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Shavuot Recipes



Sephardi Shavuot here we come!

Rifca Sommer is a caterer and cooking teacher who runs Rifca’s Kitchen in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. She’s a proud Sephardic Jew, with both parents hailing from the small Mediterranean island of Rhodes.

Soulac – rice pudding

With a cameo appearance in the Netflix series The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem, soulac is a perfect Turkish themed Shavuot dessert.


2 heaped tablespoons of ground rice

½ cup cold water

2 cups milk

2½ tablespoons sugar

Cinnamon to sprinkle


Place ground rice in pot and pour in the cold water. Leave for five minutes to soak. Add milk and sugar, and bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring continuously until thick. Add a little boiling water if too thick. Serve in bowls and sprinkle cinnamon.

Fongos – spinach and potato bake


2 bunches spinach

4 eggs, well beaten

4 large potatoes, cooked and mashed

2 cups grated cheese (1 cup cheddar, 1 cup parmesan)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons oil

2 teaspoons butter

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Temperature: 180°C

Makes 12 squares and serves eight people


Wash spinach well. Remove the stalks and shred leaves finely. Dry on absorbent paper. Place in a large bowl. Add three well-beaten eggs, a quarter of the mashed potato, one cup of the cheese mixture, and seasonings. Place oil in ovenproof dish. Heat in oven for five minutes at 180°C. Pour spinach mixture into dish. Form 12 mounds of potato-cheese mixture and place on spinach. Dot with knobs of butter. Bake at 180°C for 30 minutes. Serve hot or cold as a vegetable, cut into squares.

Golden brown and delicious cheesecake

Daniel Kusner, also known as Chef Dan, is a personal kosher chef from Johannesburg who has a passion for feeding people great food.

Basque cheesecake


900g cream cheese, room temperature

300g sugar

6 large eggs

500ml heavy cream

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

80g all-purpose flour


  • Place a rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 204 degrees celsius. Butter pan, then line with two overlapping (40cm by 30cm) sheets of parchment, making sure the parchment comes at least 5cm above the top of the pan on all sides. Because the parchment needs to be pleated and creased in some areas to fit in the pan, you won’t end up with a clean, smooth outer edge to the cake. That’s okay! Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Beat cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until it’s very smooth, no lumps remain, and the sugar has dissolved – about two minutes.
  • Increase speed to medium, and add eggs one at a time, beating each egg 15 seconds before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then reduce mixer speed to medium-low. Add cream, salt, and vanilla, and beat until combined, about 30 seconds.
  • Turn off the mixer and sift flour evenly over cream cheese mixture using a fine-mesh sieve. Beat on low speed until incorporated, about 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl yet again, and continue to beat until the batter is smooth, homogenous, and silky – about 10 seconds.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake cheesecake until deeply golden brown on top and still very jiggly in the centre – 60 to 65 minutes.
  • Let it cool slightly. It will fall drastically as it cools, then unmould. Let it cool completely. Carefully peel away parchment from the sides of the cheesecake. Slice into wedges and serve at room temperature, preferably with a glass of sherry.

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