Ancient Roman Cheesecake

Ancient Roman Cheesecake

This is a rather whimsical recipe, but one I stumbled across many years ago in a book on ancient Rome, and finally got a round to making to get a small and apparently authentic "taste" of the times. Although the vanilla is admittedly a more modern addition, ricotta cheese is certainly no modern invention. Ricotta is believed to have been around since the time of the Roman Republic where milk whey was cooked twice (Latin: recocta, or "cooked twice") to curdle into soft cheese. This is no ordinary cheesecake as we've come to think of them, but an incredibly rich and dense cake drenched in honey. Very easy to prepare, these cakes are filling and sweet, and should appeal to your guests' curiosity when you tell them what you're making.

Ancient Roman Cheesecake Ancient Roman Cheesecake
Recipe by
Cuisine: Ancient Roman
Published on February 13, 2011

Rich, dense, honey-drenched cakes made from ricotta cheese — a taste of ancient Rome

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 to 40 minutes

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  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 large beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • Preheat an oven to 425°F and grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

  • Put the flour into a large bowl. Beat the ricotta cheese in a small bowl until it is creamy and soft. Stir the ricotta into the flour along with the beaten egg and the vanilla. On a floured surface, knead the dough until soft and divide into four rounds. Place four bay leaves onto the baking sheet and top with dough. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Discard the bay leaves.

  • Heat the honey in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and transfer to a serving dish. Add the cheesecakes and let sit for 30 minutes, flipping the cakes occasionally so that they absorb the honey.

Makes 4 cakes

Ancient Roman Cheesecake

More cheesecakes from Lisa's Kitchen:
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Ricotta Cheesecake with Mixed Berries and Balsamic Vinegar
Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Mixed Berries
Blueberry Ricotta Cheesecake


Priya Suresh said...

Very interesting cheesecake..

Johanna GGG said...

I love cheesecake but rarely make it - perhaps this one would appeal to my baking instinct more - I think they sound intriguing - and I love your take on valentines day

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

These really make us rethink what we think of as a modern day cheesecake. So cool Lisa.

Susan said...

Adore, adore, adore these. Could it be that the search for the definitive, perfect cheesecake ends eons ago?

Unknown said...

wow, what an interesting recipe. Looks great.

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Like the thought of trying these with the honey and ricotta :)

Anonymous said...

this looks like a really neat recipe - I think I will try it as soon as I get the ingredients from the store!

eatme_delicious said...

Wow I'm really intrigued by this different version of cheesecake!! I would love to try it.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I was just searching for ancient Roman food for project and bam! This is great! I think it'll also be yummy. Thanks a lot!

J and G said...

I have been making these regularly and we love them! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hi! How do we store these? Refrigerate after cooling? Or can they sit out at room temp?

Lisa Turner said...

If you have leftovers, they should go into the fridge because they contain cheese.