Ancient Roman Cheesecake (Savillum) Recipe Reviews - Allrecipes.com (Pg. 1)
Photo by Alison
Reviewed: May 17, 2012
I was hoping for a thicker dessert like a New York Style Cheesecake, but this came out with more of an omelet-like (flat) appearance. I don't know if it would have cooked properly if the recipe had been doubled, but that might be an option. 15 bay leaves make its presentation very interesting to the eye, but they add way too strong a flavor - overpowering in my opinion. If pre-slicing for entertaining, cut your slices SMALL or no one will finish theirs! It stuck like Elmer's Glue to my springform pan, but the paring knife helped and it released with some gentle scraping effort... so looks pretty good (I'll add a photo since there isn't one presently). My daughter needed an "Ancient Roman Dessert" for a Latin Classical League (high school) party, and this is the only one that I could find on Allrecipes.com. Sure hope the teenagers eat it ...and if they accidently eat a bay leaf, they won't get a shock because the entire dessert tastes like one anyway! :) Can anyone upload another "Ancient Roman Dessert" to give readers more options to choose from?
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

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Reviewed: Jun. 28, 2011
I made these bite sized for a catering...really solid!
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Photo by Chef Kurt

Cooking Level: Professional

Living In: Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

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Reviewed: Apr. 14, 2011
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.
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Photo by chikalin

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Englewood, New Jersey, USA
Living In: Arlington, Virginia, USA
Reviewed: Mar. 13, 2011
Loved this. It's like a ricotta cheese custard, simple & delicious on its own, but much better with fruit. I didn't use any flour, used a scant 1/2 cup of sugar instead of honey (maybe I'll only use 1/3 cup next time), added a pinch of salt, doubled the orange zest, and omitted the bay leaves altogether. I cooked it in a 9 in pie plate that I sprayed really well, then sliced it & served from the pie plate. It needed less cooking time in my oven, more like 25 min.
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Reviewed: Feb. 12, 2011
great recipe! but i never used the bay leaves or a spring pan neither and i greased a small 8 in. pan. Awesome!!!!
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Photo by mountain mama

Cooking Level: Expert

Living In: Thompson Falls, Montana, USA

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Reviewed: Feb. 6, 2011
I followed this recipe exactly with one exception: I followed the advice of some other reviewers by putting all of the doubled recipe into a single 10" springform pan. I think this may be where I went wrong, since the parts nearest the springform base were very moist and almost glue-like. I did not grease the pan, since the recipe did not say to, but I think that may have helped at least a little. I tried dabbing the bay leaves with honey so they would stick to the pan while I poured the batter but that did not work. To transfer to a serving plate, I had to scrape the cake off the springform base with a knife. That looked so bad that I picked out the bay leaves and will be serving it with the other side up. Although I like the taste the bay leaves provide to the cake, I think I will be experimenting to get the flavor of the bay leaves without having to include the bay leaves themselves. The TASTE of this cake is excellent, and I will definitely be doing this again. I just think it needs a little more experimenting to get the presentation right.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: West Milford, New Jersey, USA

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Reviewed: Jan. 15, 2011
Definitely better with just 6-8 bay leaves. Not so overpowering. We've made this twice! It's a nice departure from super sweet desserts.
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Reviewed: May 23, 2010
First, let me say how delighted I was to find a recipe like this - perfect for a "toga night" we had recently. I did substitute mint for the bay leaves - I have mint, and fresh bay leaves are hard to find. No one finished their piece, but all were happy to try something "Roman". I do think a fruit sauce - as suggested by others, would help.
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Photo by cooks4forty

Cooking Level: Expert

Living In: Stoughton, Wisconsin, USA
Reviewed: Apr. 12, 2010
Use a smaller springform than the 10" indicated in the recipe, which might also bring the baking time up to 35 minutes. I'd recommend a layer of parchment paper since the bay leaves easily move and if any part of the cheese cake is brown it sticks. The taste was okay; even with half the bay leaves (mine are really strong), their flavor overwhelmed the delicate orange and honey flavors, which had made the batter taste so promising. Far from being a disaster, but not a repeat recipe for me.
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Reviewed: Mar. 20, 2010
Ohh this is just like the cheesecake i had in Italy!!! Very good!
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Displaying results 1-10 (of 13) reviews

 
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