in the freezer where they will keep pretty much for years.  When you need one, take it out and serve your loose set, conserve with pride drizzled over scones and cream.  So much easier than trying to spread a set jam over your cream tea.  Sauces If it is really runny then whizz it up in the blender and pour your artisan coolie over vanilla ice cream for a divine dessert.  The colours are simply stunning and if you heat the coolie as well the taste is amazing. If you are feeling very adventurous then you could gently fry and onion, add a splash of vinegar and some your very runny jam and whizz in the processor to make an interesting sauce for meat. Fruit butters If, when you open you jar of jam, you find that it has set quite hard and is difficult to spread the you have made a butter.  Fruit butters sometimes contain actual butter but not always.  They tend to have smaller pieces of fruit so make an issue of wanting to better mix the flavours.  These would make a good filling for jam tarts or baked puddings. Fruit cheeses If you need a knife to release your jam from the jar then congratulations, you have made a fruit cheese.  Carefully cut the jam out of the jar in a neat cylinder and slice thinly.  Serve the sliced preserve with British cheeses and a range of crackers for a top notch cheese board. Remember, with all of these, do not tell anyone that your jam went wrong!
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Healthy Snacks (Sun, 08 Apr 2018)
It is that time of the year again.... ...when you really crave something other than chocolate Here are 3 recipes for something a bit more wholesome and very tasty. Dukkah Anyone listening to Radio 4 this week will have probably been hearing about the great cookery writer, Claudia Roden.  She is credited with introducing this lovely spice mix to Britain and indeed a lot of the rest of the world.  It is pronounced do'ha by the way (the wonders of radio versus a recipe book!) Anyway, I don't have her original recipe and a quick internet search revealed that everyone has their own blend of favourite flavours so here goes with mine.  I apologise now for lack of accurate quantities, this isn't that sort of recipe. 4 tablespoons of nuts - lightly roasted 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds 1 table spoon each of coriander seed, cumin seed, fennel seeds some salt, quite a lot of salt actually, this is a spicy salt mix dried mint to taste, oregano would work as well. lightly roast all of these in a dry frying pan or warm oven. Crush the seeds and food process / crush the lot together. Dip bread in olive oil and then the dukkah. Sprinkle onto meat before grilling or roasting Mix into yoghurt or mayonnaise for a lovely dip any other ideas..... Savoury Seed Mix Take your favourite seeds, I use sunflower, sesame and linseed and flax. Spread on a baking sheet in a thin layer. Sprinkle over soy sauce, not too wet. Roast at 180 and check every 5 minutes. This cooks very unevenly so you really do need to check and stir the seeds every five minutes until they are evenly dry. Take out of oven and while they cool a little bit pop a jam jar in the oven to sterilise it. Add cold seeds to cold jar and seal. If you leave the seeds around for too long they re-absorb all the moisture you have just cooked out and go sticky. There are lots of recipes on the internet that include sugars, herbs and spices.  I avoid the sugary as they can really burn your oven tray very quickly.  Mixes of spices and salt are nice as well. Dried Bananas I don't usually go in for recipes that need special equipment but if you happen to have a dehydrator or an Aga then have a go. Slice bananas, dip into lemon water and dry them out. I run bread making course in Surrey, please visit my website for more details: http://www.tasteofthepast.co.uk/saturday-bread-courses/
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Dairy Free Chocolate Dessert (Sun, 23 Apr 2017)
Dairy Free Chocolate Treat When I was young I never really understood all the fuss about Christmas food.  Mince pies were OK but the pudding and cake were awful.  I didn't like the dried fruit, the funny spices, the thick, sickly icing or the cream.  To me Christmas dinner was one big roast dinner with the unwanted addition of smelly, mini-cabbage and dodgy looking beige gloop on the side.  Don't even get me started on trifle!   Then one day my Mum bought Delia Smith's Christmas cook book and my outlook on Christmas changed forever.  Interesting starters appeared and on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day there was chocolate puddings.  First up was the Squidgy Chocolate Log and then there was the Chocolate Truffle Torte.  Oh my goodness, I was in utter heaven.  Best of all there were leftovers for days. Fast forward a few year and it slowly dawns on me that the reason I grew up not likely anything with milk in was because milk disagrees with me.  However my Mum was not having me grow up with rickets and growing old with brittle bones.  Close on two decades of compulsory dairy products has left me with a learnt love of cream teas and a deep, psychological need to always have cheese in the fridge. Sure, truffle torte made my stomach sound like a bubbling kettle but it was worth it for the shear heavenly taste.  Then I had kids and it is very obvious that they seem to be having issues with milk too.  I can't play fast and loose with their digestion and so I needed a dairy free alternative to my favourite Christmas treat and I needed it fast.  This is the result, a mix of chocolate, coconut and rum.  It doesn't have the depth as the Delia recipe but give me time and a few more tries and I will manage it.  In the meantime, please try this recipe and let me know how it goes, I think it is very nice indeed, if a little rich. Recipe 200g dark chocolate (I use the really cheap, supermarket versions, feel free to be more generous) 100g creamed coconut block, 80 g boiling water 1 dessert spoon of run (or other favourite alcohol.  Or use a teaspoon of flavouring) 1 grated orange rind. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over boiling water Finely chopped the creamed coconut Mix the creamed coconut with the boiling water and stir well until you get a creamy paste Stir in the orange rind and the flavouring (if using) Stir the cocnut mix into the chocolate, mix well Pour or spoon into a a suitable container.  You can use just about any heat proof container for this. Leave to too and then pop in the fridge to finish off This cools to quite a solid dessert.  I am experimenting with using a little more water each time, an extra 10g, until I get a more creamy finish to the dessert.  At the moment it is like a chocolate bar left in a warm room.
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