Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Halva and Coffee Cheesecake

One of my favorite holidays is Shavuot. Why? Because this is the time of year to appreciate the fruit of the land and more importantly eat cheese dishes, until you can't cheese no more. Cheese quiches and frittatas, cheese filled pastries, Cheese puffs, Cheese sticks, Feta and goat cheese salads, creamed pastas and potatoes and the highlight of the night, cheesecakes in different colors, shapes, sizes and flavors will be loaded in abundance to the Shavuot dinner table. How can you not love a holiday that encourages you to have as much cheese as you want, and than some more. 

So with cheesy ideas in mind I went on looking for the perfect cheesecake to bring to the Shavuot table. I love all cheesecakes, the lemony ones, the all berries ones and surely the New York baked cheesecakes. But this time I wanted something really special for the holiday, something full of flavor that will stand out of all the cheesecakes anyone had before. And there it was, I found this recipe in one of my favorite sweet sites  "My sweets" (מתוקים שלי) published by Chen Shoukroon. This wonderful, rich, full flavored cheesecake with halva and coffee was everything I was looking for. And so it was my friends, so it was. I changed a few things to fit the local supermarket but I tried to be as loyal as I can to the original recipe. 

Cheesecakes in general you would make a day ahead of the event and this little beauty can wait in the fridge even 2-3 days before you serve it. So it does take some planing, but when it comes to cheesecakes, it's worth the wait. Don't forget to frost the cake only on the day you plan on serving it, and remember to plan ahead.

O.K. here we go...

All excited and ready to go!

 To make the biscuit base, place biscuits in a food processor and process until resembles breadcrumbs. Add melted butter and process for a few more seconds until combined.

Press the biscuit mixture to the base and sides of the pan using a cup or the back of a spoon.

To make the filling, place cream cheese and sugar in an electric mixer. I have an electric beater and it works wonders. So if you don't own an electric mixer don't get discouraged just use what you have.

Beat for a few minutes until combined.

Add the halva and mix well.

Add eggs one at a time and mix after each one until completely incorporated in the mixture.

Add cream and beat until combined.

Add the coffee liquor and mix again until smooth. You can replace the liquor with 2 teaspoons of instant coffee melted in 1/4 cup hot water. Let it cool before adding to the filling.

Pour the mixture gently onto to the prepared pan and shake pan lightly for a smooth surface.

It's time to make the chocolate topping. Make the topping on the day you serve the cake so it wont dry out and crack. Pour hot cream onto the chocolate and stir until completely melted.

Pour chocolate onto chilled cheesecake and swivel around to cover the top evenly.

After chilling in the fridge it's time to decorate the cake with the leftover chocolate.

Warning! This cake is not for the faint of heart.

Once you start there is no turning back!

Halva and Coffee Cheesecake
Decadent rich dessert for a special night. 
Makes 16 prep: 30min cook: 80min 

250 gr      Chocolate or plain biscuits
120 gr      Unsalted butter

For the filling:
1 kg         Cream cheese at room temperature
150 gr      Raw sugar or Castor sugar
4              Eggs at room temperature
350 gr      Vanilla Halva
60 ml       Coffee liquor
125 ml     Thick cream

For the frosting:
150 ml     Thick cream
150 gr      Dark Chocolate
1 tbs        Coffee liquor

Line 24cm spring-form baking pan with baking parchment, bottom and sides.
Melt butter and set aside to cool. Place biscuits in a food processor and process until resembles breadcrumbs. Add melted butter and process for a few more seconds until combined.
Transfer the biscuit mixture to the prepared pan and press to the base and sides using a cup or a spoon. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
In the meantime preheat oven to 160°C (Fan is not recommended) 
Place chilled pan in the oven and bake for 10 min. Cool completely.

To make the filling: Place cream cheese and sugar in an electric mixer and beat until smooth. Add the halva and mix well. Add eggs one at a time and mix after each one until well combined. Add the coffee liquor and cream and mix again until smooth. Use a spatula when needed to scrape the edge of the bowl to make sure you have a unified mixture.
Pour the mixture gently into the prepared pan with the chilled base. Bake for 80 minutes. The cake should be light golden on top and still wobbly
Cool in the oven for 10 min with the door ajar. Take out of the oven and cool to room temperature before placing in the fridge overnight.

The next day make the topping: Chop chocolate and place in a heatproof bawl. In a small saucepan heat cream until just reaches boiling point and pour over the chocolate. Put aside for a minute or two and then stir well until smooth. Add the coffee liquor and stir to combine. If too hot let it cool down a little before pouring onto the cold cheesecake. Pour 2/3 of the topping over the chilled cake. Swivel the pan so the chocolate evens out all over the surface. Return to fridge for another hour. Chill the rest of the chocolate in the freezer for an hour or so before transferring into a piping bag.  Use the remaining chocolate mixture to decorate as desired. I used a small round piping nozzle for the edges. For the center of the cake I used the back of  a tea spoon. 

1. For the filling I recommend 500 gr full cream cheese and 500 gr light or even super light cream cheese.Otherwise the end result might be too rich.  
2. In my old oven it took 80 min to golden. The baking time might change with your oven, check the cake after 70 minutes and see if it's going well.
3. Usually cheesecakes are made one day ahead, they just get better the more the stay in the fridge.
4. Wait with the frosting step until the day you plan on serving it.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you. 


  1. Ilanit that cheesecake looks So delicious- I love halva but halva and cheesecake well that's just dangerous. Next time I see you I'm keen to hear if it tasted as fabulous as it looks(I have no doubt it did). Well done!

  2. Thanks Emma, it was very good, and very rich!!! I love halva and combining it with the cheesecake was fantastic!

  3. I just came across this recipe - can we have a piece of this gorgeous calorie bomb too on Friday ?! xxPia & Charlie

  4. Not sure about that one, but I do have some treats planed for us, so hold on to your hat and get ready to be blown away buy my new baking adventures:)