The holiday of Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks) is known for its emphasis on dairy foods, and many Israeli households feature cheesecake for dessert. We love dairy foods in our house, so I make sure to make lasagna, quiche, fish, and of course, cheesecake.
Since it is difficult to find cream cheese (not to mention how expensive it is) I decided to try my hand a few years ago with the Israeli type of cheesecake. The no-bake version features sweet whipping cream, gevina levana (soft white cheese), and pudding mix. I know, it sounds like something that you make in elementary school (which they do here too!) but it is delicious! Since graham crackers are impossible to find here, the cheesecake also features crushed up biscuits (cookies, for the Americans!) mixed with butter and milk and pressed into the pan to serve as the base and topping. Here is the recipe I have used for the past few years (which I got from a promotional booklet for Tnuva):
For the base of a 24 cm. springform pan and the topping:
100 grams vanilla biscuits (I use Gattegno Brothers, but you can use any Petit Beurre type cookie)
100 grams chocolate biscuits (see above)
125 grams melted butter
two tablespoons sugar (optional)
For the filling:
375 ml.( 1.5 containers) 32% sweet whipping cream
200 grams (1 container) 15% sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
50 grams instant vanilla pudding mix
500 grams 5% gevina levana
Put each type of biscuits into a separate zip lock plastic bag and crush them into crumbs. Put the crumbs into a bowl and mix each with half of the melted butter and the sugar if using. You may want to add a bit of milk to enable you to press them into the bottom of the springform pan. Mix both types of cookies lightly. Put baking paper into the bottom of the springform pan and press 2/3 of the biscuit mixture into it. Put the pan into the freezer.
Whip the whipping cream, sour cream, sugar and instant pudding mix with a mixer until it comes together. Mix in the gevina levana gently. Put the whole mixture into the springform pan with the crumbs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.