Toasted Coconut Raspberry Cheesecake
I adore cheesecake. Thick, creamy, sweet. I have to say, my favorite cheesecake is plain, nothing baked in, just the cream cheesy goodness. Sure, I’ll top it with a variety of different things, like chocolate ganache, whipped cream, fruits, lemon curd. But when it gets right down to it, just keep the cheesecake portion PLAIN.
I made a tiny exception here.
Toasted Coconut and Raspberry Cheesecake
I knew from the get go I wanted to top this cheesecake with a raspberry gelee and fresh berries. That was a no brainer. I had just been shipped a flat of Naturipe Red Raspberries, and they were burning a hole in my refrigerator. They ached for cheesecake. And if you’ve been reading here for any length of time and you keep a journal on all my idiosyncrasies, you know I don’t like crust. At all. Other than the fact that it holds a cheesecake in place, it’s nothing of use to me, so typically I omit it altogether.
Instead of crust, I wrapped this cheesecake with toasted coconut flake, which was both gorgeous AND delicious. What flavor! And, it played so well with the tart berries. Knowing I was going with the toasted coconut wrap, I decided to add a tiny bit of coconut extract to the cheesecake.
Just another good decision. Sometimes I make them, believe it or not.
I made this Toasted Coconut & Raspberry Cheesecake to take to a family Thanksgiving, and it was a huge hit. Believe it or not, I was left with one scant piece at the end of the day, which I promptly ate after our 3 hour drive home. I couldn’t very well throw it out, could I?
These raspberries were excellent. It is rare that I use a berry in the off season, as we grow our own raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries. But, when these Naturipe showed up, they were a thing of beauty. So fresh! I was literally afraid Seven was going to eat them all before I could get them on to the cheesecake. He’s a mad man for berries!
Honestly, this recipe for cheesecake is the only one I ever use. Ever. Yes, I will sub out orange oil, coconut extract, lemon zest, even a bit of mint on occasion, but the main recipe? I will NOT change it. it bakes off perfectly, always creamy, rarely (if ever) cracks, and garners rave reviews each and every time I make it. Give it a shot, I think you’ll love it!
Toasted Coconut & Raspberry Cheesecake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Yield: 12-15 Servings
4 – 8-ounce packages cream cheese at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon Vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon Coconut extract
3 large eggs
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sour cream
- Preheat the oven to 335 F and grease or butter an 8-inch cake pan. Place a round of parchment paper on the bottom. Spray the pan and the parchment. If you are wanting a crust, now is the time to make it.
- Place one 8-ounce package of the cream cheese, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on low speed until creamy, about 3 minutes, then beat in the remaining 3 packages of cream cheese.
- Increase the mixer speed to high and beat in the remaining 1 1/4 cups of the sugar, then beat in the vanilla, coconut extract, and salt. Blend in the eggs one at a time, beating only until completely blended. Be careful not to overmix the batter. Slowly mix in the cream and sour cream until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Place the pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake the cheesecake until the top is lightly browned, about 1 hour and 25 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and center is set. Allow to cool in the oven with the door propped open.
- Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it’s completely cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Press the toasted coconut into the sides of the cheesecake. Spread raspberry gelee to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the cheesecake.
- Place fresh raspberries in a circular pattern around the top.
- Raspberry gelee – 1 cup fresh raspberries, 3/4 cup sugar. Reduce in small pot over medium heat until thickened. Allow to cool.
- Toasted Coconut – 2 cups coconut flake. Spread onto baking sheet and toast in 325 oven until lightly browned, stirring every 5 minutes.
Just a final note about raspberries…
…so that you don’t feel guilty eating the whole container (not that I did that. Much.)
Raspberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, folate, iron, potassium, antioxidants and disease-fighting ellagic acid. Ellagitannins, a family of compounds almost exclusive to the raspberry, are reported to have anti-cancer activity and contribute to the raspberry’s antioxidant power. They are also a great source of fiber, which has been found to lower cholesterol levels.