Just the other day I made a gluten-free cheesecake with a coconut macaroon/meringue type crust. It turned out great…except for a few cracks around the edges. Ugh.

Cracks in cheesecakes are a result of too much air being whipped into the batter. To avoid it, all the filling ingredients should be at room temperature. That includes the eggs and sour cream (if using). The most important part though is the cream cheese; it has to be soft, very soft. If it’s not, you’ll end up with a lumpy batter, and you will spend way too much time beating it to get it all incorporated and smooth. Mix as little as possible, and use a paddle attachment instead of a whisk if possible. Over-whipped cheesecake batter usually will not affect the taste of the finished product. All it will do is ruin the presentation, which can easily be solved with frosting or pie filling.

Almost all cheesecake recipes will call for a springform pan but using one is not totally necessary. A regular 9 inch round cake pan will work just as well. Simply grease and dust the pan with flour (or in this case, coconut flour) and line the bottom with parchment paper. Once the cheesecake has chilled, invert it unto a sheet of waxed paper and then flip it (carefully) unto the serving plate. This method is especially helpful when making cheesecakes that require a water bath since there is no way for the water to seep in and ruin the cake.

This cheesecake was really delicious and once decorated with a fluffy vanilla frosting and fresh sliced strawberries it made a pretty presentation. The crust was great; I loved the taste and texture of the coconut. It was not very sweet at all, so the frosting was a nice accompaniment. The sugar used in this recipe is a whole brown sugar, which is the “real” brown sugar. This sugar is not separated from the molasses during the squeeze-drying process. The common “packy” brown sugar is simply granulated white sugar with molasses added to make it brown.

So there’s our little “lesson” in cheesecake making for today. 🙂 I could go on and on, but I think this is long enough for now. Now I just need to learn to follow my own advice more closely…

Tropical New York Style Cheesecake

Macaroon Crust (plus cookies):

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/4 cups organic whole sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cup flaked, unsweetened dried coconutPreheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease spring-form pan with coconut oil and dust with coconut flour or line with wax paper or parchment.

    In a medium bowl, beat egg whites, vanilla extract, almond extract, and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar and whip until stiff. Toss together coconut flour, salt, and coconut in a separate bowl; fold into egg whites. Use only enough to make a 1/2 inch crust in the bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring-form pan for cheesecake and make cookies (by heaping tablespoons) with the rest.

    Bake 12-20 minutes, or until lightly browned. (Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet before removing.) Makes enough for 1 crust and 20 cookies.

    Cheesecake filling:

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

    Beat cream cheese, sugar, coconut flour and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add pineapple juice concentrate and sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour over crust.

    Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until center is almost set. Carefully run knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim of pan. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Top with fresh sliced strawberries or canned cherry or blueberry pie filling. Store in the refrigerator.

    *Honey can be using in replace of the juice.

    Enjoy everyone! Please feel free to comment or ask me any question you may have. 🙂

    Posted by Sarah Shilhavy