Kachol v'Lavan Cheesecake Squares

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* Gvina levana is a soft white cheese, similar in consistency to sour cream or yogurt. Although it’s traditionally part of Israeli meals, you can also find it in Lakewood and some parts of New York. (If you find it elsewhere, I'd love to hear about it.) You can also use Greek yogurt, it was just a bit more tangy.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 9-12 ServingsServings

Ingredients

Crust

  • 200 g chocolate wafers, finely crushed (to equal about one cup crumbs)
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • additional butter to grease dish

Filling

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 500 g 5% gvina levana *
  • 500 g 9% gvina levana *
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp potato starch

Topping

  • 3 drops blue food coloring

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, finely crush the wafers into crumbs. Melt ¼ cup butter and mix into the crumbs.

2. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8x8 baking dish with butter and press a sheet of parchment paper into it. This will make it easy to remove the cheesecake later for slicing.

3. Press the wafer crumb mixture into the bottom of the dish with your fingers. Press down on it with a drinking glass to even it out. Bake for 9 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, place all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fully incorporated. Set aside ½ cup of batter.

4. Remove crust from the oven and leave the oven on. Scoop the cheesecake batter onto the crust, spreading it evenly with a (silicone) spatula.

5. Add food coloring to the reserved batter and mix well. Drop nine little spoonfuls of the blue batter onto the top of the unbaked cheesecake. Using a knife, gently “cut” the surface of the cheesecake diagonally in both directions. You’ll be making “S” shapes on an angle.

6. Bake for 55 minutes, peeking every now and then (through the door – don’t open the oven) to make sure the surface hasn’t browned or cracked. After 55 minutes, turn off the oven and let the cheesecake sit inside for an additional 75 minutes.

7. When that last timer finally goes off, remove the cheesecake from the oven and set aside to cool. Lift it out of the baking dish and slice into squares. Store in the refrigerator, allowing them to chill thoroughly before serving.

For Step by Step photos click here.