Saturday, June 19, 2010

Coconut Cheesecake with Coconut Cookie Crust

As I recalled baking the marvelous pumpkin cheesecake last Thanksgiving, I looked forward to preparing this coconut one now. I will use a chef's pan for the water bath, and foil to seal it.

In my readings through Hector's Yellow Kitchen recently, I noted a suggestion he made re bringing maximum flavor of coconut out by making the filling and freezing it aheadCORRECTION: ONLY THE COCONUT SHOULD BE FROZEN- NEVER THE FILLING AS IT WILL RUIN THE CONSISTENCY OF THE FILLING. I MISUNDERSTOOD AND HECTOR CLARIFIED THAT ONLY COCONUT CAN BE FROZEN NOT CHEESECAKE FILLING. I thought I would do that for fun. At present this filling is freezing overnight. I will thaw it and bake the cake tomorrow afternoon. I must say, I still have grave concerns about this oven's behavior. 

Other than that, it seems this is going to be trouble-free, except for the oven problems : ). A tech came out and said that there was nothing wrong with the oven. He indicated oven thermometers are not reliable and that the far left corner was the most reliable spot, but also a spot in the right front. He suggested my pizza stone was holding the heat in the bottom and this is why the electric indicator was reading too high and the oven therm reading too low. This frustrated me so much that I went out and bought another stone for the bottom and now I have two to sandwich the cake between. Many people on the Forum have spoken of similar problems to deal with and some have figured out how.

I spoke with a patisserie chef today who agreed with the stone idea. Okay, so I return home, armed with a beautiful pizza stone by Oneida. I placed it on the floor of the oven, with the other stone on the top rack. Soon I heard craaack. Well, so much for the pizza stone. As I looked at the oven thermometer, it was reading around 400' + So, now I realize I have got to place the bottom stone on a rack higher. So, I placed a cooling rack bringing the tile up an inch. The day after, I visited a tile place who had 'natural' clay tiles 16 x 16". The natural tiles are not fired as high as the quarry  tile, and is more pourous, standing less heat. I sat one on a one-inch cooling rack on the floor of the oven. It broke after 20 minutes.
So:  Still on the trail of the elusive real live 'unglazed quarry tile.' It is Saturday and I have finally located a tile place where they sell the real 'unglazed quarry tile'. I came come bearing four. Monday I will acquire a third rack for the stove's bottom receptacle and, hopefully, that will solve the oven problem in time for the Rose Genoise next week. I am relating these endeavors here in the hope that perhaps others won't have to go through what I have to get their oven working evenly.  Finding things that were once available easily, i.e. at Home Depot, becomes nerve -wracking and time consuming. Thank you Hector for being so helpful to me in explaining what I need.  I have figured out that my electric oven has coils under the bottom that are probably going to crack any tile placed directly upon them. Now I am acquiring an extra rack that I can put on the lowest receptacle in the bottom to help that.
Here are the newly acquired real live 'unglazed quarry tiles' -- each 16" x 16" of pure gold! I think next I will acquire smaller squares so the whole racks are lined.

The batter had been frozen overnight and defrosted all day:

When I removed the cake from the water bath, there was water that seemed to be emanating from inside the three layers of wrapping of heavy-duty foil. I didn't know whether there was leakage or if it was just from the foil and bath. I have been reading on Forum etc. from people who simply do not use springform anymore and say they never have a problem. I am considering that. One woman, in discussion of the horrors of the water bath, says she has been making cheesecakes for her son's restaurant for years with no problem in regular pan ever. My springform pan was 'guaranteed leak-proof' and it didn't leak with the pumpkin cheesecake. So, since I couldn't do anything about it one way or another, I just unwrapped the foil and let the cake sit on a rack for an hour or so to cool. I then put it on a cake carrier with cover, and refrigerated it until noon today.
It was beautiful to see,
I cut a piece for my husband, and as I did I realized that it had not set enough. He was enraptured, however, announcing "This is as good a cheesecake as one would find anywhere!". He said the bottom crust was crunchy and thick. [I had doubled the coconut cookie recipe because there didn't seem to be enough when I got the sides done]. I must agree that the flavor is, indeed, absolutely awesome! That may be attributed to Hector's ideas about freezing coconut batter first for maximum flavor. The fact that it didn't set up enough is undoubtedly my fault. I [once again] forgot to start the timer at one interval and had to play catch up. That could have hurt. Also, the oven still has not been working properly. With the new tiles I hope to be ready for Rose Genoise next week.

Mainly, however, I realize I should have taken this cheesecake's temperature for 160'. I guess I was afraid it would fall because it was so beautiful and had risen so perfectly, albeit loose looking. I had read to look out for over-baking and that the center will look a little loose normally. Now, I think definitely I should have taken its temperature. In the meantime, if this cheesecake doesn't set more today, we will have delicious coconut pudding/soft cheesecake -- and I will most assuredly make Coconut Cheesecake again because it is not difficult and because I am certain it is the best ever!!


  1. ב''ה

    Looks lovely. Thanks for relating your quarry tile adventures. One day I'll have to look for one to see if I can solve the riddle of how to get my pita to puff...

    Great idea to double the cookie!

  2. Thanks, Mendy. I'm sure your pita would happily puff right on a tile. Your new avatar is darling. Shalom.

  3. Even though i'm not a fan of coconut in cakes, this look delicious!! wish i could have a bite to try first before i decide if i want to bake this or!

  4. Believe me, this flavor is par excellence!! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Joan, thanks for sharing your experience. I also tried to get quarry tiles, Home Depot no longer carries them. I ended up with 2 pizza stone (one from Williams Sonoma) and one from Bed Bath & Beyond. I'll have to try some tile store to see if they have it also.
    Where do you get the extra rack for the oven? I'd love to get some for mine.

  6. Oh and your cake looks perfect!!!

  7. Just a lovely presentation! Touchy ovens can be so annoying. Never thought to use pizza stones like this.

  8. Thanks Jenn and Vicki - Don't forget to get 'unglazed' quarry tiles. That is what took the time. Hector has been the promotor of this technique, although I think Rose speaks of it as well. If you look on The Yellow Kitchen under yellow cupcakes, you will find a dearth of info on this and questions of mine to him and answers. I am not certain if my cake is too creamy so will go to the Forum to see what their take is on it.

  9. Wouldn't it be great if ovens just did what they were supposed to do?

    Your cheesecake looks amazing! Gorgeous. I love those plates. Loved them on the last post, love them even more this post.

    I also love your last photo with the pair of hand patiently clasped as if waiting for the "okay" command!

  10. Yes, ovens are becoming my nemesis! Thanks for compliments. I too love plates. I collect French faience ones. Glad you enjoy too.

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