Special cheesecakes for Shavuot

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Special cheesecakes for Shavuot

Shavuot, the two-day Jewish holiday which marks the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, runs from May 25-27 this year. Every year, I like to look through my cheesecake file and try something different. If you are like me, you will enjoy these cakes.

Tnuva Light Shavuos Treat
12 servings
This came from the dairy company Tnuva in a newspaper ad.

2.4 pounds creamy soft 5% milk fat cheese
3 eggs, separated
2 T. instant vanilla pudding
1 T. cornstarch
1 ½ ounces liquid sweetener or 18 small packets of Sweet’N’Low
Grated peel of a whole lemon
1 T. vanilla sugar

1. Preheat oven to 340 degrees F. Grease a round glass baking dish.
2. In a bowl, mix the cheese, egg yolks, lemon peel, pudding, cornstarch and sweetener.
3. In another bowl, whip egg whites and vanilla sugar until firm. Fold into cheese mixture until it is combined well. Pour into greased round glass baking dish.
4. Bake in preheated 340 degree F. oven 10 minutes. Lower oven to 320 degrees F. and bake for 1 hour.
5. Turn off oven, take a knife and slice under the cake to release it from the dish. Place cake back in oven for another hour. Cool before serving.

Blender Tangerine Cheesecake

1 T. butter or margarine
½ cup graham cracker crumbs
2 T. cold water
2 T. lemon juice
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
½ cup low-fat milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 cups cottage cheese
1 T. vanilla
2 cups tangerine sections

1. In a saucepan, melt butter or margarine. Ad crumbs and coat well.
2. Press in a 9-inch springform pan or pie plate and press up the sides.
3. Place water and lemon juice in a blender. sprinkle with gelatin and blend 15 seconds.
4. Heat milk in a saucepan 3-4 minutes. Pour in blender and blend 10 seconds. Scrape the sides and blend 20 seconds more.
5. Add sugar, egg yolks, cottage cheese and milk and vanilla to blender and blend 1 minute until smooth. Pour into crust and cover. Refrigerate 3 hours.
6. Garnish with tangerine sections before serving.

Peachy Cheesecake

12 servings
16 reduced-fat finely crushed chocolate graham crackers
3 T. melted butter
1 ½ cups low-fat cottage cheese
15 ounces peaches in juice with ¼ cup juice reserved
8 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1 t. vanilla
2/3 cup sugar
4 egg whites
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat 9-inch springform pan with vegetable spray. Wrap outside with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
2. In a bowl, combine cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press in springform pan.
3. Puree cottage cheese and ¼ cup peach juice in blender or food processor until smooth, about 1 minute. Add cream cheese, vanilla, lemon juice and ¾ cup peaches. Blend until smooth. Add sugar and egg whites and blend until well combined.
4. Pour cheese mixture into springform pan. Place pan in 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Pour enough hot water into baking pan to come halfway up sides of springform pan.
5. Bake in preheated 375 degree F. oven 40-45 minutes until cheesecake is set in center.
Carefully remove both pans from oven. Place springform pan on a rack. Remove foil. Cool for 30 minutes. Place in refrigerator about 4 hours.
To serve, top with remaining ½ cup peaches.

My Blender Cheese Soufflé

4-6 servings
6 eggs
½ cup whipping cream
¼  cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ t. mustard
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups yellow cheese pieces
1 ½ cups cream cheese
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a soufflé baking dish with vegetable spray.
2. Places eggs, whipping cream, Parmesan cheese, mustard, salt and pepper in a blender. Whirl until smooth.
3. Add yellow cheese by pieces then cream cheese. Whirl 5 seconds. Pour into a greased soufflé dish. Bake in oven 45-50 minutes.

 Classic Cheese Soufflé

4 servings
2 T. butter or margarine
2 T. flour
1 cup milk
1 cup cheddar or Swiss cheese
3 separated eggs
salt to taste
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a high-sided soufflé dish or casserole.
2. Melt butter or margarine in a saucepan. Stir in flour and salt. Add milk and cook over low heat until thick.
3. Blend in cheese then egg yolks.
4. Beat egg whites in a bowl with a mixer until stiff. Fold into cheese mixture. Pour into greased casserole.
Bake in a greased casserole or soufflé dish in oven 45-50 minutes.

Omelet Soufflé

2 servings
This is a Food & Wine recipe I found, doubled, when it is just for two of you. It was created by Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot, who own a culinary consulting business and blog in Pennsylvania.
6 large separated eggs
pinch of sea salt
3 T. unsalted butter
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1. Preheat broiler and position rack in center of oven.
2. In a large bowl, whisk or mix egg whites with electric mixer until soft peaks form.
3. In small bowl, whisk egg yolks with salt and one-fourth of beaten egg whites. Fold mixture into remaining beaten egg whites until no streaks remain.
4. Melt butter in an 8-inch ovenproof skillet. Scrape omelet mixture into skillet and shake gently to distribute the eggs. Sprinkle the cheese over mixture and transfer to the oven. Broil the omelet for about 3 minutes until lightly browned and very puffy. Carefully slide the omelet onto a place, folding it in half. Serve right away.

Sybil Kaplan is a Jerusalem-based journalist, lecturer, book reviewer, food writer and author.

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