Our brigade is a foodie brigade. A couple of weeks ago one of our firefighters returned from her (successful) recruit firefighter course. Dessert was my contribution to her welcome back .
I’m more savoury that sweet and while I like traditional cheesecake, only in small amounts: the overall cream cheese effect is too heavy and cloying for my taste…I also like the idea of a base that is a little closer to the raw materials than ground up biscuits…that’s just like a bit of a Green Journey principle…
Googling provide a range of opportunities for a less cheesy cheesecake but nothing quite what I was after in a single recipe so this is a combination from two sources: the base is the coconut macaroon crust from Two Peas and Their Pod, and the filling is from A Baking Girl.
- 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 large egg white
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/2 cups sweetened coconut
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C.
Spray a 10 inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. I heavily greased the tray, especially the base and still the base stuck quite a bit. Next I will line it with oven paper.
Stir together the sweetened condensed milk, egg white, vanilla extract, and salt until combined.
Add in the coconut and mix well. I bought a single bag of desiccated coconut – don’t normally have this in the pantry as I tend towards threaded and chunked coconut – but didn’t quite get the maths right and had to top this up with the meal leftover from my almond coconut milk.
Press coconut mixture into prepared pie pan. I was aiming for about a 5mm thickness and this left about a cup of base mix leftover – I knocked this into the sink and that was the end of that but next time I would press any leftover base into cookies and bake alongside the cheesecake.
One of the recipes I looked at during my research phase recommended prebaking the base for 5 minutes before adding the filling so I did this.
- 2 cups fat free plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup sugar (I used ‘bad’ white sugar to eat into the remaining stock in the pantry)
- pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 vanilla bean (seeds scraped out) or 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
Combine the eggs, sugar, yogurt and vanilla in a food processor. I think that this is where the leftover yolk from the base went as well.
Blend until smooth, then add the cornstarch and salt and blend again.
Pour the filling over the base and bake for 35 minutes.
When the cheesecake is done, it will still be jiggly in the centre but will have a “done” look to it. The edges of the cake will start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Make sure you don’t over-bake.
Let it cool then chill for 2-3 hours in the fridge before releasing the springform.
- 1/2 cup of cream, beaten
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar (this worked to edge the edge off the cream taste but next time I would probably double it and/or add half a vanilla bean to add more of a flavour counterpoint to the filling and the base.
The filling set to a degree that the sliced strawberry topping would not stick to it. The sole purpose of the cream was to provide a layer for the strawberries to sink into slightly.
I’m keen to try this again with non-dairy yogurt to further de-dairy-ise it; it is wheat-free for those who have a genuine gluten issue; and, of course, to use an alternate sugar source once the last of the white is gone…
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