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The Festival of Shavuot = Cheesecake Time

The Festival of Shavuot. Cheesecake. Cheese Blintzes. Lokshen Kugel. Yes Please!

This week celebrates the Jewish festival of Shavuot. We know it well as a time to eat dairy products. It is a time where many Jewish people all over the world fress (eat with abandon!) cheesecake and cheese blintzes. Any opportunity!

There are a number of reasons offered as to WHY.  The main one is that at the time Moses received the 10 commandments on Mount Sinai, it was Sabbath in the desert, and the new rules meant the meat they had already prepared for eating was not in fact kosher and they had no choice but to eat a dairy meal. (There are several other compelling reasons which you can read about by googling the question…)

But on this page, we are focussing on the food. As we love to say, it’s always about the food. It’s quite funny how things morph over time. We can imagine that centuries ago, a simple dairy meal would suffice. Now there are books, articles, blogs, competitions . . . all about the BEST cheesecake recipe or giving 8000 versions of cheesecake.

At the Monday Morning Cooking Club, we think we’ve done some of the hard work for you. Our years of research, testing and eating (yes it was so difficult . . . but someone has to do it) has produced the recipes for some of the best Shavuot recipes that can be found. Not to say that there aren’t still some great ones out there not yet discovered, but these ones are truly tried, tested and simply EXCELLENT. And we are honoured that ‘our’  wonderful cooks have chosen to share these recipes with us and with the world.

In our first book  ‘Monday Morning Cooking Club’ we have superb cheese blintzes from Melanie Knep,  ricotta lokshen kugel from Natanya and two types of cheese cake, a South African one from Lauren and the a Hungarian version from Eva Grunstein.

In The Feast Goes On, we also have a few Shavuot options: Judy Kaye’s sour cherry slice and Paula’s melktert. And of course Suzanne Goldberg’s wonderful ricotta cheesecake. This Shavuot, we are sharing it with you. Enjoy!!



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Ricotta Cheesecake
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a 28 cm springform cake tin or a 24 cm square cake tin.
  2. Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cheese and beat until smooth, then add the remaining ingredients and beat until well combined.
  3. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour, or until golden and puffy. The cake will rise during baking, then fall once cooled.
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14 Responses to The Festival of Shavuot = Cheesecake Time

  1. Lesley Eisig New Zealand May 1, 2015 at 12:31 pm #

    Lovely cheesecake, thanks, well done, love the recipes.

  2. ruth glick May 17, 2015 at 11:49 pm #

    with the dekicious cheesecake, its good to put sour cream over the cake when cold, mixed with 2 tble sugar @ put into a hot oven for 10 min . this fills up all the cracks in the surface of the cake & makes it look very smooth on top.

  3. Sara Wawer May 25, 2015 at 10:45 am #

    This is the best cheesecake ever! easy to make and comes out perfectly. Thank you for the great recipe.

  4. Steve June 6, 2016 at 8:34 am #

    Incidentally, essen means to eat. fressen means to eat like an animal.

    • Lisa Goldberg January 2, 2017 at 5:36 pm #

      Thanks Steve, apologies for replying so late in the piece.
      I will investigate it further but I imagine yours is the original, literal meaning but the meaning for our generation has taken on a different slant i.e eating with abandon.
      Thanks for taking the time to email!

  5. David January 1, 2017 at 11:20 pm #

    Do you have these recipes in a Jewish cook book?
    And the melktert one?

  6. Liat January 2, 2017 at 6:09 am #

    may i ask, what is custard powder? I would LOVE to try this recipe. Thank you.

    • Lisa Goldberg January 2, 2017 at 5:31 pm #

      Hi Liat,
      Custard powder is a powder, when cooked with milk and sugar, which forms a sweet, thick dessert egg-free custard. A common brand is Bird’s.
      You could substitute the same quantity of cornstarch (cornflour) plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Alternatively, you could substitute a sachet of vanilla pudding mix.
      Let us know how you go?

  7. susie leyens May 28, 2017 at 9:49 pm #

    I see oil is added what does this do as never seen oil in the cheesecake before xxx

  8. susie leyens June 1, 2017 at 2:42 am #

    What is the oven temperature please x

  9. susie leyens July 2, 2017 at 11:52 pm #

    So cross with myself I left out the veg oil will it still be ok?


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