Halva Cheesecake | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Halva Cheesecake

Halva Cheesecake

Amanda Ruben's Halva Cheesecake/ Elisa Watson

Serves 10-12

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Halva fans will be left dreaming about this cake with its smooth, rich sesame-flavored filling. I like to use plain halva in the body of the cake but top it with chunks of the chocolate-flavored stuff just to make it even more irresistible. It’s a perfect cake to make for Shavout, when it’s traditional to eat milk products.

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200 g (7 oz) Marie biscuits or other sweet plain biscuits

6 tablespoons butter, melted, plus extra for greasing


600 g (1 lb 5 oz) plain halva, crushed

185 ml (6 fl oz/3/4 cup) thick (double/heavy) cream

1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) quark (Quark is European cream cheese so any light cream cheese will work.) 

6 eggs

120 g (4 ½ oz) chocolate halva, crumbled, to serve


Grease a 25 cm (10 in) springform cake tin and line it with baking paper.

To make the crust, add the biscuits to a food processor and blitz to a fine crumb. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

Add the melted butter and mix until thoroughly combined. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and press down firmly to form a crust. Refrigerate while you make the filling.

Preheat the oven to 160ºC (320ºF).

To make the filling, combine the plain halva and cream in a frying pan over low heat. Cook, stirring gently, until the halva has completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Put the quark in a clean food processor. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each is added. Add the halva mixture and stir to combine.

Pour the filling over the crust and bake in the oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Leave the cake to cool completely before decorating with crumbled chocolate halva to serve.

Recipes excerpted with permission from Feasting: A New Take On Jewish Cooking by Amanda Ruben, published by Hardie Grant Books March 2018.

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