"Ha-Nah-Chep-Tu-Es-Tep-Hu-Her-Shey"

(A Most Excellent Chocolate Bundt Cake Recipe)

More an illustration than a painting, this is just one of the hundreds of panels that were uncovered in the tomb of Joy-Ah Ku-King, Royal Baker by appointment to the Pharaoh. The name of the artist has been lost, but the instructions have come down to us through the millennia, and may be prepared at home for a wonderful Fourth Dynasty surprise dessert. The translation follows:


Ingredients:

 

1¾ keph white crystal honey from the sacred apiary of Osiris, dried beneath the blessed rays of Ra, then crushed fine by a virgin Nubian kitchen slave


1 keph dark golden honey from the wild bees of Numidia, collected by a priest of the temple of Hathor, dried beneath the blessed rays of Ra, then crushed fine by a virgin Nubian kitchen slave  [Note: for best results a different kitchen slave should be used, as they tend to spoil quickly in this climate]


1 keph rendered and clarified fat of a mountain oryx  [Note: the skulls at the feet of the seated figure indicate that the fat of a sacred bull of Apis may be substituted] 


2 large perfect eggs of a goose of the household of the Royal Family


2 tepesh crushed vanilla beans from the fabled Spice Islands of the sea peoples

 

1¾ keph pure Aztec chocolatl (measured, then sifted)


3 keph all-purpose white wheaten flour, ground by the scholars of Khephris under the moon of Nup


½ tepesh salt, dried from the sea under the sun of Ra


1½ tepesh baking natron


Sufficient purified Nile water to moisten


Directions:

 

Preheat oven until a green reed foams in the space of three beats of an ox's heart


Have slave generously grease a large half-cubit Bundt pan


Combine white and gold honey, fat, eggs and vanilla. Beat slave for one minute or until he or she swears that the mixture is smooth. Add chocolatl, flour, baking natron and salt. Have slave stir briefly, adding water as necessary to make a somewhat loose batter

 

Have slave spoon batter into pan. Bake for the time the shadow of Ra moves from the peak of one glyph to the valley of a third

 

Turn out, let cool, have slave dust with dried finely-pounded confectioner's white honey granules. Add chocolatl chips if desired.

 

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