Buying coconut milk used to be a headache when I first moved here because I couldn’t tell the difference between coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut milk lite. In Singapore it’s really easy because I usually just buy the fresh ones and there are only two types – big size and small size. But thankfully now I know the difference! Coconut milk has a heavy cream consistency and is the one that I use most of the time for curries and baked goods; coconut cream is really thick and firm and from what I read, it can be used as a whipped cream substitute; and lastly, coconut cream lite is essentially diluted coconut milk, which means it has less fats than the regular one, which also means that the richness and flavour have been sacrificed. I bought one coconut milk lite before once and I don’t think I’ll buy it again – it’s too watery and I feel that some fats just cannot be sacrificed!
Anyway I digress. What I actually wanted to say is I usually find myself with leftover coconut milk because each can has about 400 grams worth of coconut milk and since I’m only cooking for 2 people, I don’t need all of that to make a pot of curry. So besides using them up to bake pandan cakes, this time I used it to bake some coconut cheesecakes… mini ones!
This cheesecake has 4 components: crust, cheesecake batter, butterscotch sauce and toasted coconut flakes. The crust was a simple digestive crust, though I added a little bit of toasted coconut flakes in it as well; the cheesecake batter was a basic one with coconut milk in it; the butterscotch sauce was there so I could take the photo above (haha) but to be honest, it actually goes really well with the cheesecakes… in fact I think all cheesecakes will love to have butterscotch sauce next to them; and the toasted coconut flakes was added for an additional coconut-oomph (and yea, so that I could take the photo below haha).
I love mini cakes so I baked them in small 2.5-inch cake rings, so each mini cheesecake is the perfect size for 1 to 2 persons. The crust is on the thick side (because I love digestive crusts!) so you may want to reduce the quantities used by about 25% if you are not a fan. For a full-size standard cake, double the quantities and you’d have enough to bake a 7 or 8-inch cheesecake.
I couldn’t really taste the coconut in the cheesecake itself, but with the toasted coconut flakes on top made a huge difference and delivered a tasty and delicious coconut-y flavour with every bite. The cheesecake itself is not too sweet, so the addition of the butterscotch sauce did not make the whole dessert overly sweet or sickening. In fact, I actually liked the sauce to be on the saltier side so it’s more like a salted caramel sauce (but that’s just me because I don’t have an overly sweet tooth).
I also love the fact that all the components can be made ahead of time – cheesecakes and sauce can be stored in the refrigerator while toasted coconut flakes can be stored in an air-tight container. Just warm up the sauce a little so it’s of a pourable consistency, then assemble the cheesecakes and you are ready to serve!
|1) Process the biscuits in a food processor or bash with a rolling pin until it resembles fine crumbs.||2) Stir in coconut flakes.|
|3) Stir in butter until the crumbs are moist.||4) Divide the crumbs among the 4 cake rings and chill in the refrigerator.|
|5) Beat cream cheese and sugar on low speed with an electric mixer for 1 to 2 minutes.||6) Beat in the egg on low speed until incorporated, about 1 minute.|
|7) Beat in the corn starch, vanilla and salt.||8) And coconut milk as well.|
|9) Scrape the sides with a rubber spatula to make sure everything is incorporated.||10) Poke holes with a skewer / toothpick / fork on the bottom of the crust so that the crust will not separate from the cheese layer.|
|11) Divide the cheesecake batter among the cake rings. Gently bang the baking sheet 4 to 5 times on the table counter to release air bubbles.||12) Bake the cheesecakes until the cheesecakes wobble just slightly and a skewer inserted into the center comes out with very little crumbs.|
- 100 grams digestive biscuits
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
- 40 grams unsalted butter, melted
- 200 to 250 grams cream cheese, at room temperature
- 55 grams caster sugar (1/4 cup)
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- 65 grams coconut milk (1/4 cup)
- 15 grams salted butter (1 tablespoon)
- 50 grams brown sugar (1/4 cup)
- 45 ml heavy cream (1/4 cup)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
- Preheat oven to 175C / 350F. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment then place 4 2.5-inch cake rings on top.
- Process the biscuits in a food processor or bash with a rolling pin until it resembles fine crumbs. Stir in coconut flakes and butter until the crumbs are moist. Divide the crumbs among the 4 cake rings and chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the cheesecake batter.
- Place the cream cheese and sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat on low speed with an electric mixer for 1 to 2 minutes. Add in egg and beat on low speed until incorporated, about 1 minute. Beat in corn starch, vanilla, salt and coconut milk until incorporated, another 1 minute. Scrape the sides with a rubber spatula to make sure everything is incorporated.
- Remove the cake ring crusts from the refrigerator. Poke holes with a skewer / toothpick / fork on the bottom of the crust so that the crust will not separate from the cheese layer. Divide the cheesecake batter among the cake rings. Gently bang the baking sheet 4 to 5 times on the table counter to release air bubbles.
- Bake the cheesecakes for 30 to 35 minutes until the cheesecakes wobble just slightly and a skewer inserted into the center comes out with very little crumbs. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and let cool completely. Chill the cheesecakes in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Place butter and sugar in a small pot. Heat on medium heat until the butter has melted. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is liquid-y and less grainy.
- Turn down the heat and whisk in the cream. The mixture will bubble but not to worry. Turn the heat back up to medium and cook until bubbles appear on the sides of the pot, stirring frequently.
- Remove the pot from heat and stir in vanilla. Taste the sauce (be careful it's very hot!) and stir in additional salt if needed. Let cool to room temperature.
- Rinse a tea towel in hot water (as hot as your hands can manage) and squeeze dry. Wipe the exterior of a cake ring with the tea towel then using your hands, push out the cheesecake. Place the mini cheesecake on a serving plate. Repeat with other cheesecakes.
- Drizzle the butterscotch sauce generously over the mini cheesecakes then sprinkle the toasted coconut flakes on top before serving.
- Adapted from Alaska from Scratch