> Holidays > Shavuot > Recipes

Chocolate Cheesecake & Challah

June 1, 2014 | by Aviv Harkov

Rich, decadent, and mind blowing.

Shavuot is one of my favorite holidays. I don’t think people give dairy meals enough credit. We tend to think that for something to be festive there has to be meat on the table but I hope that these recipes will help change your mind.

The first recipe is for an easy cheese challah with an extraordinary test. Often baking our own challah seems very fussy but this recipe is about as straight forward as possible. When I made it I couldn’t help but be amazed at how easy it was to knead the dough and how agreeable it was when I shaped the challahs. The real test, what separates the professionals from the amateurs is the consistency. Fluffy, and light as a cloud this challah was perfect. I’ll be honest, all this would be enough for me to bake these challahs again but the taste, well let’s just say I have to make myself sample roles because I can’t control myself. The sharpness of the cheese is complimented by the sundried tomatoes acidity and the richness of the rosemary making it both surprising and surprisingly delicious bread. Whether your family is a humus family, or margarine one, this challah with be loved by your entire family.

Sundried Tomato and Parmesan Challah

Sundried Tomato and Parmesan ChallahMakes 2 large challahs or 3 medium challahs.

Challah Dough

  • 7 1\2 cups of bread flour
  • 1 OZ fresh yeast
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar
  • 2 ¼ cups of cold water
  • ½ cup of canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1large egg yolk
  • ½ cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup of sundried tomatoes (diced)
  • 3 Tbsp fresh rosemary (diced)
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 1 large egg
  • About 1 1\2 Tbsp oatmeal
  • 2 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese

Pour your flour into a large bowl and evenly mix the yeast into the flour.

Pour in the water, oil, and the eggs one at a time and mix between each addition. Once you’ve added all your ingredients knead your dough for about five minutes.

In a small bowl combine the parmesan cheese, sundried tomatoes, and rosemary.

Knead the contents of the small bowl into the dough another five minutes until the dough becomes sticky and soft to touch. Shape your dough into a ball.

Spray a clean large boil with spray oil and place your dough inside the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let your dough rise for two hours.

Now separate the dough into equal pile and braid your challah.

Brush your challahs with the egg from your garnish and sprinkle them with oatmeal and parmesan cheese. Allow your challahs to rest for one to one and half hours.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Bake you challah for 35-45 minutes or until both the tops and the bottom of the challah brown slightly.

Chocolate Cheesecake with Coffee Whipped Cream

Chocolate Cheesecake with Coffee Whipped CreamOne bite of this cheese cake and I just can’t describe it. But I’ll do my best. Rich, decadent, and mind blowing. The light and delicious coffee whipped cream help balance the strong taste of chocolate from the chocolate cheesecake filling and chocolate cookie crust. It’s the perfect way to end your Shavuot meal and enjoy that cup of coffee with real milk.

Makes 1 large cheesecake.

Chocolate Cookie Crust

  • 2 ½ cups of crushed chocolate tea cookies
  • 1 1\2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2\3 cup of butter (melted)

Chocolate Cheesecake Filling

  • 10 OZ dark chocolate
  • 32 OZ cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 1\2 cup of sour cream
  • 1 1\4 cups of sugar
  • ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch of espresso powder
  • 1\4 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs

Coffee Whipped Cream

  • 3\4 cup of whipping cream
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1\2 tsp espresso powder
  • 1\8 tsp all spice


  • Cocoa powder

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and start your crust by pouring your cookies crumbs into a medium sized bowl.

Mix in the brown sugar and then stir in the melted butter. Your crust should have the consistency of wet sand when you’re done.

Spray a large spring form pan with spray oil and evenly press the cookie crumbs against the sides and bottom of the spring form pan.

Bake your chocolate cookie crust for 15 minutes and continue by making the filling.

Melt your chocolate in the microwave until smooth and set aside.

In large bowl beat together your cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt.

Mix in your eggs, one at a time, and then fold in your melted chocolate.

Fill your chocolate cookie crust with your chocolate cheesecake filling.

Bake you cheesecake for about 70 minutes or until cake seems baked through and the middle is no longer wobbly.

Turn off your oven and pry your oven door open with an oven mitt. Let your chocolate cheesecake gradually reach room temperature in the oven and thus greatly prevent it from collapsing.

After you cheesecake has reached room temperature place it in the refrigerator and start making your Coffee Whipped Cream topping.

Beat your whipping cream with the sugar until it receives the consistency of whipped cream. Add you espresso powder and all spice and mix for another minute.

Spread your Coffee Whipped Cream on top of a completely cool chocolate cheesecake.

Sprinkle the cheesecake with cocoa power and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, before serving.

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