Our cream cheese-filled puff pastry Torah scrolls are a great way to celebrate the tradition of eating dairy at Shavuot, and reminding others about the real Shavuot celebration – the receiving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.
Receiving the Torah on Shavuot directly correlates with the Children of Israel receiving the laws of Kashrut, and of separating meat and milk. Tradition tells us that the Torah was received on Shabbat. Faced with restrictions on how to butcher in a kosher fashion and the many rules of not transgressing Shabbat at the same time, the Children of Israel understood that they would have to wait until the end of Shabbat before taking an animal for their festive meal. This is one of the myriad reasons that many have the tradition of eating dairy on Shavuot.
Shavuot is both a historical holiday and an agricultural one. Always falling in spring when animals birthed and milk yield was high, the dairy production would go into overdrive, producing plenty of cheese, butter, sour milk and cream. To use up the excess cheese, ingenious cooks started using cheese in cakes, adding honey for sweetness and a pastry case as a base to hold the mixture together.
These puff pastry cheesecake scrolls with a traditional ricotta and double cream filling are a great alternative to traditional cheesecake, and a fun party piece. Serve as a pair for the Two Tablets, or ‘glue’ them together with a spot of chocolate to look like a Torah scroll. The colorful sprinkles reflect the beautiful flowers that are thought to have covered Mount Sinai.
YOU WILL NEED METAL CANNOLI TUBES, which can be found easily online. Preferably, you will also have an electric whisk and a piping bag, but neither one of these is critical.
Our Cheesecake Pastry Torah Scrolls sound fiddly, but are really simple! Watch the video below:
- Pre-bought puff pastry roll
- 100g (3½ oz) cooking chocolate
- 425ml (1½ cups) Double cream 250g tub (1 cup) Ricotta
- Unroll defrosted pre-bought puff pastry. Remember you don’t have to use the whole roll for this and you can reserve some for another dish (a cheese or vegetable strudel works well for leftover pastry)
- Using a knife, slice 2-3 cm (1”) wide strips from the roll, ensuring to keep to an even number to form your Torah scrolls. Slice as many sets as desired.
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4)
- Using a pastry brush, brush a Cannoli form tube with oil.
- Gently, with a rolling pin, roll out a strip of the cut pastry, adding some width and length. Then, starting from the top of the cylinder, wrap the pastry around the metal tube, gently overlapping the pastry to create a coiled effect. Be careful not to go over the edge of either end, as this can make the tube hard to remove once baked.
- Place on a greaseproof paper lined baking tray.
- Repeat steps 4-6 with as many cannoli tubes as you have, or as required.
- Egg-wash the pastry scrolls and place in the centre of your preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Gently pick up each pastry coil, which will now have formed a tube and softly twist the metal cannoli tube to remove.
- Repeat the above until you have as many pastry tubes as desired.
For the filling:
- Into a bowl, pour in the double cream and 2 tbsp icing sugar. Whisk until thick and fluffy. Separately, beat the ricotta until smooth and then fold into the whipped cream mixture.
- Ideally, place cream filling into a piping bag and pipe into each pastry scroll. Alternatively, you can use a knife if required.
- Pour sprinkles into a bowl.
- Over a bain-marie (water bath), melt 150g of baking chocolate in a glass bowl, and stir in ½ cup of double cream. Combine until smooth.
- Remove chocolate from heat, but do not allow to cool.
- Dip each end of the pastry scrolls into the chocolate, then into the sprinkles and place on a wire rack to set.
- If you’d like to make a set of Torah scrolls, you can use a drop of chocolate between two similarly sized scrolls to ‘glue’ them together, and allow to cool. Otherwise, we suggest simply serving in pairs.
- Store in the fridge in an airtight container (as the filling is dairy).
- If preparing in advance, for best results store the pastry scrolls in an airtight container at room temperature and the cream cheese filling in the fridge, and compile on the day of serving.
Best served fresh, but can be made in advance and refrigerated of frozen.* Consume within 3-4 days.
*N.B. The pastry will lose some of its crispness from freezing or refrigerating, so you may wish to freeze the pastry and filling separately, reheating the pastry once thawed, and assembling the dessert before serving.