Aloha…five letters…many meanings. Hello, goodbye, love, affection to name a few. For me I hear the word ‘aloha’ and think two things: Hawaii 5-0 (I love both series) and macadamia nuts.
Friends of mine just got back from Hawaii. While they were there, I received a text message saying, “Aloha.” My mind wondered to sandy beaches, volcanoes and chocolate covered macadamia nuts.
This in turn prompted me to head straight for the kitchen. I recently included macadamia nuts in my Triple Nut Clusters, so I eliminated the idea of dipping macadamia nuts into chocolate this time around.
It had been a while since I made a cheesecake, so I opted to bake an Hawaiian Cheesecake to celebrate my friends’ trip. Macadamia nuts are toasted and processed into the graham cracker crust. The cream cheese filling includes crushed pineapple and shredded coconut. To top it off crushed pineapple is also added to the sour cream topping.
The end result is a cheesecake that can transplant you to another place. A place filled with sunshine, lush foliage, wild surfing and tranquility. A place where the only word you absolutely have to know that will do justice to what you are eating: Aloha!
|Hawaiian Cheesecake|| || |
- 5½ ounces graham crackers (10-1/3 crackers)
- ¾ cup macadamia nuts, toasted
- 2½ tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 – 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 5 eggs
- 3½ ounces drained crushed pineapple
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- ¾ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tablespoon drained crushed pineapple
- For the crust:
- Preheat oven to 325°. Set aside a 10” spring-form pan.
- Combine the graham crackers, macadamia nuts and sugar in a food processor bowl fitted with a metal blade and process until mixture is finely chopped. Add melted butter and pulse on/off until well blended. Grease the pan with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer crust mixture to the pan and pat evenly onto the bottom and up ¾“ of the side. Bake at 325° for 8 minutes. Set aside on a cooling rack.
- For the filling:
- Beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl down as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until smooth. Add 3½ ounces crushed pineapple and vanilla. Lastly mix in the coconut.
- Pour the filling into the pan and bake at 325° for 50 minutes. Remove from oven while preparing the topping.
- Increase oven temperature to 350°.
- For the topping:
- Combine the sour cream, confectioners sugar and 1 tablespoon crushed pineapple. Pour over top of cheesecake. Bake at 350° for 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a cooling rack. Remove the side of the pan once the cheesecake is at room temperature. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- Betsy's tidbit:
- A drained 8 ounce can of crushed pineapple will yield the amount needed for the recipe.