Jun 21, 2010

Coconut Cheesecake

To tell the truth, I wasn't really looking forward to making this cheesecake. Not that I dreaded it (it's on the Q&E list, after all), it just seemed a little boring, especially after the strawberry-chocolate cake. But I should have known that if Rose included a recipe for coconut cheesecake, it would be the best possible coconut cheesecake. Not having sampled all possibilities, I can't say it's the BEST, but I can say that I find myself dreaming about it mid-afternoon.
The recipe calls for eight egg yolks. For some reason, all the eggs I bought at our local farmer's market were double-yolked, but the 16 yolks from eight eggs was almost precisely 150 grams.
The coconut cookie crust doesn't require you to bake homemade coconut cookies (or it wouldn't be quick and easy, right?)--all you have to do is process vanilla wafers and coconut. Not odd, difficult-to-find coconut either; just plain Angel Flake.
I'm so happy since I bought my 9-inch silicone round pan, which stretches around my 9-inch springform pan to keep water from seeping in. No more leaky foil wraps for me!
Once the crust is ready, the making the cheesecake is easy-peasy. If you don't like dairy, this is not the dessert for you: a pound of cream cheese and two cups of sour cream.
Nice and creamy-and of course the addition of those 16 egg yolks give it a rich golden hue.

As I mentioned, I had a little trouble finding the cream of coconut. Then I read Jennifer's comment about all the chemicals in it, which caused me to look at the label again. Hmmm. It does have a few extra syllables, doesn't it? I'm a little taken aback by the idea of a "Family Pina Colada"--just omit the rum. Is there a point to that?
Anyway, Rose says to mix up the cream of coconut in the food processor. Because Rose told me to do it, I did, but I think that you could probably successfully whisk it, and not have to get the processor dirty again.
And that's it! All that's left is baking it. Oh, but first--pour hot water around the springform pan which you've placed in a roasting pan, or whatever you have that's big enough to hold the cheesecake. Note to self: buy yourself a roasting pan before making the next cheesecake!
The cake bakes for 45 minutes, cools in the oven for an hour, and then cools on a rack for another hour. You don't have to do anything during this time except listen for the timer's reminding ding.
There's a little crack on one side of the cheesecake, but it's going to be covered with toasted coconut, so I don't care. I see that my cheesecake is quite lopsided, which tells me that I didn't do a very good job of straightening the springform pan in the silicone pan. I'm not concerned. Some of my best friends are lopsided.
I'm sorry to admit that once again I missed the clearly marked "Plan Ahead" section. Therefore we ate the cheesecake the following day, and I took it in to work the day after that. The only thing left to do was to toast some coconut. I loved the crisp, honey-brown result.
Jim, despite his well-known aversion to coconut, loved this cheesecake, but the toasted coconut on top was too much for him, and he carefully scraped it off. I ate it. Jack Sprat and his wife had nothing on us.
This would be a perfect recipe for an Asian dinner of any kind--not authentic, maybe, but I think the flavors would be just right. If you don't want to wait until you make an Asian dinner, it would work with almost anything else.

TASTING PANEL
     Sean: "This is the best cheesecake I’ve ever had. If someone had told me the cheesecake in the lunchroom was from a really famous restaurant, I’d have no trouble believing it."
     Ben"  "Really delicious--thanks for bringing it in."
     Jodie:  "Is this a Rose recipe?  Can I have it?"
     Jim:  "I love the cheesecake, but I could do without that stuff on top."
     Karen:  "This is a really delicious cheesecake.  I'm sure it's not really light, but it seems light, and the coconut flavor is definite, but subtle."

28 comments:

Lois B said...

I love the silicon wrap for your pan. I don't think I've ever had foil that didn't leak!

evil cake lady said...

ha, i had to go back to the previous post to see what i had said about the chemicals in the cream of coconut! in warmer weather, whisking probably is easy to do, but in these here parts where "summer" seems a lot like "early march" the coconut oil was completely solid. ah well.

great post and cake as always!

doughadear said...

Great cheesecake Marie! I can see myself dreaming of this cake mid afternnoon just when I'm ready for some tea.

Jenn said...

Very nice cheesecake Marie. I hear you on the planning ahead, I should've looked for cream of coconut earlier. I couldn't find it, and so ended up making Gateau Breton.

Vicki said...

It looks beautiful! Very pretty presentation. The silicone pan is genius. I'm going on a search for one. The foil wrap is nerve wracking. The ingredients on the coconut cream unnerved me, too. I would like to try the organic canned coconut milk at Whole Foods in a cheesecake. Rose,Woody, anyone? How would one adapt a recipe?

Monica said...

I LOVE coconut, anything with coconut I'm first in line. I don't love cheesecake. But, as always Rose made a believer out of me with this one - yummy!

Marie, as always great post and tips.

faithy, the baker said...

Your cheesecake looks great!

Hmm..usually for us in Asia, we use the real coconut cream..ie, buy from the market the grated coconut and squeeze out the first juice...which i think is the 'cream'. At least that's what i think it is when i cook curry or local desserts... There are various brands of can coconut cream in our supermarts too but usually people here still thinks freshly squeezed from the muslin cloth is better.

bakingsorceressapprentice.blogspot.com said...

Your cake looks perfect. Love the idea of the silicone pan, but I haven't found one yet. I thought the combination of the Coco Lopez and the coconut essence to really lend themselves to magnificent flavor. I can't wait to bake this again in silicone bath protector.

Rachelino said...

Marie- looks great! I also used the Coco Lopez, but actually could not find a natural coconut essence or extract. It was coconut extract (the only one I could find) but in small letters on the bottle read the work "imitation". I forgot this part in my post because it didn't adversely affect the flavor of the cheesecake. I just used half a teaspoon instead of the full measure, and it was more than enough coconut flavor when combined with the Coco Lopez (which I did have to process, it still being solid in our mild weather near the Sf Bay). The flavor was out of this world.

Katya said...

How beautiful. I just unmolded mine this morning at the bakery and put them out for sale (I made three 4-inch minis with 1/2 the recipe). Unfortunately, my camera is MIA so I am not sure what to do about pictures, so the post will probably be late. The filling that I licked off the side of the pans was delicious, though.

Matthew said...

To anyone looking for the Lekue silicone layer cake/ pan liner, I've posted this on the forums, but will repeat here. They've been on ebay for about a month from chicagoliquidators--$5.00 including shipping. This is a great deal, and I picked up a couple for myself.

Marie, beautiful work on the cake (and the photos Jim)! That's so weird about the yolks, but they look great.

Marie said...

Lois,
The silicone cake pan/wrap may be the best use of silicone yet!

ECL,
My coconut cream was about half liquid and half sort of gelatinous textured stuff--a whisk would have handled it easily, I think. When does your summer start?

Oriana,
Yes, it would be wonderful with afternoon tea!

Jenn,
Too bad--although you don't get too much sympathy since you got the Gateau Breton out of the deal.

Marie said...

Vicki,
Faithy is right about making the cream of coconut with a coconut and muslin. I haven't tried either way, but you can also apparently soak regular grated coconut in cream and then squeeze out the coconut. To make cream of coconut from the coconut cream, you'd just add sugar.
I can see you experimenting with this!

Faithy,
You should have been our mentor on this! You could have taken detailed pictures about how to make the cream of coconut, and then we wouldn't have to use the chemical-ridden canned stuff.

Mendy said...

ב''ה

The silicon pan is an interesting addition. I wonder what would happen if one used a cake strip in lieu of a water-bath for a cheesecake?

Jenn said...

Matthew, thanks for the tips on the Lekue pan. I just got 1 from Ebay. Can't beat $5.

I saw the exact same pan over the weekend at Sur La Table for $9 (sale from original price of $14). I almost bought it but hesitated. Glad I didn't :).

Hanaâ said...

Very fancy looking indeed, Marie. I'm glad it was a big hit, even with Jim. Love the toasted coconut on top. Very decorative!

Marie said...

Joan,
See Matthew's comment above.

Rachelino,
Me too--only the imitation extract, which I didn't want to use but also didn't want to hunt down any more. I was afraid I'd get some nasty artificial taste, but it worked out fine.

Katya,
I'll bet your mini-cakes sold in a hurry. If I stopped in a bakery to pick up dessert and I saw one of these, I'm pretty sure it would be my choice.

Matthew,
Thanks for the tip--very thoughtful of you to let people know. Oddly, the next dozen eggs I bought from the same farmer had nary a double-yolked egg in the bunch.

Mendy,
We only have one cheesecake left, so it's up to you to experiment when we do the cranberry version. There are some people, including me, who would love to be able to omit that step.

Jenn,
What luck!

Hanaa,
I agree--very nice finishing touch, with the added benefit of covering up any imperfections on top.

cheesecake recipe said...

This is absolutely delicious, I already tried it! Well, it didn't turned out as perfect as yours (mine is a little lopsided, lol) but the dessicated coconut really hides all the cracks. I was apprehensive at first with the idea of coconut in the recipe but it turns out that the flavor is surprisingly subtle! I really loved it, and will surely make this a regular part of my dessert menu, :) Thanks for sharing this!

Nicola said...

Your cheesecake looks sensational. I love that some of your closest friends are lopsided! I had an inkling that coconut hating Jim would actually like the coconut cheesecake. Rose is truly a cake missionary - she can convert anyone!

No cheesecakes baked here this weekend. I was a bit relieved I couldn't find neither the essence or the cream of coconut. My oven was busy enough baking tester cakes for upcoming wedding - four cakes and assorted icings. Although I do despair that my "free choice" list seems to get longer and longer and longer.

Now I wish there was cheesecake on my bench instead of all the other cakes.

Matthew said...

Re: using a cake strip when baking a cheesecake, see this thread:

http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/index_ee.php/forums/viewthread/2159/

Rose Levy Beranbaum said...

vicki, my husband hates coconut but loves beets (go figure)!

raymond: LOL about the "not being hit on the head with a falling coconut"!

mendy, the photo of you holding the girls with your loving baker's hands and the beautiful girls lovingly holding the poilane style bread is priceless.
everyone's cheesecake looks great!

Marie said...

Nicola,
Even Rose couldn't make Jim like the toasted coconut on top of the cheesecake, but any normal person would like it. Wedding test cakes! Compared to this coconut cheesecake, that sounds like real work.

Matthew,
Thanks again!

Rose,
And yet there's no beet cheesecake recipe!

Debbie said...

Thats the most egg yolks I've ever seen! Just heard about your blog AND I just ordered the famous book!

Shirley said...

I love your silicone pan trick! Got to get one. I bought eggs a few times from this produce store and every yolk in the cartons was a double. We stopped buying eggs there, thinking they must be feeding super-hormones to the hens.

Elizabeth said...

Is the recipe somewhere so I can make this cheesecake? I just had a coconut cheesecake in Ft. Lauderdale this weekend, and I am looking to create it. I would like to make it for Thanksgiving.

Marie said...

Elizabeth,
Sorry I can't give you the recipe, but the publishers request that people writing about the cakes give out a maximum of 3 recipes, and I've already used my 3.
I checked on-line, and couldn't see that anyone else has published the recipe either. Sorry I didn't get back to you before Thanksgiving.

Kay said...

Ah you build me up to break me down. I scrolled through all the comments and drooled on the pictures only to realize no recipe :P. Broke my heart.

Anonymous said...

Which book is this recipe in? Would like to try it!