Thursday, March 27, 2008

A cheesecake for the Easter bunny

Easter Cheesecake


2 c butter shortbread cookie crumbs
1/2 c ground macadamia nuts or pecans
1/4 c melted unsalted butter


6 8 oz packages of softened cream cheese
2 c sugar
5 eggs + 1 yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz white chocolate, melted and cooled
1 1/2 c toasted sweetened flaked coconut**

*To toast coconut, bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees until golden brown and toasted, stirring every three minutes.


1/2 c heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 c toasted sweetened flaked coconut

Crust: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Press into the bottom of a 10" springform pan or a 9" springform with 3" high sides. Place in freezer.

Filling: Beat cream cheese and sugar until combined and then on medium-high speed for five minutes. Add eggs and yolk one at a time and beat after each addition. Mix in vanilla and cooled chocolate. Fold in coconut. Pour batter over frozen crust and bake at 350 degrees for 60-75 minutes or until the top is light brown and center jiggles slightly. Cool on rack for two hours and then place in refrigerator covered with plastic wrap for at least eight hours before serving or decorating.

Topping: Beat cream in a chilled mixing bowl on medium high until soft peaks form and then add sugar slowly. Beat cream on high until firm peaks form. Either pipe onto cake or spread with a frosting knife. Sprinkle toasted coconut on top.

What I liked about this recipe: It was fairly simple and didn't really require a lot of work after all the items were prepped and ready to go. The white chocolate melted really well...I've never cooked with white chocolate before.
What I disliked about this recipe: It rises a lot higher than I thought it would considering that there is no flour in it. If I had taken a chance and used my 9" springform, I would have really had a mess on my hands, so if you are considering making this cake, spend the $10 and go get the three-pan Oneida set at Bed Bath and Beyond that I went and got last night.
Cool kitchen gadgets used: My double boiler is amazing for melting chocolate. (Thanks, E in Maryland!)
Tastiness factor: This was a cake that P and I made together for him to take to a potluck at work and I threatened him with death if he didn't bring a piece home for me to try. Being that I adore coconut, was a gimmie. It was SOOOOOOO good.

Erica's Tips: Place springform pan on a cookie or pizza pan in the oven as the butter in the crust will ooze out. Also, make sure that you check the ounces on the white chocolate when you buy it. I only bought one bar thinking that surely it was 8 oz and realized when I got home that it was 4. Second trip out.


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