COCONUT CHEESECAKE

TIME: 1 HOUR 15 MINUTES, PLUS AT LEAST 8 HOURS CHILLING

YIELD: 6 SERVINGS

VEG

This velvety cheesecake is made with toasted coconut in the crust plus a shaggy garnish of shredded coconut on the top. As with the classic cheesecake recipe, make sure your cream cheese is very soft before beating it. If your kitchen is cold, consider microwaving the cream cheese (removed from its foil package) for a few seconds. Cold cream cheese is much harder to beat until smooth.

FOR THE CRUST

½ cup (about 50 grams) graham cracker crumbs (6 to 7 graham crackers)

¼ cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted (see note)

3 tablespoons coconut butter or oil, melted

1 tablespoon coconut sugar or light brown sugar

Pinch of salt

FOR THE FILLING

12 ounces cream cheese, softened (see headnote)

6 tablespoons sugar

¾ cup unsweetened coconut cream, at room temperature

1 tablespoon coconut-flavored rum, such as Malibu, or 1 teaspoon coconut extract

Pinch of salt

2 large eggs

Shredded sweetened coconut, for topping

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. To make the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, toasted coconut, coconut butter, coconut sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Pat the mixture into a 7-inch springform pan, patting it all over the bottom and ½ to 1 inch up the sides. Bake until the crust has set and is golden brown, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool.

  3. Make the filling: Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar until the mixture is very smooth (this could take several minutes if your cream cheese is not soft). Then add the coconut cream, beating again until incorporated. Add the rum and salt, and beat on medium speed until all the ingredients are incorporated and smooth. On medium-low speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions. Pour the filling into the prepared shell and cover the top of the springform pan with aluminum foil.

  4. Fill the pressure cooker with ½ inch of water. You can either place a steamer rack in the pot and then lower the cake pan onto the rack using a homemade sling or, if you have a rack with an attached handle, simply lower the rack and pan together. Cover and cook on high pressure for 32 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 8 minutes, and then release the remaining pressure manually. Lift the pan out of the pressure cooker and transfer it to a wire rack. Remove the foil. Note that the center of the cheesecake will still be

 

wobbly; it will set further as it cools. Top the warm cheesecake with the shredded coconut and           let it cool completely.

5  . Cover the cooled cake with plastic wrap and transfer it to the refrigerator to chill for at least 8 hours and preferably overnight to firm up. When you are ready to serve it, release the springform sides and place the cheesecake on a platter.

Note: To toast the coconut, place it in a small skillet, set it over medium heat, and toast, stirring, until it turns golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the coconut to a plate to let it cool before using.