Growing up I knew of only one kind of cheesecake. It was a delicious cheesecake that my paternal grandmother would make us that had a graham cracker crust on the bottom, sides and top; pretty unique I thought. As an adult, I realized that there are all kinds and styles of cheesecakes. Some are light and creamy, yet others could break your foot if a slice dropped on it. Some are filled, while others are plain. Some get topped and others are left naked.
Being the very inquisitive person that I am when it comes to desserts, I have tried more cheesecakes than I can count. One experiment’s result that I love is this Coconut Cheesecake. I have a weakness for contrasting consistencies within a dessert. In this case, there is a smooth coconut graham cracker crust covered with a creamy cheesecake made a tad more ‘bumpy’ due to all of the coconut flakes within, which is then covered with a smooth decadent chocolate layer that is finished off with crunchy toasted coconut. I think only the kitchen sink is missing.
The cheesecake must be made ahead, which makes this dessert perfect for entertaining as you will not need to do anything last minute. The chocolate topping and toasted coconut may be added anytime during the day that you will be serving Coconut Cheesecake, continuing with that easy entertaining mode that I love. After all, baking should be about making something delicious that you want in a timeline that allows you to enjoy the process as well as the results. At least that has always worked for me.
|Coconut Cheesecake|| || |
- 5.35 ounces graham crackers (10-1/3 crackers)
- ¼ cup toasted coconut
- ½ tablespoon sugar
- 2½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 4 – 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup coconut
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- ½ tablespoon light corn syrup
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 1½ cups toasted coconut
- Preheat the oven to 325°. Set aside a 10” cake pan.
- For the crust:
- Place graham crackers, toasted coconut and sugar in a food processor. Pulse on and off until you have a fine powder. Add the melted butter and pulse until combined. Set aside.
- For the filling:
- Mix the cream cheese and sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl periodically, about 3 minutes. With the mixer running on low speed, add the eggs one at a time. Scrape the bowl down and add the vanilla and sour cream. Lastly, add the coconut.
- Grease the cake pan (I use PAM®). Pour the crust into the pan and spread evenly on the bottom and up roughly ½ ” of the sides. Pour the cheesecake in and smooth the top.
- Bake at 325° for 50 minutes. Cool completely and then refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- To turn cheesecake out of pan:
- Wrap a 12” cardboard round with plastic wrap and set aside. Place the cheesecake pan in a baking or roasting pan that is large enough to fit the cheesecake pan in (this may also be done in the kitchen sink.) Add very warm water to the larger pan filling it halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Let sit for 20 to 30 seconds. Transfer the cheesecake pan to a dishtowel and dry off the water. Immediately place the wrapped 12” cardboard round on the top of the cheesecake pan. Invert the cheesecake and, holding the cardboard round and the cheesecake pan tightly, firmly rap the cheesecake (upside down) onto a countertop. Carefully lift the cheesecake pan off of the cheesecake. Place the serving plate onto the crust of the cheesecake and turn the cheesecake over, holding onto the cardboard round as you do this. Remove the cardboard round.
- For the topping:
- Melt the butter, whipping cream and corn syrup until it simmers. Turn the stove off and add the chocolate, stirring until completely melted. Let stand for 5 minutes. Pour the chocolate over the top of the cheesecake and, using a small metal spatula, spread the chocolate over the top of the cheesecake.
- Top the chocolate with the 1½ cups toasted coconut.
- Betsy's Tidbits:
- This cheesecake may also be prepared in a springform pan. Once the cake cools, remove the sides of the pan and refrigerate until the cheesecake is firm before topping.
- When toasting coconut, do not walk away from the oven as it can burn very quickly. Bake in 300° oven. Stir often until the desired golden-brown color is reached.
- Allow the cheesecake to sit outside the fridge for 20 - 25 minutes before slicing. This will allow the chocolate topping to warm up a bit. Otherwise, the chocolate will be too firm.