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Spelt Cake
#1
Hello all. Has anyone here ever made spelt cake? Apparently, spelt cake was quite popular in Roman times and might have been a popular item to have at birthday celebrations. I've found several spelt cake recipes on the internet, but I'm interested to hear from anyone on this forum who might have a good recipe for spelt cake. I plan to make one for an upcoming celebration. Many thanks!
Bellatrix

a.k.a. Lisa Gail

Nil illegitimi carborundum...Don\'t let the ba*tards get you down.

Luctor et emergo...I struggle and I arise.
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#2
I've used spelt flour interchangeably with wheat flour. Seems to work about the same way, and the flavor (to my palate anyway) is pretty much the same. Never baked a cake: just breads.
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.
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#3
I think spelt is an ingredient just like anything else (as a flour, clearly) and any cake or pastry you care to make using spelt would therefore make it a spelt cake. I don't think there is a seperate food item as spelt cake...Have you got a copy of Apicius??
Moi Watson

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Merlot in one hand, Cigar in the other; body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming "WOO HOO, what a ride!
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#4
I've been researching recipes for ancient Roman spelt cake. I'm not sure it's possible to get a totally authentic recipe, especially since there is some evidence that the spelt flour supposedly used by Romans might have actually been another kind of grain called "far." I had envisioned a spelt cake as just that, a cake as we know it. But what I'm finding is that spelt cakes may have just been a mixture of spelt (far) flour and water, rolled into balls and fried in olive oil.

Vindex, I do not have a copy of Apicius, and I didn't know what Apicius was until you mentioned it in your post. I looked it up, and it seems to be what I need...basically an ancient Roman recipe book. Thank you for the suggestion, and I will definitely check it out!

I love to cook and I've become very curious about what Roman food must have really been like. Since it wasn't processed and loaded down with salt, sugar, and chemical preservatives like much of our food today, I wonder if the ancient food was rather bland. I'm sure it was a heck of a lot healthier than most of our processed foods today.

If anyone out there has gotten into ancient Roman cooking, and you have a recipe you've enjoyed, please feel free to share! Many thanks.
Bellatrix

a.k.a. Lisa Gail

Nil illegitimi carborundum...Don\'t let the ba*tards get you down.

Luctor et emergo...I struggle and I arise.
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#5
Well, Apicius is going to be a real treat for you bellatrix!

Let us know how the recipes go. Most of the stuff I have read about in Apicius certainly does not sound bland but I am not into fish pickle/sauce as I have an allergy to fish so I haven't tried that many.

Nor can I get doormice in sufficient numbers and flamingoes are a non starter... :wink:
Moi Watson

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Merlot in one hand, Cigar in the other; body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming "WOO HOO, what a ride!
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#6
Quote:Well, Apicius is going to be a real treat for you bellatrix!

Let us know how the recipes go. Most of the stuff I have read about in Apicius certainly does not sound bland but I am not into fish pickle/sauce as I have an allergy to fish so I haven't tried that many.

Nor can I get doormice in sufficient numbers and flamingoes are a non starter... :wink:
Yes, doormice and flamingoes might be a bit of a challenge...I'll see what I can find when I visit the organic grocery store today! :lol:
Bellatrix

a.k.a. Lisa Gail

Nil illegitimi carborundum...Don\'t let the ba*tards get you down.

Luctor et emergo...I struggle and I arise.
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#7
Well, if you can't find flamingoes, any stork, crane, or heron should do nicely. Do be sure they're organic, though. The synthetic birds just don't cook up the same way. :lol:
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.
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#8
Quote:Well, if you can't find flamingoes, any stork, crane, or heron should do nicely. Do be sure they're organic, though. The synthetic birds just don't cook up the same way. :lol:
Oh, darn, that's too bad because the synthetic birds are cheaper! Big Grin

Vindex, you mention fish sauce, and I've read a little bit about that too. It doesn't sound appetizing at all! But I guess if I had been around in ancient Roman times, I would probably like it.

If I can find a good buy on doormice, flamingoes, and/or other exotic birds or animals, I will let you all know! Roman cooks have to watch out for each other, right? :wink:
Bellatrix

a.k.a. Lisa Gail

Nil illegitimi carborundum...Don\'t let the ba*tards get you down.

Luctor et emergo...I struggle and I arise.
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#9
:twisted: ...I'll keep an eye out too.

Actually, my landlord's guinea fowl are being a right pain in the proverbial...they may become my next experiment after I have eaten the lovely brace of pheasants I was given for Christmas!! :wink: (with leeks, honey and cider - yum!)

garum really doesn't do it for me at all...I bet the smell around Roman camps was just lovely... Confusedhock:
Moi Watson

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Merlot in one hand, Cigar in the other; body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming "WOO HOO, what a ride!
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#10
Door mice? I would check with the local snake merchant... :lol:
Craig Bellofatto

Going to college for Massage Therapy. So reading alot of Latin TerminologyWink

It is like a finger pointing to the moon. DON\'T concentrate on the finger or you miss all the heavenly glory before you!-Bruce Lee

Train easy; the fight is hard. Train hard; the fight is easy.- Thai Proverb
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#11
If you can't go for full on gaurum, try Lee and Perrings Worchestershire sauce instead...the modern equivalent!! Tongue
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
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#12
Quote::twisted: ...I'll keep an eye out too.

Actually, my landlord's guinea fowl are being a right pain in the proverbial...they may become my next experiment after I have eaten the lovely brace of pheasants I was given for Christmas!! :wink: (with leeks, honey and cider - yum!)

garum really doesn't do it for me at all...I bet the smell around Roman camps was just lovely... Confusedhock:
Leeks, honey and cider with pheasant sounds good! Be sure to make enough for everyone on RAT! :wink:

I bet the smell around Roman camps was very interesting to say the least...soldiers, horses, cooking odors, other lovely human smells, and of course, the fermented, fishy garum smell! Of course, auxiliaries may not have liked fish sauce as much as their Roman citizen counterparts since they came from other parts of the Empire and their tastes were undoubtedly different. An interesting topic for culinary research!
Bellatrix

a.k.a. Lisa Gail

Nil illegitimi carborundum...Don\'t let the ba*tards get you down.

Luctor et emergo...I struggle and I arise.
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#13
There is a yahoo group that dissects Apicius' recipes and ingredients. It might be worth a look.
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.
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#14
Quote:If anyone out there has gotten into ancient Roman cooking, and you have a recipe you've enjoyed, please feel free to share! Many thanks.

I've been slowly and irregularly going through Cato's recipes. I really liked savillium:

Quote:Recipe for the savillum: Take 1/2 pound of flour, 2 1/2 pounds of cheese, and mix together as for the libum; add 1/4 pound of honey and 1 egg. Grease an earthenware dish with oil. When you have mixed thoroughly, pour into a dish and cover with a crock. See that you bake the centre thoroughly, for it is deepest there. When it is done, remove the dish, cover with honey, sprinkle with poppy-seed, place back under the crock for a while, then remove from the fire. Serve in the dish, with a spoon.

Cato, On Agriculture, 84
David J. Cord
http://www.davidcord.com
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#15
I love their recipes. What kind of cheese? Cream cheese? Ricotta? Cheddar? Swiss? Mozzarella? Any might work, but all would be utterly different. I have puzzled over it when they say, "add a little **** to taste", or stir in "a small handful of ****"
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.
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