Israeli Cheesecake (Dairy)

Cheesecake
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  • Total: 70 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 50 mins
  • Yield: 1 cake (10 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
505 Calories
32g Fat
47g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 cake (10 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 505
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 18g 89%
Cholesterol 179mg 60%
Sodium 406mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 47g 17%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Protein 9g
Calcium 171mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you are looking for a tasty and popular dessert, try this version of a cheesecake. It's referred to as an Israeli cheesecake because its main ingredient is Gevina Levana, a soft Israeli white cheese. This soft, fresh, creamy cheese is made from cow's milk. It is similar in taste and texture to quark.

Gevina Levana may be hard to find in standard grocery stores. Look for it in the dairy aisle of international food stores or ask for it at your local cheese store. Another option is to make your own. It's a little time consuming but only requires buttermilk and time. The buttermilk is heated in the oven and then has to rest for 12 hours, untouched. It then gets strained and has to rest for 5 hours. While it's a mostly hands-off process, it does require a lot of time. If you can't find Gevina Levana in any local store, feel free to substitute quark or even cream cheese in equal amounts.

This Israeli cheesecake is quite different from a typical American cheesecake. This version is much lighter and airier, with the cake filling and topping more like whipped cream than a dense and thick American cake. The layers of the Israeli dessert will be a bit distinct and should have noticeably different tastes and textures. The filling is thicker and sweeter and the topping is a light sweet and sour flavor combination. If you do decide to add toppings, only do so after the cake is thoroughly chilled. It will harden as it chills and be better able to support any toppings you add.

Ingredients

  • For the Crust
  • 7 tablespoons/100 grams butter (room temperature)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon decaffeinated instant coffee
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • For the Filling
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 1/3 cups/750 grams Israeli white cheese (Gevina Levana)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 packet vanilla sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • For the Topping
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1 packet vanilla sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a 9x13-inch cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.

  3. In a bowl, combine butter, egg yolks, coffee, sugar, and flour with your hands until the mixture is crumbly.

  4. Press the mixture into the bottom of the cake pan. This forms the base for the cake.

  5. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, white cheese, sugar, vanilla sugar, and flour.

  6. Pour this mixture on top of the cake base.

  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese does not wiggle. Remove cake and cool for 30 minutes.

  8. Turn oven temperature down to 200 F.

  9. In a small bowl, mix sour cream with vanilla sugar and sugar. Spread evenly over the cooled cake.

  10. Bake again for 20 minutes.

  11. Refrigerate until fully cooled and firm and then serve!

Tip

  • The cheesecake tastes best after it has been chilled for a few hours. It's even better the next day, and the day after that.
  • Add your favorite cheesecake toppings if you want a total indulgence. Try fruit, crushed Oreos, caramel, chocolate fudge, or anything else.