May 18, 2010

Cheesecake and A Gift From London


My friend Anna came for a short visit to Tel Aviv a couple of weeks ago, after spending the last two years in London doing her Masters degree at the AA School of Architecture, and working for a well known architecture firm. After being away from home for so long, it’s almost impossible to try and fit in all you want to do in only a nine days vacation - family, friends, sights, restaurants, coffee shops, the ocean, and, of course, shopping!

That’s why we were very glad that for two days of her visit she stayed in our house. As for myself, I knew that I have to keep a balance between being the domestic loony hostess I am used to be (staying late the night before baking a cake, granola and crackers...), and giving Anna the space she needs in order to do whatever she wants to. And to put it in my own words: “Yes. Don’t feel obligated. treat us as a B&B...” .

I guess it’s like the balance between the things we say and the things we mean.…


We’ve celebrated her first day in the city by having breakfast at Cafe 12, the new and coolest café at Rothschild Av. by Mati and Ruti Brudo, and then came home to have some tea and cake, how British of us. I’ve baked the tastiest cheesecake by “Reviva&Celia”. Anna didn’t know I’ve baked her a cake, and yet she took out of her suitcase a beautiful Antique pie server by sheffield, how appropriate!. I made a vow to use it immediately, and not to keep it as 'the guests silverware' only. Thank you sweetie, for everything. miss you already...

I’m publishing this post at the last minute (as usual) and a second before Shavuot, so if you haven’t decided yet which cheesecake to make this holiday, this one is a safe bet, and if it’s too late for you, well, there’s always other opportunities to bake a good cheesecake.

I’ve made some really minor changes to the recipe, so if you want the original one you can find it in their wonderful book “Reviva and Celia - Sweets”.

For the base of this cake I’ve used some leftovers of very buttery polenta shortbreads, but you can easily replace them with petit beurres and a melted butter as followed. Enjoy!

lemony cheesecake (adapted from Reviva & Celia Cheesecake)

for the base:
180 gr. petit beurre
90 gr. butter, melted

for the cake:
500 gr. 9% white cheese
300 gr. sour cream
120 gr. icing sugar
2 egg yolks
60 gr. white flour
juice from 1 lemon
grated zest from 1 lemon
2 egg whites
30 gr. icing sugar

for the frosting:
250 gr. sour cream
2 tbsp icing sugar

20 cm springform cake pan

Make the base:
Seperate the parts of the springform pan. Grease the bottom with butter and line it with a baking sheet. Assemble the sides to the bottom, and cut the excess paper. Grease the sides and line them with strips of baking sheets exceeding the hight of the pan in 2-4 cm.
In a magimix grind the petit buerres to fine crumbs, add the melted butter, and mix to combine. transfer the mix to the cake pan and press down with your fingertips to the bottom of the pan to make an even layer.

Make the cake:
In a large bowl whisk together the white cheese, sour cream, 120 gr. icing sugar, yolks, flour, lemon juice and lemon zest, to a smooth mix.
In the mixer bowl with the whisk attachment beat the egg whites until white foam appears. stop the mixer, add 30 gr. icing sugar, and continue beating on medium high speed until the mixture is stiff but still velvety and not too dry (medium stiff peaks).
Fold 1/4 of the egg whites mixture into the cheese mixture. Fold the rest of the egg whites gently and thoroughly. Transfer to the cake pan.
Bake at 140℃ for about 90 minutes. Open the oven’s door, and keep the cake inside the oven until it completely cooled.

Make the frosting:
Whisk the sour cream with the icing sugar until smooth and pour it over the cooled cake. make a smooth surface with the back of a spoon or spatula. Cool the cheesecake in the fridge for at least two hours, take it out of the pan, remove the baking sheet from the sides and serve.


  1. I sympathize with Anna’s desire to fit 6 month dreaming of doing things when you come to visit Israel facing the grim reality that 9 days pass faster when you enjoy…. Thankfully I am over it now... The cheesecake “architecturally” reminds me of the prominent NYC cheesecake although judging from the ingredient list it should be on a different scale all together, cannot wait to try it !

  2. still looking for the ocean !

  3. Oh my god, the cake actually has curves...
    It looks irresistible...