Cookit Homepage Cookit is published by e2bn


This recipe is in categories Desserts, Romano-British
  • Get the Flash Player to see this player.

  • The finished libum
    The finished libum
About this recipe
Healthiness : (369 votes)
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 - 40 minutes
Number of servings: 3 or 4
View a modern version of this recipe

The third course at a Roman evening meal, or Cena, was known as the 'mensae secundae' or second tables - what we would call dessert. This course comprised fairly simple items such as fruits and nuts but sometimes cooked dishes were included. This dish, called Libum, is one such dish. It is a honey cheesecake and was a sacrificial dish reserved for special occasions.

For pictures of the cooking process see our Libum Picture Gallery

With thanks to Sally Grainger and Butser Ancient Farm for their help with this podcast

  • a small dish of soft cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 3 handfuls of plain white flour
  • a pot of runny honey
  • 2 or 3 bay leaves
  • Hot surface and testum (Roman oven)
  • Large dish
  • Spoon
  • Knife
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

  1. Place burning embers around and on top of the testum (Roman oven) to heat it
  2. Add the soft cheese to the bowl and give it a stir
  3. Add the eggs and mix with the cheese
  4. Add a couple of handfuls of plain white flour and stir gently until you have a soft dough
  5. Use the third handful of flour to toss around the dough, using your hands, so that it does not stick to the sides of the dish
  6. Clear the fire away from the oven, using a suitable metal tool, and lift the oven away from the hot surface
  7. Place a couple a bay leaves on to the hot surface and then place the dough on top of the bay leaves
  8. Place the testum over the dough and cover once more with the embers and hot coals
  9. Leave for about 30 minutes
  10. Remove the fire from the testum and carefully remove the testum from over the dough
  11. Test the cake by tapping it, if it is done it should sound hollow
  12. Place the cake on a dish, cut it open and pour in the honey whilst the cake is still hot so it is absorbed into the cheesecake
  13. Serve
Libum - print view  Libum - print view

If you tried this recipe and liked it, tell us about it
More podcasts
If you enjoyed this podcast, there are plenty more to choose from!

Modern podcasts:
History podcasts:

Or Subscribe to the podcasts RSS feed

There are 3 comments for this recipe.
Add a comment

Name: Timothy 21st September 2017
I would like to see more on how this can be adapted to a modern kitchen, if at all possible. It seems tailor-made for a dutch oven...
Name: Helloeverybody 23rd February 2016
is it ancient roman
Name: Jessica 1st May 2012
We absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post's to be eclatxy what I'm looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content available for you? I wouldn't mind writing a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write about here. Again, awesome weblog!
View all comments, or Add a comment

Required fields are bold

If you include your name it will be published next to your comment. You can use a nickname or screen name to remain anonymous. We will keep this information only whilst your comment remains on the website.

We use a third party, AP Johnson trading as Lee-Capelle, to manage, edit and verify your comment. In dealing with comments they may be able to see your account details but they are only allowed to use the information to deal with the content.

If you require more information about how we use your data or require us to remove a contribution you have made please contact: The DPO, E2BN, Unit 1, Saltmore Farm, New Inn Road, Hinxworth, SG7 5EZ

Fortune Cookies
Write your fortunes/messages on strips of white paper about 10cm by 1.5cmPreheat the oven to...