Medieval cheescake for a happy birthday

I love getting feedback from folk who try out one of my recipes. It’s probably the best part of re-creating and developing modern-medieval dishes. That and the eating of them!

Well, it was wonderful to hear this week from Irys Tybote who sent me pictures of their recreation of Sambocade, an elderflower curd tart, made for 11-year-old Teal’s birthday. What a great auntie!

Sambocade is in essence a cheesecake tart. The original recipe is from Richard II’s Fourme of Cury, which was produced about 1390, making it the oldest cheesecake recipe in Britain.

Get the recipe

For Irys’s cheesecake tart, dried elderflowers were substituted for fresh ones and elderflower cordial for elderflower liqueur (my naughty “secret” modern ingredient). And sugar paper butterflies were used as a spectacular decoration.

And the result? Well, Teal ate a huge slice and said they and aunt Irys should make it together next time, and soon! It’s true that at the request of Teal’s 6-year old sibling and their granddad they ended up eating it with a little chocolate sauce, but we’ll let them off for that minor anachronism! Who doesn’t like a bit of chocolate sauce? And, anyway, I have been known to eat medieval meatballs with tomato ketchup, so I understand the urge to mix the medieval and modern.

I was also asked about other flavours, even though they really enjoyed the elderflower taste. So I suggested berry fruits, since strawberries, blackberries and raspberries were all either cultivated (strawberries) or foraged in medieval England (blackberries, also known as bramble fruits, and raspberries are native species).

I also suggested a honey curd tart. I think I may try this idea out myself, and, who knows, maybe video it.

Until then, here are Irys’s fabulous photos:

Published by Christopher Monk

Dr Christopher Monk is creating Modern Medieval Cuisine

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