I made another half-size cake this week, using a 6" springform pan which is just right for a half recipe. I thought I might be the only person eating coconut cheesecake--my brother and sister-in-law are not big on coconut, younger niece dislikes cheesy things, and I thought older niece shared the coconut aversion. Wrong--older niece has had more of this cake than any other in the cake-of-the-week lineup, I think. Nephew remains erratic about his tastes, and though he thought he liked coconut, he gave up after a couple of bites.
The cheesecake is pretty simple to mix up. The crust is a combination of vanilla wafers, coconut, sugar, and butter, pressed into the pan and up the sides. The cheesecake, like the Baby Lemon Cheesecakes, is a blend of cream cheese and sour cream and has a very light texture, nicely flavored with cream of coconut and a little coconut extract. Egg yolks provide the thickening. The cheesecake bakes in a water bath, then cools for a while in the oven and a while longer at room temperature before being refrigerated to completely firm up. Just before serving, you add a topping of toasted coconut. The only trouble I had was figuring out how long to bake the smaller version, and I underestimated and the resulting cheesecake is too soft. Didn't hurt the flavor though, and it's lovely. If I had re-read the Highlights for Successful Cheesecakes section a few pages back I'd have had the temperature guidelines and probably avoided this problem.
I really like the cheesecake, but had some issues with the crust. Mine was soggy from the start, and was very hard to get to release from the (non-stick) springform base for serving. I'm just now wondering if I had extra moisture because I underbaked the cheesecake which contributed to the problem, but however it happened, the crust was pretty much a soggy mess, more vanilla-wafer paste than a crust. Maybe I'll try it again and bake the cheesecake until done, and if that doesn't work, I'll try adapting another cookie crust recipe to add coconut to it. You'll note that I do plan to make this cheesecake again! (Must plan it for a visit from my older brother, who loves both cheesecake and coconut.)