Serves 10 to 12
A rich German chocolate filling is at the heart of this decadent cheesecake.
1. Crust: In a bowl, combine cookie crumbs, ground pecans and butter. Press into bottom of cheesecake pan and freeze.
2. Filling: In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt brown sugar and butter for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Slowly drizzle stirred egg yolks into mixture. Return to medium heat and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes. Add coconut and pecan halves. Let cool in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
3. In a mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until very smooth, for 3 minutes. Add whole eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. With the mixer running, pour in melted chocolate in a steady stream. Mix in vanilla. Fold half of the coconut mixture into batter by hand. Set the remainder aside for decorating.
4. Pour over frozen crust, smoothing out to sides of pan. Bake in preheated oven until top is light brown and center has a slight jiggle to it, 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before decorating or serving.
5. Decoration: Spread remaining coconut mixture on top of cake.
Toasting brings out the natural oils and flavor of nuts. Place nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F (180°C) until fragrant, 10 to 12 minutes.
To melt bittersweet chocolate in the microwave, break into squares and place in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring after 30 seconds.
You can prepare the coconut mixture up to 3 days ahead. Cover and store in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature and stir well before using.
Milk and White Chocolate: Finely chop chocolate and place in a heatproof stainless steel bowl that fits snugly on top of a saucepan. In saucepan, bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and place bowl of chopped chocolate on top, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Let stand, allowing the steam to melt the chocolate. When it is almost melted, stir until smooth. The more finely you chop the chocolate, the faster it will melt.
Dark Chocolate (Semisweet and Bittersweet): Finely chop chocolate and place in a heatproof stainless steel bowl that fits snugly on top of a saucepan. In saucepan, bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to the lowest setting, so that the water just ripples. Place bowl of chopped chocolate on top, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. When it is almost melted, stir until smooth. The more finely you chop the chocolate, the faster it will melt.
Toasted almonds are a tasty substitute for pecans.
This page created August 2009
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