Shavuot is synonymous with dairy meals and cheese treats. Here are some selections from the simple to the sublime, surely something to please every palate. And since every meal starts with challah, here are some flower-shaped challah to delight your guests in honor of Shavuot.
Special Flower Shaped Challah for Shavuos.
Use your favorite recipe . Alternatively, here is a tried and tested white flour challah recipe that will yield great results.
- 5 pounds high gluten flour, bakery flour or bread flour
- 3 Tbs (Fleishman’s) instant yeast or 3 ounces fresh yeast.
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 5 cups warm water
- 3 extra large eggs
- 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 3 Tbs kosher salt
- 2 egg yolks plus 1 Tbs water for egg wash
- Sesame or poppy seeds
Sift the flour into your mixer bowl (challah will be fluffier when flour is sifted). Add the instant yeast and sugar. Stir to combine. Add eggs and oil. Add the water and add salt last. Mix at medium speed for 10-12 minutes until a smooth elastic dough forms. Remove dough from the mixer bowl sprinkle with some flour to avoid sticking. Allow to proof (rise) in a large bowl covered with plastic wrap and a towel over it for 45 minutes. Separate “challah.”
Divide dough into 5 equal parts. To be really precise, you can weigh each piece on a scale and check that they are equal.
Using one of the 5 pieces, roll ball of dough into a LONG rope.
Cut the rope into four pieces- first piece around half of the rope, the next one about 2/3 of what’s left, and then divide the last bit into two small ropes.
Take the longest rope, and make a bunch of loops, pinching in the center- these are your petals- make about 5 or 6. Then take the next longish rope, tuck underneath- this is your stem. Then take the two small ones, make a loop with each, and tuck under the stem – these are your leaves. Then take a small ball of dough and put in the center of the flower, hiding the pinches from each petal.
Another suggestion is to just make the flower part without the stem, and make that bigger. It looks really pretty on each setting.
More Decorative Challah Flowers Suggestions
This challah shape was a conversation piece at every meal. I made small ones for the children who delighted in having their own individual flower shaped challah.
Use your favorite challah dough recipe, or use dough described above. Roll out as many pieces of dough as you wish to add to your flower anywhere between 5 petals around a central one for the larger ones, and 4 around the central one for the smaller ones. Shape each piece into a small roll and place them together to form a flower. Roll out one longer piece for the stem and petals as illustrated below.
Glaze with egg yolks and sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds. Bake larger ones for 40 minutes @ 350. Smaller ones need only 30 minutes.
Secret for fluffy challah: after shaping your challah heat oven to very low temperature, 100 Centigrade or 200 Fahrenheit. Proceed to glaze challah with egg wash and sprinkle with your favorite seeds. Put challah in the oven allow it to stay in low heat for 20 minutes and then raise the temperature to 180C/ 350F and bake according to challah size.
Set your table and place challah flowers on each place setting or just decorate the table with these pretty flower shaped challah. You are sure to receive great accolades.
Delicious Butter Pound Cake
Butter pound cake is a simple staple cake delicious with a cup of coffee anytime and simple enough for anyone to try as it takes minutes to prepare with simple ingredients.
- 2 sticks (250 gr) unsalted butter at room temperature
- ¾ cup (200g) sugar
- 4 eggs,
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (100g) flour, sifted
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 4 Tbs vanilla yogurt
- Some sliced almond
Preheat the oven to 350°C.
Lightly grease the pan with some butter.
Cream the butter and sugar until creamy.
Slowly add in the eggs and continue beating the mixture.
Add in the vanilla extract and salt; fold the flour and baking powder into the mixture.
Finally, add in the vanilla yogurt and blend well.
Pour the mixture into a greased baking pan of your choice. Shake it lightly to distribute the cake mixture evenly. Sprinkle the sliced almonds on top.
Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Remove it from the oven, let cool on a cooling rack. Slice it up and serve warm.
Preparation 20 minutes
Luscious Rich Cheese Babke
This cheese babke got rave reviews as one of the best recipes for its kind. The cake and filling are a winning combination sure to be enjoyed by all.
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup milk
- 4 ounces (1 stick) softened butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 large beaten egg yolks + 1 large beaten egg white
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 packages 16 oz. softened cream cheese
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 6 Tbs all-purpose flour
- 8 Tbs sugar
- 4 Tbs cold butter
Stir yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar into warm water. Set aside until frothy. Grease three (9-by-5-inch) loaf pans.
Scald the milk and place in a large mixing bowl. Add butter and stir to melt. Add 1/2 cup sugar, salt, yeast mixture, and 3 beaten egg yolks.
Add flour and knead until shiny and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, turning to coat both sides, cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled. This may take as long as 2 hours.
Prepare the crumb topping by mixing the flour and sugar and cutting in the butter as for pie dough.
Punch down dough and divide into three parts. Sprinkle flour on your working area. Working with one part at a time and covering the rest roll dough as thin as you can into a large rectangle 1/8-inch thick.
Spread dough with 1/3 of the cheese filling. Fold in the sides of dough and roll up tightly as for a jellyroll. Place in prepared pan. Brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with 1/3 the crumb topping. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until above the rim of the pan.
Place rack in center of oven and heat to 350 °. Bake babkas for 40-50 minutes or until golden in color. Let cool in pan 5 minutes. Using a knife, loosen babka from sides of pan.
Preparation 20 minutes
Total time 3 hours
White Chocolate Cheesecake
This special cake is amazing, a special treat for Yom Tov.
To make the design over the cake:
Melt a good quality chocolate and dip the tip of a spoon into the chocolate; then with a steady hand make circles around the cake as evenly as you can. It might not look as professional
Take a toothpick and make lines from the edges of the cake towards the center. That should create this spider web pattern.
- 1 ready to use Graham cracker pie shell
- 1 lb White chocolate; chopped
- 12 oz Cream cheese; room temp
- 2 Egg yolks
- 1 c sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla sugar
- 3 egg whites
- 2 Tbs sugar
Melt chocolate; set aside. Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and mix well, blend in the sour cream, vanilla, chocolate and set aside
Beat egg whites until peaks form-gradually add sugar, beat till stiff. Fold beaten egg whites into chocolate mixture.. Spoon into 2 pie crusts or a 9 inch springform pan and bake at 300 degrees F. After one hour close the oven and allow cake to stay there for another hour until set.
Preparation 20 minutes
Amazing Cherry Cheesecake
Not only is this our best cheesecake – a rich, creamy, cherry-topped showstopper – it's also one of the easiest to make! Since this indulgent cheesecake makes 16 servings, it is the perfect dessert to serve at your next party.
- 1-3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1-1/4 cups sugar, divided
- 3 packages (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 cup Sour Cream
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling
Heat oven to 350°F. MIX graham crumbs, butter and 1/4 cup sugar; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan.
Beat cream cheese and remaining sugar in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add sour cream and vanilla; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition until blended. Pour over crust.
Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 min. or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate cheesecake 4 hours. Top with pie filling before serving.
How To Easily Cut Creamy Desserts
When cutting creamy-textured desserts, such as cheesecake, carefully wipe off the knife blade between cuts with a clean damp towel. This prevents the creamy filling from building up on the blade, ensuring nice clean cuts that leave the filling intact.
Preparation 15 minutes
Total: 6 hr 25 minutes
Our Best Chocolate Cheesecake
This cake is very rich a thin slice goes a long way.
- 18 sandwich cookies, finely crushed (about 1-1/2 cups) or use 2 chocolate ready pie crust.
- 2 Tbs butter or margarine, melted
- 3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
- 1cup sugar
- 1tsp vanilla
- ½ cup (4 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces, melted and cooled
- 3 eggs
- 1½ cups strawberries (for decoration optional)
Heat oven to 325°F. Mix cookie crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 min.
Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add chocolate; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust.
Bake 45 to 55 min. or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate cheesecake 4 hours. Top with strawberries.
HOW TO BAKE IN 13X9-INCH PAN
Prepare as directed, substituting a greased foil-lined 13x9-inch pan for the springform pan, and reducing the baking time to 40 to 45 min. or until center is almost set. Use foil handles to remove chilled cheesecake from pan before cutting to serve.
Total: 6 hr 35 min