Cakes and Desserts

 Must Cake

Ingredients

  • 9oz flour
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 fl oz oil
  • 5 oz  grated hard cheese such as Cheshire or hard goat's cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 pt fl oz grape juice

Method

  • Warm the grape juice and add the yeast leave to activate.
  • Sift dry ingredients together. Grind cumin seed and add to dry ingredients. Rub in oil.
  •  mix in grape juice.
  • Add cheese.
  • Knead until the dough is smooth. Cover and leave to prove for about an hour.
  • Turn out and knead again.
  • Turn into greased and floured loaf tin. Leave to rise for half an hour.
  • Bake at 350F, 180C for 40 mins.

* Must is the first pressing of the grape and the juice would have contained natural yeast.

 

Sweet Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2oz chopped almonds (otional)
  • ½ teaspoon ground rosemary (optional)
  • 12oz white flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried yeast
  • 2 fl oz muscatel
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 6 fl oz milk warmed

Optional:

  • Whole almonds and warm honey for decoration

Method

  • Stir yeast into warmed milk and leave until it starts to work
  • Sift flour and stir in almonds, cinnamon and rosemary.
  • Beat egg and stir in honeyand muscatel.
  • Add to dry ingredients, add milk and yeast and mix well.
  • Work into a soft dough and knead for 10 minutes.
  • Leave in a warm place until doubled in size.
  • Knead again for 5 minutes
  • Put into greased and floured 8in cake tin. Leave to rise again and bake at 375F, 190C for 30 mins.
  • If desired arrange whole almonds on top and spoon over warmed honey.

Honey biscuits

 Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • 7oz white flour
  • 2 tbsp white grape juice
  • 3 fl oz honey

 Method

  • Beat the egg and add with oil, salt and pepper to the flour. Mix until it looks like breadcrumbs.
  • Add the grape juice a little at a time until you have a smooth dough.
  •  Ideally rest the dough before cooking
  •  Roll out thinly on a floured board and cut into rounds using a pastry cutter* about 1 inch diameter.
  •  Shallow fry in hot oil until puffed and golden brown.
  •  Heat the honey until it bubbles and the carefully drop the biscuits in the honey one at a time.
  •  * Cutters for pastry have been found at Pompeii together with moulds for small cakes.

 

Stuffed Dates

 Ingredients

  • Enough dates for 2-3 per person
  • Soft goats cheese
  • Honey

 Method

  • Remove stones from dates
  • Mix cheese and honey together
  • Spoon into dates and arrange on a serving plate.

 

Poached Pears

Ingredients

  • A quantity of firm pears
  • Red wine
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon
  • garum
  • Egg

 Method

  • Peel and core pears and cut into quarters.
  • Into a pan put enough red wine to cover the pears add ground cinnamon and honey to taste.
  • Add a splash of garum.
  • Simmer gently until the pears are soft. Remove the pears to a serving dish.
  • Beat the egg and stir into the wine. Cook until thickened stirring all the time.
  • Pour over the pears and serve.
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