When it comes to Shavuot, I skip the blintzes and go straight to the cheesecake. Sliced in wedges or cut into bars, if it has cream cheese, I'll eat it.
While I love a generous slice baked on top of a classic graham cracker crust, many different ingredients and baking techniques reflect distinct styles of this delightful dessert.
Italians make cheesecake with sweetened ricotta cheese (some flavor it with honey and bay leaves) while the French favor a thin version lightened with Neufchâtel cheese and gelatin. Greek-style features mascarpone or mizithra, a flavorful Greek cheese similar to ricotta, but drier.
Within America, the two most popular kinds of cheesecake are New York style, an extremely rich and smooth version made from cream cheese, heavy cream and egg yolks, usually baked in a graham cracker crust; and Chicago-style, which has a firm outside and light, creamy interior due to sour cream added to the cream cheese batter, and typically baked in a shortbread cookie crust.
If you love cheesecake but want to do something different for Shavuot, chuck the springform pan and try one of these contemporary takes, none of which resemble the traditional finished product but all which are just as delicious.
Kids will love rolling kosher cheesecake pops into colorful toppings while adults while be enchanted by kosher chocolate covered cheesecake-stuffed strawberries, made famous by the now-defunct Eminger Berries. And if you are pressed for time, kosher no-bake mini cheesecakeswill become your favorite Shavuot stand-by.
Enjoy this 2 part video cooking show on how to make kosher cheesecake for Shavuot: