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.

Mini cheesecakes topped with little coconut nests for Easter. Garnished with quince flowers.

Mini cheesecakes topped with little coconut nests for Easter. Garnished with edible quince flowers.

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. 

Mini cheesecakes sprinkled with toasted coconut nests that are filled with little chocolate eggs. Quince blossoms garnish. That's a camellia you see in the background.

Mini cheesecakes sprinkled with toasted coconut nests that are filled with little chocolate eggs. Edible quince blossoms garnish. That’s a spring camellia you see in the background.

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.

Mini cheesecakes sprinkled with toasted coconut in their baking pan, still warm from the oven.

Mini cheesecakes sprinkled with toasted coconut and topped with little chocolate eggs, still warm from the oven.

 

The Recipe

Adapted from Bon Appetit Strawberry-Coconut Cheesecake on Epicurious

Mini Coconut Cheesecake Nests
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Celebrate spring with little cheesecakes topped with toasted coconut nests filled with mini chocolate eggs.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
Crust
  • 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
Filling
  • 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)
  • Topping
  • ¼ c/60 ml shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 30 mini chocolate eggs
Instructions
For crust
  1. 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.
For filling
  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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!

Mini cheesecakes sprinkled with toasted coconut nests that are filled with little chocolate eggs. Closeup amidst spring quince blossoms.

Mini cheesecakes sprinkled with toasted coconut nests that are filled with little chocolate eggs. –Sitting amidst spring quince blossoms.

 

YOU next year Principle

Trying to watch your weight? Nothing is out of bounds in moderation. Share and everyone gets just enough. 

 

Quote

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