I really can’t imagine a day without eating coconut. Creamed and shredded coconut laced with steel-cut oats, masaman curried vegetables, coconut yogurt, and coconut lime smoothies. Coconut oil whipped with bananas, chocolate, and cashews – I could go on.
So, when I read the latest Daring Baker’s cheesecake recipe challenge, I knew what I had to do. Add coconut, bananas, dates, and macadamia nuts. Subtract butter, cream cheese, graham crackers, heavy cream, and sugar. with bananas, creamed coconut, dates, shredded coconut, silken tofu, and maple syrup.
The blender/food processor broke just before making this cheesecake, so I ground the nuts in a coffee grinder, chopped the dates very fine by hand, melted the creamed coconut in a sauce pan, and blended the crust and cheesecake fillings with a potato masher. Mashed banana nuggets melt in your mouth against a backdrop of buttery coconut with chocolate and macadamia nuts slowly crossing the stage. Guess who steals the show?
Coconut Banana Cheesecake
Chocolate Macadamia Crust:
1 cup macadamia nut (toasted)
1 cup walnuts (toasted)
4 soft coconut covered dates, pitted
1 Tablespoon real maple syrup
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
pinch sea salt
oil for pie or torte pan
Preheat oven to 325ºF.
Place macadamia nuts and walnuts in two separate skillets over medium heat. Toast nuts for 5-8 minutes, until a nutty smell is in the air. Set nuts aside; allow to cool.
In a food processor, chop walnuts into a fine meal. Set aside. Chop macadamia nuts into a fine meal. Cut the dates into pieces. Add date pieces, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa powder, and sea salt to the ground macadamia nuts and chop until well mixed. Add the ground walnuts and chop until well mixed. The dough should be crumbly yet sticky enough to hold its shape when pressed.
Lightly grease a pie or torte pan with coconut oil (or a neutral-flavored oil). Press the dough evenly into the pan. Press the dough to the sides of the pan first and then press into the bottom for an even crust. Set aside.
8 ounces creamed coconut
1 pound 4 ounces silken tofu
1 pound 2 ounces banana flesh
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract or one vanilla bean (scraped)
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (toasted)
Toast coconut in skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes until slightly brown.
Cut up the coconut block and place in food processor with silken tofu, banana flesh, lemon zest, and vanilla extract or bean. Process until smooth. If you do not have a food processor, melt coconut block over low heat, mash bananas and silken tofu, then mix all ingredients together.
Pour cheesecake mixture into prepared crust. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until just set. The cheesecake will be pretty soft, so do not overcook. Allow to cool completely before cutting, even overnight. Top with toasted coconut and whole or chopped dates before serving.
The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.