Thursday, March 27, 2014

Lime and Coconut Cheese Cake


So, it's late. I should be in bed right now. But, I've been itching to share this recipe. 
I'll make it a quickie post here and then dive under the covers.
Honestly, I'm not a huge cheese cake fan. BUT, this might be the cheese cake that my dreams are made of...creamy, dreamy, limey and coconutty goodness. 
I made this for a Thai supper club recently. (No, this isn't a Thai dessert by any stretch, but I figured you can't go wrong with the tropical flavors). Got great reviews from all my peeps and one foodie friend told me it was the best cheese cake she ever had. Blush.
When I get to create something from a place of joy and careful attention and then share it with others....well, life is good.

Lime and Coconut Cheesecake
Serves 10-12

Adapted from Our Best Bites

Crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
2 Tablespoons sugar
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


Cheese cake:
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened slightly
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, room temp

2 Tablespoons lime zest
1/3 cup  fresh lime juice 

1/2 cup of unsweetened canned coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
 
Topping:
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 to 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2-2 teaspoon coconut extract

1/3 C unsweetened flaked coconut (fancy grade), toasted*

Preheat oven to 350F.  Cover the bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan with a double layer of foil.  Set aside.
Combine graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup sweetened coconut, and melted butter and mix well.  Press evenly into the bottom of the pan and about 1″ up the sides.  Place pan in oven and bake for 5 minutes.  Remove and set aside until ready to use.

In an electric stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy and smooth.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition and scraping down sides of the bowl.  Do not over beat mixer while adding eggs, just till combined. Add vanilla, coconut extract, lime zest, lime juice, and coconut milk and mix to combine.  Pour batter into prepared crust.  

Place spring-form pan into a larger pan, such as a roasting pan and place in center rack in the oven.  Carefully pour hot water into the larger pan until it reaches about half way up the spring form pan.  Bake cheesecake for 60-70 minutes or until center is set and the edges just barely begin to brown.  Do not over bake. Leave cheesecake in oven, but turn heat off and crack oven door.  Let sit for 30 minutes and then remove and cool completely on a rack.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the spring form pan overnight.

When ready to serve, remove the cheesecake carefully from the pan and place on serving dish.  Beat whipping cream until soft peaks form and then add powdered sugar (to taste) and coconut extract.  Beat until medium peaks form. Spread cream evenly over cheesecake 
{or use a pastry bag with a star tip to pipe it on} and sprinkle with toasted coconut.  Slice and serve or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Happily Edible tips:

{Toasting Coconut} - Place coconut in a single layer on a half sheet pan. Put into 350F oven and bake, tossing occasionally, for a few minutes until golden brown. Watch carefully, as coconut will burn quickly.

{Slicing Cheese Cake} - To make a clean slice, have a pitcher of hot water and a kitchen towel at the ready. After each slice through the cake, dip your knife into the hot water and clean off the blade using the kitchen towel.

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