SA’s No.1 Cheesecake Revealed At The LANCEWOOD Cake-Off® Final


We’ve seen the cheesecake competition taking place on our Facebook timelines.  Some entries had us licking our phone and computer screens.  From all of that, six finalists were picked and presented with the amazing opportunity to prepare their recipes in front of the esteemed panel of judges; Private Chef Neil Anthony,  Food Editor and now cookbook author, Zola Nene and the Queen of Tarts, Tina Bester.


The LANCEWOOD Cake-Off® finale and reveal took place at Silwood Chef School in Rondebosch.

The six finalists prepared their cheesecakes in front of the judges, media and cameras.  Just like every other competition, there had to be a winner.   Finalists presented their beautifully styled cheesecakes to the judges, the oohs and aahs got everyone in attendance in drooling mode.  I’ve shared some video snippets from the judging on Instagram…check them out.

Lizelle Solomon of Alberton captured the attention of the judges and won herself a trip to the Big Apple, home of the cheesecake itself.

Although only the third cheesecake she’s ever baked, her Summer Berry Swirl cheesecake features fresh figs and almonds and has earned her the trip of a lifetime. Her originality, as well as the taste, texture and crust of her entry, stood out for celebrity judges Zola Nene, Tina Bester and Neill Anthony.

It was pure luck that Lizelle entered the inaugural LANCEWOOD Cake-Off® competition. On the very day the competition closed for entries, Lizelle heard about the competition. Just the day before she’d made a fig and berry wedding cake and on a whim decided to use those ingredients to enter. “I know that berries and chocolate go exceptionally well together and since I was pressed for time I knew I had to use what was already in my house. It was a bit of a chance but the result was so great that I knew it was good enough to enter.”

Lancewood Cheesecake
Lizelle Soloman


Lizelle, a self-taught baker, opened Le Petit Artisan Treats, a small bakery adjacent to her home, a year and a half ago. “I was fed-up with not being able to purchase excellent quality red velvet cakes and macaroons in my area so I started trawling the Internet and immersed myself in recipe books – learning as much as I could about all the various treats out there, and before I knew it, people started paying me for my goods!”

Today her bakery is well known for its French flair and naked wedding cakes and she has plans to expand her studio into a cooking and baking school, sharing her passion and love for the art with those around her.


Jeanne-Mare Africa, LANCEWOOD®’s Marketing Executive said it was the creativity and generosity of South Africans in sharing their recipes that were the main inspiration for hosting the first LANCEWOOD Cake-Off®

“In today’s modern world of technology and convenience, we know that many people find enormous pleasure in creating something from scratch.  And baking is such a creative outlet!  It’s also a great stress reliever and lets you shut off from the world around you.  There is nothing quite like the anticipation and the challenge of trying a new combination of ingredients, and the magic that happens when bring them together and transform them into something quite extraordinary, and the moment of promise when you take your cake out of the oven.

“In the end, you don’t bake just for yourself.  You bake to share.  The pleasure of baking something and saying to someone: ‘There, have one, have a slice, I made this for you.’ That’s why we create products at LANCEWOOD® to offer consumers the best quality ingredients.  This competition was our way to reward South Africans for being our inspiration.”

Try Lizelle’s winning recipe, but she does warn that if you don’t bake from the heart, it won’t taste as special!


Lizelle Soloman Cheesecake






25 Oreo chocolate biscuits

80ml/80g salted butter

40g ground almonds



750g LANCEWOOD® Full Fat Cream Cheese (room temperature)

200ml LANCEWOOD® Double Cream Plain Yogurt (room temperature)

185ml castor sugar

1tsp ml pure vanilla extract

2 extra large eggs



1/4 cup water

2 cups frozen summer berries

130ml castor sugar



Baby figs and fresh blueberries (dusted with Gold Dust)



Preheat oven to 180ºC and grease a 22 cm spring form tart pan. (Add silicone mat on the bottom to make it easier to remove after baking and baking paper on top.)

For the crust:

Grind the cookies, ground almonds and butter until smooth. Press the mixture firmly into the tart pan base and press down. Bake for 8 minutes at 180°C. Set aside and allow to cool down completely.

For the berry coulis:

Bring frozen berries, sugar, lemon juice, and water to boil. Simmer until thick and set aside to cool down.

For the filling:

Mix the cream cheese, yoghurt, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a food processor until smooth. Place the cheesecake mixture in baking pan and spoon berry coulis on top, in the middle of the mixture. Use a knife to make patterns.

Bake for 15 minutes at 160 °C, turn down to 140° C and bake a further 45 to 60 minutes. Allow to cool in the oven for 1 hour. Chill overnight in the fridge and decorate with mini figs and gold dusted blueberries.


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About Author


Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

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