Post 37: Read about one of the world’s largest Chanakiyot in the Bukharin Shuk, Jerusalem. The owner of the hardware store and collection is Shabtay Yossef and by popular demand Vegetables in a cake : Adzuki Bean Ricotta Cheesecake and Creamy Bean Amaranth Soup for a chilly night

Posted link, article and photographs compliments of Jacob Richman. Thank you!

Shabtay Yossef is a collector.
He probably has one of the largest Chanukiyot collections in the world.
He has Chanukiyot from 75 countries.

Rather than post the story here’s the link:

A Dairy alternative to Latkas:

Adzuki Bean Ricotta Cheesecake


4 leaves of filo dough

175 grams of roasted butternut squash

2 tab. Canola Oil

2 tab. Toffuti Sour Cream

2 cups frozen blueberries and cherries defrosted. Hold the syrup.

2 Tab. Kuzo (Wild Japanese arrowroot).

1/2 cup dried blueberries/cranberries.

2 cups ricotta cheese (app 900 grams).

3/4 cup cooked adzuki beans run through a food processor

Peel of one lemon.

3 tab. cream cheese

2 ripe bananas mashed in small chunks 3 eggs beaten

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts


Bake the shell in a spring form pan in a preheated toaster one at 160 C about 10 minutes, watching to see that the thin filo doesn’t burn. Set aside to cool. After you have poured in the filling cover outer rim with aluminum foil strips to prevent burning during baking.

Grate lemon peel.

In the same bowl, use an immersion blender or by hand, combine the squash, beans lemon peel, ricotta, toffuti sour cream and cream cheese. Add the bananas and eggs. Pre-heat oven to 160C (320 F). Spoon filling into filo lined pan. Top with toasted pine nuts. Bake for one hour. Allow to cool in the oven for at least an hour. Refrigerate.

Topping : 

Squeeze juice from the defrosted 2 cups frozen blueberries and cherries defrosted. Mix the syrup with the 1/2 cup dried blueberries/cranberries. Add enough hot water to make 1/2 cup of liquid. Mix in the Kuzo. (Be sure that it is a powdery consistency and not hard pieces.

Take cheesecake out of the refrigerator. Mix the fruits together and spread over the cake.

Instructions if you plan to freeze the cake: For a cheesecake with topping, such as fruit, always freeze cheesecake WITHOUT the topping and add the topping before serving.

You will have a nutritious desert for a crowd. This cake also lasts nicely in the fridge for a quick breakfast or a lunchbox meal. There is a slight amount of sugar in the dried cranberries and blueberries.




1) A springform pan (with removable side and bottom) is the most commonly used pan for making cheesecakes.

2) Avoid over-beating the batter. Over-beating incorporates additional air and tends to cause cracking on the surface of the cheesecake.

3) For even marbling and the best distribution of added ingredients, such as chocolate chips or nuts, do not over-soften or over-beat the cream cheese.

4) Avoid over-baking: Cheesecake baking times are not always exact, due to variations in ovens. The cheesecake will continue to bake after it is removed from the oven. The center of the cheesecake should be just slightly moist when it is ready to be removed.

5) Upon removal from the oven, loosen the cake from the edge of the pan by running the tip of a knife or narrow spatula between the top edge of the cake and the side of the pan. This allows the cake to pull away freely from the pan as it cools.

6) Cool the cheesecake on a wire rack away from drafts.

7) After a cheesecake has cooled completely, gently loosen the entire side of the cheesecake from the pan with the tip of a knife while slowly releasing the springform pan clamp. Carefully remove the side of the pan.

8) Baked cheesecakes freeze well. Cool them completely and wrap them securely in heavy-duty foil or plastic wrap, but do not freeze cheesecakes with garnishes or toppings.

8) If you are adding fruit (bananas etc. to substitute for sugar, leave it lumpy. Drain fruit we..or use the juice/fruit in a topping.

More Cheesecake Success Hints:


The most common complaint is cracking that develops through the middle of the cheesecake during or after baking.

To Prevent Surface Cracking:

Bake the cheesecake in a water bath to keep the oven moisture high and the heat gentle. (A water bath is using a larger pan containing water in which to place the smaller cheesecake baking pan.)

Don’t overbake the cheesecake. When perfectly done, there will still be a two to three-inch wobbly spot in the middle of the cheesecake; the texture will smooth out as it cools.

Cheesecake will shrink as it cools. Generously greasing the sides of the baking pan before pouring in batter will allow the cake to pull away from the pan as it cools and shrinks instead of pulling apart from the middle.

Cheesecakes have a tendency to crack, but they don’t have to. This favorite American dessert can have a cracked surface for a number of reasons. One cause is air trapped inside the batter – a result of over-mixing. Once in the oven, the air bubble expands and wants to escape from the cake. As it finds its way out of the top of the cake, it creates a crack or crevice in the cake’s surface. Another cause of a cracked surface is a drastic temperature change.

How to avoid cracks then? Be sure to mix your cheesecake batter well, eliminating all possible lumps in the cream cheese BEFORE you add the eggs. It is the eggs that will hold air in the batter, so add them last, and mix as little as possible once they are in the mix.

Also, be sure to cook your cheesecake gently. Use a water bath – wrap the bottom of your springform pan in aluminum foil and place it in a larger pan with water in it, just halfway up the outside of the springform pan. This will allow the cheesecake to cook more slowly and evenly.

Finally, cook your cheesecake slowly – at 325º F. After about 45 minutes, turn your oven off and leave the cheesecake inside the turned off oven for another hour. Cool at room temperature with a plate or cookie sheet inverted over the cheesecake to slow the cooling. Only then can you refrigerate the cake, which you will need to do for another 6 hours at least.

If after all this, you still have a crack, make a topping or a sauce for your cheesecake, and tell all your guests that you intentionally made a special crack in the top of the cake to hold more sauce!


Cheesecakes with cornstarch or flour added to the batter do not crack as easily from overbaking. The starch molecules will actually get in between the egg proteins preventing them from over-coagulating. No over-coagulating, no cracks!! Some bakers add extra insurance to a cheesecake recipe that doesn’t contain cornstarch or flour, by simply adding 1 tablespoon to 1/4 cup of cornstarch to the batter with the sugar.

With today’s trend to produce larger and higher cheesecakes and to bake them without the benefit of a waterbath, they tend to overbake at the edge before the center of the cake has reached the temperature necessary to set (coagulate) the eggs. Here, your cheesecake will tend to form deep cracks upon cooling.

Don’t bake your cheesecake at too high a temperature (I recommend baking cheesecakes at 300-325 degrees F at the highest) The egg proteins will over coagulate from too much heat which eventually shrink when cooled, causing cracking usually in its center or tiny cracks all over its top. If you heat it up to fast or cool it down too fast you’re also going to get cracks.

Freezing Cheesecakes

Cheesecakes can be frozen. Careful wrapping is very important. To freeze, place a fully cooled cheesecake in the freezer, uncovered, for 1 hour. If it’s in a springform pan, remove sides of pan and freeze with the pan bottom in place. After 1 hour, use a knife to separate the cheesecake from the pan bottom. Slide it onto a foil-wrapped piece of heavy cardboard. Wrap in plastic wrap, then carefully place it inside a large freezer bag or wrap it in heavy duty aluminum foil. Label and date. Freezing for more than a month is not recommended to retain the best quality.

For a cheesecake with topping, such as fruit, always freeze cheesecake WITHOUT the topping and add the topping before serving.

Always thaw a cheesecake overnight in the refrigerator. When partially thawed, transfer it from the cardboard bottom to a serving plate.

” Water Bath ” For Baking Cheesecakes

A “water bath” is a method that will help keep your cheesecake from cracking while baking.

Instructions For Water Bath

First, take heavy aluminum foil, and wrap it around sides and bottom of your springform pan or cheesecake pan with removable bottom. This prevents leakage while baking your cheesecake.

Place your springform pan or cheesecake pan (filled with cheesecake batter and crust) into a larger deep baking pan* that it will fit into easily.

*Note: The larger pan should be at least 2-3 inches in depth.

Place in pre-heated oven. With a kettle filled with very hot water, pour water into the larger pan about halfway up, or approximately 1 1/2 to 2 inches.

Bake cheesecake as directed. When cheesecake is done, remove springform pan or cheesecake pan (if using) from “water bath” in oven. Carefully remove larger pan with water in it from oven. It will be very hot. Discard water when it has cooled.

Remove aluminum foil from sides and bottom of pan after your cheesecake has cooled completely in the refrigerator.

When you are ready to release sides of springform pan, or remove cheesecake from a cheesecake pan with removable bottom (if using) and cheesecake has cooled in refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight; this is the best time to remove aluminum foil.

Creamy Cannellini Bean and Amaranth Soup: Macrobiotic (except for tomato ingredient)

Creamy Cannellini Bean and Amaranth Soup

Lori Sobelson

Cannellini beans are especially pleasing to the palate in the company of fresh herbs, and amaranth is a wonderful whole grain thickener that makes this hale-and-hearty soup plenty filling enough to be a main dish. For a super-thick and creamy soup, puree all of the soup rather than leaving half of the beans whole. I save up onion skin, carrot peelings, celery leaves for stock and keep it ready for “Soup Time”.


2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 large leeks, white parts only, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup amaranth
2 cups vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups cooked cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp. sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper


1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute, then add the amaranth grains, stock, bay leaf, and tomato paste and bring to a boil.

2. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.

3. Remove the bay leaf from the amaranth mixture, add 1 cup of the beans, and use a handheld immersion blender to puree in the pot until smooth. (Alternatively, puree the beans in a food processor, add the amaranth mixture – working in batches if necessary – and puree again until smooth, then return to the pot.)

4. Stir in the remaining beans, the herbs, and the salt. Warm gently just to heat through. If desired, thin the soup with additional stock (heat before adding to avoid overcooking the soup). Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe courtesy of Lori Sobelson, from the Bob’s Red Mill cookbook Whole & Healthy Grains for Every Meal of the Day.

Nutrition facts per serving:  Calories: 350 , Total Fat: 9 g, (Saturated Fat: 1.5 g), Sodium: 1290 mg, Carbohydrate: 57 g, Fiber: 12 g,  Protein: 15 g.

makes: 4 servings
serving size: 1 cup

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