Wimshul Cooks set themselves the Shavuot challenge. For the Kiddush, we provided a number and variety of cheesecakes (including traditional, chocolate cheesecake and apple cheesecake with streusel topping), dairy milk brownies and Claudia’s popular, acclaimed spinach and cheese borekas. The Mount Sinai cake rightly has its own article – click here. Luckily, the congregation appeared up for the Shavuot Kiddush challenge too!
Bikurrim baskets decorated and filled in the Children’s Service.
The children distributed them to members of the community after the Kiddush.
By Claudia Camhi
My great aunts and grandmother made these delicious filo pastry cheese and spinach triangles as a staple starter and for special festivals too. Their triangles were perfect bundles of crispness and taste. Our young specialist tasters at Shavout approved them.
- 200 grams of spinach
- 1 large potato
- 1 large whole egg
- 250 gram pot of ricotta
- 150 grams of grated cheddar
- 2 teaspoons of dry dill weed
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the dough:
- 1 cup of sunflower oil
- 1 packet of filo pastry cut into strips 8 cm (wide) 30 cm (long) and kept in a plastic wrapping to avoid the dough drying out.
To make the filling:
Peel and cook the potato in boiling water until soft. Mash and allow it to cool.
Steam the spinach, squeeze any water excess and chop finely.
In a bowl mix the mashed potato, spinach, ricotta, cheddar, egg, dill, salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 180 C
To assemble the filo pastry triangles:
Take two strips of filo pastry and place them side by side on a flat surface (vertical)
With your clean hands oil the surface of one strip. Sit the next strip on top the first one so you get a double layered single one and oil again.
Lay a tablespoon of the filling near the top left corner of the strip.
A) Fold the top right corner of the filo pastry over the filling. This should form the long side of a triangle.
B) Then turn the left top corner down over itself. You will get the two shorter sides of the triangle.
C) Turn the top left corner over to the right side and you will have the filling wrapped up with filo pastry.
Repeat the process starting from A until the strip of dough is all used up.
Add oil to all the surfaces of the triangle with your hands and lay it on a baking sheet.
Begin again with another two strips of pastry repeating the process explained above until your pastry has been all used up. You should get 18 burrekas approx.
Bake until the top is golden in middle rack of the oven-15 min approx.
Turn over and bake until golden-5 min approx.
Tips: The borrekas taste nicer straight out of the oven. They can be made a day in advance and reheated – make sure you cover them with aluminium foil. You can try to vary the filling leaving the spinach out. I have made them with different types of cheese or with chilli flakes. They can be eaten at room temperature as a picnic snack.
Connie’s Cream Cheese Cake
Submitted by Carra Kane
This recipe is from my grandmother and she’s famous in the family for her desserts! Over the years I have enjoyed making it more and more. This time my kids asked if I could make it with a chocolate base so I used chocolate tea biscuits from the kosher section at Waitrose. Tasted good!
- 24 oz philly cream cheese (675g)
- 1 cup sugar (250ml)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 eggs (I fold these in one at a time)
Dump all together in a mixer and beat for 25 minutes or until smooth.
- 6oz Zweiback (in UK use digestives- 170g)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 stick melted butter (112g)
Crush the biscuits into tiny pieces. I put in a Ziploc and roll over it a million times with a rolling pin.
Mix the crushed biscuits with the other crust ingredients in a small bowl. Then press the crust into a round spring pan to form the bottom and sides of the cake.
Pour the cheese mixture on top of the crust.
Put in COLD oven at 350F (175C) for 45 minutes.
Small cracks form at edges when done.
Remove from oven and add topping at once.
- 16 oz sour cream (500g Crème fresh)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbs sugar
Stir directly into sour cream container and MIX WELL.
Put over the top of the cake mixture.
Put back in the oven at 450F (230C) for about 8 minutes.
To make this into small bite size cakes, bake for about 20 minutes at 350F (175C) and put back with topping for about 3 minutes.
Submitted by Lynne Sidkin
This is very easy to make and is a great dessert to have pre-prepared in the freezer. Just don’t think about the calories!
- 200g chocolate digestive biscuits
- 50g butter or margarine, melted
- 100g dark chocolate
- 150g full fat cream cheese
- 150g mascarpone cheese
- 50g icing sugar, sifted
- 50g amaretti biscuits, crushed
Line a 450g loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
Crush the biscuits and tip them into a bowl. Add the melted butter/margarine and stir well until the crumbs are coated. Tip them into the loaf tin.
Gently push the crumbs to the edges of the tin until smooth and flat. Chill while you make the filling Break the chocolate into small pieces and put in a glass bowl. Sit the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water.Melt the chocolate, stir and set aside.
In a separate bowl, use an electric whisk to whisk the cream cheese, mascarpone and icing sugar together until smooth.Stir in the melted chocolate until well combined.
Spoon the mixture onto the base and level. Chill for 2-3 hours.
Sprinkle the crushed amaretti on top before serving.
Tip For Shavuot, I made the cheesecake in advance and froze it. I then defrosted it overnight in the fridge.
Milk chocolate brownies
A taste of Mount Sinai (click here for more photos)
For Diane’s fantastic cheesecake recipe, click here.