Baked Honey Cheesecake

Baked Honey Cheesecake

Baked Honey Cheesecake excerpted from Salt of the Earth: Secrets and Stories From a Greek Kitchen by Carolina Doriti. Photography by Manos Chatzikonstantis.

Salt of the Earth: Secrets and Stories From a Greek Kitchen by Carolina Doriti

Evoking a strong sense of place, this vibrant book shines a spotlight on local produce and traditional techniques.

Carolina Doriti reveals the defining characteristics of Greek food, set against the irresistible backdrop of the mainland and islands. Through these pages explore Mediterranean dishes and flavour combinations in depth, and immerse yourself in Greek cuisine.

Salt of the Earth is the ultimate celebration of the food and flavours of Greece from one of its most forward-thinking and historically knowledgeable cooks.

Salt of the Earth: Secrets and Stories From a Greek Kitchen by Carolina Doriti is available at, and   

Baked Honey Cheesecake

A type of ancient cheesecake was prepared on Samos island as far back as 800–700 bce and anthropologists who have studied ancient cheese moulds unearthed in Greece conclude that some form of cheesecake probably existed even before 2,000 bce.

This type of cake, or rather pie (as it is considered in Greece), was served as a wedding cake in parts of ancient Greece, with the bride offering it to the groom’s friends and family as a gesture of hospitality. The actual ancient recipe survives in the book Deipnosophistae written by Athenaeus in 230 ce, and interestingly the ancient Greek method is not very different from today.

The cheese most commonly used for cheesecake is mizithra, but if you can’t find it, replace the fresh mizithra with a creamy anthotyros² or fresh ricotta.


Butter, for greasing
1.5kg (3lb 5oz) fresh mizithra¹ cheese
260g (91/4oz) honey
1 vanilla pod (bean) or 1 tsp vanilla extract
5 large eggs, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
Finely grated zest of 2 small lemons
1 tsp baking powder
70g (2½ oz) fine semolina
Honey and ground cinnamon, to serve

Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/375°F/ gas mark 5.

Butter the base and sides of a 27cm (10½ inch) springform cake tin (pan). Line with enough baking parchment to overhang the edges of the tin.

Drain any liquid from the cheese and place it in a large bowl. Mash it thoroughly with a fork. Mix in the honey and stir. Use a paring knife to slice the vanilla pod (bean), if using, in half lengthwise, and use the back of the knife to scrape out the seeds; set aside.

Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl until frothy, then mix in the vanilla seeds or extract, salt, lemon zest and baking powder. Tip this mixture into the cheese and mix well to incorporate. Gradually add the semolina, stirring constantly, then tip into the prepared tin.

Bake on the lowest oven shelf for 45–60 minutes until golden brown on top. Take it out of the oven and allow it to cool. Once it has cooled down, remove it carefully from the tin and serve drizzled with honey and sprinkled with cinnamon.

¹Made from sheep’s and/or goat’s milk and whey, mizithra’s production is very similar to Italian ricotta, which can be usually be used as a substitute. There are two types of fresh mizithra in Greece: xinomizithra (‘sour mizithra’), a white, slightly granular, creamy cheese that is lightly salty and tangy; and glykia mizithra (‘sweet mizithra’), mild and unsalted and used in several desserts. It is mostly grated.

²Anthotyro (also known as Anthotyros): A fresh, white, mild and low-fat, low-salt creamy cheese, made with whey and milk from sheep, goats, or cows, or a combination. It is available in dry and fresh forms, and has PDO status from several areas of Greece.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Hardie Grant Books.

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