One of the most popular customs on Shavuot is to eat dairy foods such as cheesecake, cheese, blintzes and ice cream. There are many explanations and the most popular among practicing Jews finds its roots in the reason why we celebrate Shavuot: The Revelation at Sinai (when the Torah was given).
Included in the Torah are the laws of kashrut (kosher dietary laws), which did not exist prior to The Revelation on Sinai. Suffice to say, directly after the Revelation, we did not have the tools to prepare kosher meat. As a result our first meal was a dairy meal.
A dairy meal on Shavuot also celebrates the nourishment we get from the Torah. Shir HaShirim (the Song of Songs), verse 4:11 says “milk and honey are under your tongue” and some have compared the Torah with the milk in this verse: Like milk, the Torah sustains us.
The Revelation at Sinai also happened shortly after the Exodus from slavery in Egypt, a journey described as one from the misery of Egypt to a country flowing with milk and honey…” So, symbolically eating dairy on Shavuot commemorates the sweetness of freedom and the new life that lay before the Jewish people.
This gluten-and dairy free ‘cheesecake’ is an alternative to traditional cheesecake enjoyed during the Shavuot celebrations, to accommodate people with gluten and lactose intolerances. Nonetheless, it’s slightly textured creamy filling looks and tastes (nearly) like cheese.
- 250 grams macadamia nuts
- 100 grams dates
- 45 grams desiccated coconut
- 1 X Tablespoon Rosewater
- 400 grams cashews (soaked for at least 30 minutes and drain)
- 2 Lemons - juiced and pulped (keep the skin)
- 150 milliliters Maple syrup or honey
- 150 milliliters Olive Oil
- 1 X Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 200 milliliters Coconut milk
- 2 X Tablespoon Rosewater
- Pinch sea salt
- 1-2 punnets fresh strawberries or 150 grams frozen berries
- Place all the ingredients into a large blender and blend until the nuts are fine and a moist dense dough is forming.
- Press into 20cm spring form cake tin and place in freezer.
- Place all ingredients into a large blender (apart from the lemons skins you are keeping to one side), and blend well until smooth and thick.
- Pour the filling into the base and allow to set in the freezer over night.
- Of course, the ingredients suggest that this is not a cheesecake, but once the filling's ingredients are mixed properly, the result will be a slightly textured creamy filling that looks like cheese.
- The calorie count shown is not per serving but for the entire cake.