Cheesecake conjures up a variety of images different for each one of us. They can range from being as creamy as custard to a heavier more dense consistency. There are a zillion different flavors and or fruit combinations to choose from: chocolate, vanilla, caramel, strawberry, mocha, lemon, and on and on. Some combinations are simply marbled throughout the cake. Then we have toppings: fresh or cooked fruit, coconut, chocolate shavings or simply naked. So when cheesecake came up on the baking list for the Heavenly Bakers I was interested and looked forward to trying something new. So it was Rose's Coconut Cheesecake that went into my oven this week.
After reading over the instructions and ingredient list I could see why this was on the quick and easy list. The coconut cookie crust as well as the batter could be made in advance too! It all fit into my schedule easily. Unfortunately it went so smoothly and fast that I only have pictures of the finished cake this time. So sorry....
Anyway on to the task. First up was the coconut cookie base: coconut, store-bought vanilla wafers (typically I would make my own cookies-not this time), butter, and a little salt. The dry ingredients pulsed in a food processor after which the melted butter was added. The mixture is pressed into the prepared spring-form pan and set aside.
The filling is equally as easy to prepare. The ingredients for this was cream cheese, yolks (a whopping 8 of them!!!), vanilla & coconut extract, salt, sour cream and.................the star of the show (in my opinion) cream of coconut. As it turned out what I thought could be the only snag, the cream of coconut was actually easy to find. The only secret to success here is waiting for the cold ingredients to warm to room temperture. Oh, don't forget not to over mix.
A creamy cheesecake should always be baked in a bain-marie. This not only helps to prevent cracking, but it helps to keep the filling creamy as well as evenly cooked throughout by disssipating the bottom heat. The instructions suggests leaving the cake in the oven to cool for one hour after its 45 minutes of cook time. When the cake is finally removed from the oven I suggest running a sharp knife between the cake and pan. This will also help to prevent cracking as the cake cools and shrinks. Just before serving a layer of toasted coconut is sprinkled over the top of the cheesecake. Chill preferrably overnight and it's that easy.I found this version of cheesecake to be moist and creamy (as I like it) and unmistakably coconut-y. With cream of coconut, coconut extract and flaked coconut it was hard to get away with not tasting coconut, not like I'm complaining! However, I found the cookie crust drawing from the moisture of the filling made it a bit soggy. "J" was also please with the smooth texture and enjoyed all the coconut additions.
Care to share your favorite version?