It was recently my mom's birthday. She LOVES coconut. Coconut, macadamia nuts, pineapple..... basically anything Hawaiian tasting, she loves it. I wanted to put together a cheesecake that had all three, but I left it until last minute. So, I focused on coconut because I almost always have coconut in my house. Next time I make this I think I'll add some chopped macadamia nuts to the crust, and make some kind of pineapple syrup for the top. Hopefully that will be a future update here!
I used a pretty basic cheesecake recipe, but subbed coconut cream for what is usually sour cream in my recipes. Here it is.....
Coconut Cheesecake - serves MANY! This is RICH!!
-1 and 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
-1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
-1/4 cup melted butter or margarine
-3 packages (~250 g each) cream cheese (I used full fat, but find light works fine too)
-1 cup sugar
-1 and 1/2 tsp coconut extract
-3/4 cup coconut cream (This is different than coconut milk. It is thicker, and found with the coconut milk at your grocery store. DO NOT BUY SWEETENED COCONUT CREAM!!)
-1 Tbsp corn starch
-3 Tbsp milk
-1/4 cup toasted coconut for topping.
To make the crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together crumbs, coconut and melted butter, and press into a 9 inch spring form pan. Press about 1 inch up the sides as well. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Start checking at about the 8 minute mark as this will brown quickly.
To make the filling:
While the crust is cooling, beat the 3 packages of cream cheese (it's easiest at room temperature) until light and fluffy. Add 1 cup sugar, coconut extract and salt and continue beating until smooth. Add coconut cream and cornstarch which has been whisked together with the 3 tbsp of milk. Once thoroughly combined, start adding the eggs one at a time, and beat only until they are combined.
Pour into the prepared crust and bake at a lower temperature (approximately 325 degrees) for approximately 60 minutes. Check at about 55 minutes, and continue baking until the cheesecake is set (up to 65ish minutes). The center will be slightly jiggly,and this is normal. It will firm up nicely :)
Let cool completely in the pan, and then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours before serving.
NOTE: I do NOT bother with a water bath, as is usually the norm while making a cheesecake. I like to top this cheesecake with about 1/4 cup of toasted coconut when cool, which hides any small cracks that may form. Cheesecake is a gamble, even with the water bath. I've had them crack with a water bath, and then not crack at all without the water bath. So I just don't bother anymore. Just have a delightful topping to add and no one even sees the cracks!
I only got one picture of this cheesecake before transferring to my mom's house for the birthday. I wish I could have got one of it sliced!