Coconut Macaroon Cheesecake

I am a big fan of macaroons and cheesecake. This turned out to be an excellent combination. I rarely make the same cheesecake twice, but I think this one will be a repeat performer. It turned out so pretty. Just make sure you use a very sharp knife to cut it so the egg whites on top don’t get mangled when you serve it. 
Crust
  • 1 2/3 cups flaked coconut, toasted
    • to toast coconut, lay it in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes, stirring every minute keep it from burning or undercooking.
  • ½ cup ground almonds (I used almonds that had been coated with cocoa powder, this was a good choice)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
Cheesecake
  • 24 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 eggs

Meringue

  • 3 egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 6 tablespoons sugar

Topping

  • 1/3 cup flaked coconut (don’t toast this ahead of time, it will brown in the oven)
  • 1 ounce semisweet chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon shortening

1. Mix almonds, 1 cup of the toasted coconut and melted butter and press into a 9 inch springform pan. Set aside.

Almonds Coconut and Butter Pressed into Crust

2. Beat cream cheese, almond extract and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add eggs, one at a time, until just combined. Scrape the side of the bowl and the beater before adding the next egg. Pour mixture into crust and bake for 40 minutes at 350. (While it is baking do step 3) It won’t be set when you take it out, sprinkle the rest of the toasted coconut on it.

After cheesecake comes out of the oven the first time, sprinkle with the rest of the toasted coconut

3. Beat room temperature egg whites, vanilla and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. If you have an electric mixer, this does not take long, maybe a minute or two. Then add sugar, one tablespoon at a time, while the mixer is running until stiff peaks form. I let mine go to long and it got a little too stiff which makes it hard to spread.

Whip egg whites not quit this long. These were really stiff and hard to spread.

4. Gently spread egg white mixture on top of the cheesecake. You can smooth it out or leave the peaks, mine was too clumped to leave it unsmoothed. Once you are satisfied with how it looks, spread the untoasted coconut on top. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes till the coconut starts to brown.

Egg Whites and Coconut should just start to turn brown when it is done

5. Let it cool on a wire rack for about an hour. Then place in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Just before serving, melt the chocolate and shortening and mix together till smooth. I usually do this in the microwave at 40% power, stirring every minute. Drizzle chocolate over the top and stick it in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to harden the chocolate.

Dump chocolate on it after it has cooled. It really does look like a coconut macaroon cookie when it is finished.

Recipe originally published in Better Homes and Gardens

 

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