Aileen celebrated spring with mini cheesecakes topped with toasted coconut nests. She served them nestled among quince blossoms. These little cakes are just the right size to delight after a special dinner without being too filling.
Coconut liqueur and coconut cream give the cheesecakes a surprisingly subtle flavour. I liked their creamy texture and their buttery cookie base. I saved the crunchy little chocolate eggs for last bites but you might to want to eat them first :)The personal size of these little cheesecake nests is just perfect, and somehow it feels good to get your very own cake instead of a big pie-shaped wedge. FYI – Aileen used Cadbury eggs because our family taste test rated them better than Hershey eggs.
Aileen used finely shredded coconut because we couldn’t find unsweetened coconut with longer threads. Longer threads look more like nest twigs, and they stick better to the cheesecake tops. (Not that anyone was complaining.) Careful when you toast the coconut. It goes from just about golden to burnt in a picosecond.
- 2 tablespoons/30 ml butter, melted, divided
- ¼ cup/60 ml graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted, cooled
- 1 tbsp & 1 tsp/20 ml sugar
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp & 1 tsp butter/20 ml, at room temperature
- 1 tbsp/15 ml cornstarch
- 1⅓ large eggs or 2 small eggs
- ⅓ cup canned unsweetened cream of coconut
- 2 tbsp/30 ml coconut rum (such as Malibu)
- ¼ c/60 ml shredded, unsweetened coconut
- 30 mini chocolate eggs
- Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Brush sides of mini cheesecake pan wells (or muffin tin) with 2 teaspoons of melted butter. If using muffin tins, line well bottoms with parchment paper rounds. Blend crumbs, coconut, sugar, and remaining butter in medium bowl. Press mixture into bottoms of prepared mini cheesecake pan or muffin tin. Bake crusts until lightly browned at edges, about 9 minutes. Cool. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F/150°C.
- Beat first 4 ingredients in large bowl until blended, using electric mixer. ―Or do it the old fashioned way with a wooden spoon and your own energy :) Beat in eggs. Beat in cream of coconut and rum. Pour batter over crusts in mini cheesecake pan or muffin tin. Place baking pan in large sided cookie sheet. Cover both pans with foil and tuck in the sides. Pull back one corner and slide into oven. Pour as much water as you can into the cookie sheet without spilling and replace the pulled back corner to seal the cheesecake pan in the water bath pan.
- Bake cakes for 40 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for approx. 30 more minutes until cakes are pale brown, puffed, and just set in center. Remove cakes from oven. Sprinkle with coconut. Let cool for 2 hours in their water bath. Remove cooled pan from water. Run knife around sides of cakes to loosen. Chill cakes in pan for 3 hours. (You can make a maximum of 2 days ahead. Cover and keep in fridge.)
- Do this next step if you baked the cheesecakes in muffin tins. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Place muffin tin in oven 2 minutes. Remove from oven. Place sheet of foil, then cookie sheet on top of muffin tin. Press cookie sheet tightly on top of muffin tin and flip muffin tin over. Tap muffin tin bottom gently, allowing cakes to settle onto foil and cookie sheet. Remove muffin tin and parchment rounds. Some of the coconut will have fallen off. Carefully pick up upside-down cakes, one by one, and place right-side up onto cutting board or cookie sheet. Spoon any coconut that dropped off onto the cheesecakes. Carefully place cheesecakes onto serving dish. Place 3 mini chocolate eggs on top of each cheesecake.
One last look!
YOU next year Principle
Trying to watch your weight? Nothing is out of bounds in moderation. Share and everyone gets just enough.
Some people think destiny is something you cannot escape, such as death or a curdled cheesecake, both of which always turn up sooner or later.
Lemony Snicket, The Penultimate Peril