ancient honey cakes

Wine - For this recipe, a sweet white raisin-based wine is preferred, for example, the Greek Kourtaki Samos Muscat, or an Italian passito wine, but any very sweet white wine will work. We might be tempted to interpret these to mean modern day cakes, but the ancient Hellenes would have most likely used flat cracker-type 'cakes', made from barley meal and honey. When set, the savillum was brushed with honey, topped with poppy seeds and served on a plate and eaten with a spoon. Placenta, from Greek plakous (cake), is a sweet frequently mentioned in the ancient Roman sources. But it wasn’t long before my husband and I were testing out our own interpretations of foods such as roasted mushrooms, sweet and sour dill chicken and dessert treats like fritters. Honey- Honey was a regular staple of the ancient Roman diet. Preparation. Bake at 180C (356 degrees Fahrenheit) until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. When I first embarked upon writing my novel, FEAST OF SORROW, about the ancient Roman gourmand, Apicius, I knew I would require a vast amount of research to understand everything I could about the food of that era. The ancient recipe: Nut Cake. They were shaped to resemble animal or objects when the occasion called for it. If you try this recipe and want to try your hand at other ancient Roman recipes, check out my free digital cookbook, the companion to my novel, FEAST OF SORROW. all-purpose flour* 2 bay leaves; 1/2 c. honey; Instructions. We might be tempted to interpret these to mean modern day cakes, but the ancient Hellenes would have most likely used flat cracker-type ‘cakes’, made from barley meal and honey. Keeping bees was a respected art and apiaries were elaborate and large in many places. Grease and flour a 9” cake pan. 1 cup shelled almonds. This recipe is fantastic! Additionally, modern cooks have leavening agents at their disposal and it is far easier to use them than making some form of sourdough starter. Let rest for 20 minutes. Lesley and Roy Adkins, in The Dictionary of Roman Religion, tell us “a food offering might be shared between the gods and the people in a sacrificial feast, or the food might be given entirely to the gods by burning it all.” Animal blood sacrifices were common, but also gifts such as oil, wine, incense, honey and...cakes. Pastries, Cakes & Biscuits of the Roman Kitchen Roman pastries, cakes and biscuits have much in common with both western and eastern modern pastry traditions. ricotta cheese; 1 large egg 1 1/2 oz. Gather Ingredients. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Cook with milk and tracta (this was a thin pastry that the ancient Romans sometimes crumbled into dishes for starch). Honey cake is still a traditional food for many cultures today, particularly in Jewish culture, where honey cake (called Lekach) on Rosh Hashanah is as ubiquitous as fruitcake on Christmas. I wanted to understand the difficulty of preparation, the nuances of flavor and how foods might pair together. Horace tells us in his Epistles that the bees loved thyme and in his Odes, he praises the honey around the area of Tarentum, in Apulia in Southern Italy. One of the first printed recipes for honey cake appears in Athenaeus’ Deipnosophistae, published in Greece in 180 B.C.E.. The reason for the honey … Why did the ancients offer up cakes to their deities? In nearly every religion food plays an important role when it comes to worship. The cakes burn incredibly well on my little brazier, especially if you make them as thing as possible. So simple, yet they're actually pretty good. Thanks. Whisk in oil, 1 cup of honey, and the wine until well combined. They burn completely, with only a bit of smoke, which isn't even noticeable if you have incense burning at the same time. Dulcia Piperata (Peppered Honey Cake), Apicius, De Re Coquinaria 7,11,4 If you are looking for some ancient eating inspiration why not give one of these recipes a go. Add chopped roasted hazelnuts. Feeds a crowd of 12 of more! The simple pastry dough was created using wheat flour, warm water and salt, and then fried in oil and filled with fruit, honey and nuts. Bread was a very simplistic form. Whisk in dry ingredients until smooth. Honey Cakes Honey cakes were a staple of Noumenia sacrifices, and when you read the ancient and scholarly texts having to do with ancient Hellas, you will often come upon references to 'honey cakes'. These may have been a dessert dish called folded pie. The photos of the cake were taken by Valerio Necchio. When you read the ancient and scholarly texts having to do with ancient Hellas, you will often come upon references to 'honey cakes' or 'cakes' in general. We might be tempted to interpret these to mean modern day cakes, but the ancient Hellenes would have most likely used flat cracker-type 'cakes', made from barley meal and honey. Apicius 7.11.5  aliter dulciaPound pepper, pine nuts, honey, rue, and passum. We're "eating our way through time" and this recipe is just what we needed for our unit on the Ancient Greeks. Solstices and calculations: on the Hellenic luniso... Part of the Kyrene necropolis destroyed by local r... Labour four: Capture the Erymanthian Boar, Things I wish someone had told me when I started out, A short summary of marriage rituals in ancient Hellas, Thanksgiving rituals in Hellenistic religion, On philosophy and the World Congress of philosophy, If you are a stranger, act like one (Ξνος ων ισθι). It's a vibrant religion which can draw on a surprising amount of ancient sources. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool. When you read the ancient and scholarly texts having to do with ancient Hellas, you will often come upon references to 'honey cakes' or 'cakes' in general. Mix the flour and baking powder together. Like many recipes of the time there were no proportions listed, but modern recreations of these cakes show us that the consistency is that of a sponge cake. Soldiers and plebians would have eaten bread made from barley or perhaps acorn flour. Tip into a baking dish or cake tin and leave in a warm place to rise. Fresh plums, apricots, apples, figs or grapes would all be perfect ancient Roman accompaniments to this cake. This cake is best eaten the same day but will keep, if covered, at room temperature for up to two days. Though not always combined, sometimes two or all three of these were used in a single recipe. Therefore, home bakers should not feel guilty thinking that white flour might not be authentic in this recipe. All star honey cake, prepared Greek style! 1. Chinese pinenuts can impart a waxy, metallic taste. 5,500-Year-Old Honey and 10 More Ancient Food Discoveries Shutterstock Through explorations around the world, archeologists and deep-sea divers have discovered all kinds of ancient food and drink, some buried in thousand-year-old tombs, others abandoned in shipwrecks, and still more that have been dug up from prehistoric settlements. Store your pinenuts in the fridge for up to three months, or the freezer up to nine, to prevent them from going rancid. Yeast did not exist in Egypt until well into the Middle Kingdom, so most loaves were takes on what we would consider today "flat" breads. Pour batter into pan and bake until springy to the touch and a cake tester comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Andrew Dalby, in his fascinating book, Empire of Pleasures, tells us that Sicilian honey was some of the best in the ancient Roman world. When the cake is still warm, spread liquid honey over the top and sprinkle it with chopped hazelnuts. The cake will be a dark brown from the honey. Best served warm, with honey … It is called Enkhytoi and the book describes it as a flat, molded cake made from honey, fine flour and eggs. I was relieved to discover that others had already done much of this interpretation for me. vegan cream cheese alternative, flaxseed meal, raisins, vegan buttery spread and 19 more. Put the butter in the microwave-safe bowl, and heat 15 seconds at a time until mostly melted. The darker breads were not preferable by the rich, and Pliny writes in his Naturalis Historia 18.11: "The wheat of Cyprus is swarthy and produces a dark bread, for which reason it is generally mixed with the white wheat of Alexandria." Heat 5 tbsp of honey, mix with roasted hazelnuts and drizzle it over the cake. When you read the ancient and scholarly texts having to do with ancient Hellas, you will often come upon references to ‘honey cakes’ or ‘cakes’ in general. Place the measured flour in a small sieve and sift into the mixture very slowly and gently while mixing, just until the flour is incorporated. This this the perfect make-ahead cake; it's even better the next day. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat them hard and well until getting stiff, creating lots of air … One of the foods mentioned several times in my novel are honey cakes, which are offered up to the gods in thanks. Pine Nuts – If you aren’t fond of pine nuts because of their aftertaste, look for Turkish or Italian pinenuts in specialty or gourmet stores (more expensive but worth it). 2. When it comes to ancient cakes, the only sweetener they had was honey. Date Loaves In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. 10 oz. 1 tbsp bitter … unfortunately, no ancient recipe from Hellas has survived; perhaps because these cakes were known to all and passed down from mother to daughter from an early age. While still hot drizzle with honey and sprinkle on chopped hazelnuts. Want to try a taste of ancient Rome? Many tomb paintings from ancient Egypt show Egyptians feasting on what archaeologists think might be a type of honey cake. And though it existed, yeast was not particularly popular until the New Kingdom … However, I discovered that I needed to make some exceptions to the original recipes. The ancient Hellenes would have most likely used flat cracker-type 'cakes', made from barley meal and honey. It began as sacrifice—giving a gift to the gods to incur divine favor, give thanks, or avoid retribution. The ancient Egyptians combined honey with grease and fiber, ans so did the Greeks. Preheat oven to 400˚F. 3. For example, the bitter herb rue is not easy to come by in all regions, so it is substituted with another ancient and sweeter spice, coriander. Cake is a dish that has been around for thousands of years, and was enjoyed by the ancient Egyptians well before the Greeks and Romans had their fill. DIRECTIONS. They were, and still are, a very popular Roman sweet pastry. New Audio Adventure … The ancient Roman cookbook, Apicius, is full of these sorts of recipes. show what archaeologists think might be a type of folded honey cake, likely made from flour, eggs, honey, dates and nuts. They also knew that undiluted honey inhibits yeast infections, or Candida albicans, and will shorten the duration of bacterial diarrhea if eaten. I began my cooking research by trying dishes found in cookbooks by historians such as Andrew Dalby, Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa, Sally Grainger, Mark Grant and Francine Segan. Add eggs one at a time. FEAST OF SORROW author, Crystal King, recreates a delicious 2,000 year old recipe for honey cake. In fact, for centuries beyond ancient times, the wedding celebrations of Cupid and Psyche and Peleus and Thetis have been common artistic subjects for vases, frescoes and paintings of the great masters. The apiary was huge (it would have accommodated over 100 hives in its time) and enabled the beekeeper to go behind the hives and easily remove the honeycomb from slats in the wall. Crystal King is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to But I also wanted to stay true to the era. The ancient Roman cookbook, Apicius , (named for the wealthy first century gourmand), has several sweet (dulcia) cake recipes that are possibly centuries older than the third or fourth century compilation. If more sweetness is desired, drizzle a little more honey on each slice before eating. There was perhaps no need to write the recipe down at all. Beat in the eggs … Honey cake has been a traditional food for centuries, particularly in Jewish culture, where honey cake (called Lekach) on Rosh Hashanah is as ubiquitous as fruitcake on Christmas. In another large bowl, whisk 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk well. Historian Sally Grainger translates two of them thus: Pound pepper, pine nuts, honey, wine, passum, and rue. Add the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. The Greeks, too, made honey cakes and offered them to the gods. Greek recipes books were full of sweetmeats and cakes made from honey. While he himself likely enjoyed some form of cake as part of his celebration, it was the idea of giving an offering to the gods that is important in this letter. Baring the Aegis blogger Elani Temperance blogs about her experiences within this Tradition. A traditional ancient Roman banquet would have begun with eggs and ended with fruit, and the final course was often accompanied by sweet desserts such as cake. Click here for an interactive world map of Hellenic Polytheists. Ingredients. For contact, please use the gmail address 'baring.the.aegis'. :). We can trace these cakes as far back as Cato the Elder – he wrote down the recipe for safekeeping. The feasts on Mount Olympus were similar to those enjoyed on earth save in abundance, superior taste, luxury and perhaps the addition of the divine ambrosia. Combine dry dry ingredients and 1/4 cup of the nuts. Spain, then called Hibernia, was also a major source of honey. Beat butter and honey together in a bowl using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy; add eggs … Add to butter and sugar mixture alternating with buttermilk. Flour - Spelt and semolina were the most common grains used for flour in ancient Rome, although flour from rye and oats were also found. Appeasing the Gods, or Let Them Eat Honey Cake (Ancient Roman Cuisine), Sauce for mushrooms - An ancient Roman Recipe from Apicius, 29.5 ml (2 tbsp) chopped toasted hazelnuts. Should be done by 55 minutes. Pliny and Columella both describe raisin wines in their writings. Honey cakes were baked by the Egyptians and used as an offering to placate the gods. This article first appeared in the inaugural issue of the beautiful food history publication, EATEN Magazine. When interpreting the Apicius sweet cake recipes for a modern audience, I found that the combination of these two cakes make for a dessert more palatable and familiar to us today. The ancient Egyptians used medicinal honey regularly, making ointments to treat skin and eye diseases. I was intrigued by the idea of these cakes and how I could recreate them today. Birthday cakes are also ancient, as the first century poet, Ovid, wrote about in his elegiac letters, titled Tristia, which bemoan his exile to Pontus (now part of modern-day Turkey): Thou awaitest, I suppose, thine honour in its wonted guise: a white robe hanging from my shoulders, a smoking altar garlanded with chaplets, the grains of incense snapping in the holy fire, and myself offering the cakes that mark my birthday and framing kindly petitions with pious lips. Mix in the pine nuts and almonds. Remove from oven, let cool for 10 minutes in tin, then remove from tin and place on a rack to cool a bit. Most of the very ancient Roman recipes that have been left to us tend to be a short list of ingredients and in some cases, a rudimentary and usually incomplete set of instructions. Today we prepare an ancient Roman dessert. Honey from different locales tasted differently, of course, depending on what the flora was in that area. 1 cup hazelnuts. If you love food and love reading about the fascinating history of food, definitely snag a won't be sorry! It was traditionally offered up to the Gods as thanks as a sort of sacrifice. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Make these delicious honey cakes! Place a rack in the middle of the oven; heat to 177 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Farenheit. For ease of removal, you can also add parchment paper to the bottom of the pan, but make sure to grease and flour the sides. Let cool completely before serving. I'm glad that I'm getting better at making these. With the exception of the baking powder, all of the ingredients in this recipe would have been available in some form to the ancient Romans. Today, of course, for ease of use, we use baking powder and soda as leaveners. Beat in the eggs … Beat the cheese with the egg. shoudl really try to make these someday. Honey cake is still a traditional food for many cultures today, particularly in Jewish culture, where honey cake (called Lekach) on Rosh Hashanah is as ubiquitous as fruitcake on Christmas. Cook the thickened mixture with a little egg. The stories left to us by Ovid, Herodotus, Virgil, Homer and others are ripe with stories of grand feasts enjoyed by the gods, or the gods meddling in mortal banquets such as the feast of King Midas in which all of the food tragically turned to gold. Honey Cakes. A flavorful layered cheesecake, sweetened with honey, prepared with a very interesting technique. Soda - Sodium bicarbonate was used by the ancient Egyptians for nearly three thousand years before the recipes in Apicius were written down, but used primarily for treating wounds, preserving meat and as a cleaning agent. The Egyptian specialty feteer meshaltet, which is a thin folded pastry (and might even be the precursor to the French croissant), is descended from these cakes. A classic ancient Roman sacrificial honey cake. Unmold the cake. You can sift the flour if you wish but it is not necessary … Add to the mixture pine nuts, nuts and boiled alica (polished spelt grains). What were their origins? A toothpick should come out clean. Serve drenched in honey and sprinkled with pepper. A home cook of today would have no idea where to begin when it came to extrapolating these vague lists into something edible. This is one of the very first recipes that I made when I first started diving into the cookbook Apicius as part of my research for FEAST OF SORROW. The ancient Egyptians used honey as a sweetener, as a gift to their gods and even as an ingredient in embalming fluid. Ovid uses an interesting turn of phrase within this passage--the offering of cakes to mark his birthday. Honey cake is one of the oldest recorded recipes in Greek history, appearing in Athenaeus’ Deipnosophistae in 180 B.C.E! Leavened bread and cakes were made from natural yeasts like a sourdough starter. Ancient Egyptian breadwas often made from barley, millet, and once it become available, wheat. Cream butter and sugar. That meant I needed to, quite literally, get cooking. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. If any of the ancient myths are to be believed, the gods of ancient Greek and Roman antiquity loved a bountiful meal. The ancient Romans did have white wheat flour, which was only available to the very wealthy. A perfectly moist, olive oil cake that is packed with flavor from fresh citrus and a luscious honey-pistachio syrup. Hellenismos, otherwise known as Greek Reconstructionist Paganism, is the traditional, polytheistic religion of ancient Hellas, reconstructed in, and adapted to, the modern world. wow awesoem , thanks for sharing . Paintings in the tomb of Pharaoh Ramesses II, who ruled from 1304 to 1237 B.C.E. One such apiary is still viewable in Malta, a little island off the coast of Sicily.

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