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[Roman Cheesecake]
Elaina de Sinistre and Tatiana Pavlovna Sokolova
(with tweaks by Arwen Southernwood)

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Original Recipe


Cato 84.
Make a savillum thus:  Mix 1/2 libra of flour and 2 1/2 librae of cheese, as is done for libum.  Add 1/4 libra of honey and 1 egg.  Grease an earthenware bowl with oil.  When you have mixed the ingredients well, pour into the bowl and cover the bowl with an earthenware testo.  See that you cook it well in the middle, where it is highest.  When it is cooked, remove the bowl, spread with honey, sprinkle with poppy, put it back beneath the testo for a moment, and then remove.  Serve it thus with a plate and spoon.



1 15-oz. container whole milk ricotta
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 eggs
1/2 cup honey

1/3 cup honey
3 tablespoons poppy seeds

Preparation Steps

Sift flours together.  Blend cheeses and mix well until no large lumps remain.  Add flour, eggs, and honey and beat until smooth.  Pour into a lightly greased 13 x 9 baking pan.  Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the center sets up and the top is lightly browned.
    In a small saucepan, heat topping ingredients over low heat to thin the honey out.  Drizzle the topping over cooked cheesecake and return it to the oven for 3-5 minutes.   Be very careful when removing the pan from the oven, as the honey becomes very thin and liquid, and can easily run off the top.  Cut into 1 1/2" squares.  Serve warm.


60 1-inch squares.

Redaction Notes

This recipe can also be made in two 8 pie pans.  While best if served warm, it can successfully be frozen.


  • Giacosa, Ilaria Gozzini (Herklotz, Anna, translator).  A Taste of Ancient Rome.  The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 1992.  ISBN 0-226-29032-8.

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