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Savillum (Ancient Roman cheesecake) recipe

Savillum (Ancient Roman cheesecake) recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Cheesecake
  • Ricotta cheesecake

This honey sweetened cheesecake is made with eggs and ricotta cheese and flavoured with orange zest, lemon juice and bay leaves. If you're planning a toga party or just want a taste of ancient Rome, this is an authentic version of an ancient Roman cheese cake. Can be served either warm or cold.

64 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 15 bay leaves
  • 3 eggs
  • 225g ricotta cheese
  • 175g honey
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 60g plain flour

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:40min ›Ready in:50min

  1. Preheat an oven to 220 C / Gas 7. Pour some water into a small, ovenproof bowl, and place into the oven. Arrange the bay leaves over the bottom of a 23cm springform cake tin.
  2. Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl, then mix in ricotta cheese, honey, orange zest and lemon juice. Sprinkle in the flour, and stir until evenly combined. Gently pour the batter over the bay leaves, being careful not to disturb them too much.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until browned, about 35 to 40 minutes. Run the tip of a paring knife around the edges of the tin, and release from the springform tin. Invert onto a serving plate, and serve warm or chilled.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(18)

Reviews in English (17)

Just made this and whilst the end result is good it's made a mess of the oven. Grateful for advise on whether to use set or running honey (I used the latter) and whether the cake tin should be lined and or greased? Thanks J-24 Mar 2013

tastes good, but is pretty flat, difficult to turn out, bay leaves do get into the 'cake' and are difficult to remove before serving (even though I used a lakeland 'pushpan'. Perhaps do in small ramekins next time and serve like that without turning out.-24 Nov 2013

by chikalin

this recipe is ok as a twist on modern cheesecake, it uses unique ingredients yet still tastes familiar enough to be what we consider a 'cheesecake'. it's not delicious, but it's ok. it is also not what it claims to be. this recipe is a heavily altered combination of two recipes mentioned in ancient texts. the reason i am rating it so low for an ok cheesecake is because most, if not all, people looking for this recipe are going to be making it because they think it's 'authentic ancient roman', which it isnt, although the explanation claims it is. it's only real claim is that it's touted as an ancient recipe, so people will make it for things like toga parties. the cheesecake itself is mediocre at best. it is not as sweet as what we consider cheesecake to be, and the bay leaves impart a slightly odd flavor. the romans didn't have citrus fruit until the 4th century ad, and it is disputed if they had it at all. savillum and the other recipe this stems from, libum, were from texts by Cato the elder, about 500 years before that. it was probably added to this recipe to suit our tastes, as cheesecake is often made with lemon. savillum also did not use bay leaves, there was a different recipe for cheese buns (unsweetened) that were placed on bay leaves to bake before they were soaked in honey after baking.-14 Apr 2011

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