It was my boyfriend’s Dad’s birthday this week, and I thought what’s a better gesture than baking a delicious cake? Nothing! Except for maybe giving him $1mil which I do not have, so I settled for the cake making.
I went with my old trust lemon and coconut meringue cheesecake. Now, this is so delish, but I will say – it apparently takes 45 mins of prep and 40 mins of cooking. I’ve made this three times now, I can can confirm that it takes minimum 2.5 hours. Don’t shy away from it if you have the time though – the effort pays off!
You will need:
For the cake
- 330g Nice biscuits
- 120g unsalted butter, melted
- 500g cream cheese, softened
- 2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar
- 4 eggs, plus 2 extra egg yolks
- 1/2 cup (125ml) lemon juice
- Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
For the Meringue topping
- 2 eggwhites
- 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
To start, preheat your oven to 160 degrees celsius and prepare a springform pan. Most recipes say to grease a pan, but I find with all baking, and especially cheesecake, using baking better is a better option because it reduces the risk of your cake sticking.
My tip for this is to remove the bottom of the springform pan and trace it to get the right shape, and then use the leftovers of the cutting to line the sides of the pan. Just spray it with a little oil first to ensure the paper sticks nicely.
The next step is to place the biscuits in a food processor and process until fine crumbs, and then add the melted butter and one tablespoon of water. When this is ready, press your mixture into the pan and smooth with a spoon to make sure it is packed densely. When this is complete, pop the base in the fridge to cool.
I used granita busicuits instead of nice for this cake as my local supermarket was out of stock, but you can use anything you fancy really.
Now it’s time to make the filling! I would suggest using a bamix over a food processor for this because it tends to beat more smoothly, but both will do the trick.
First step is to process the softened cream cheese until it is smooth, and then gradually add in the sugar. Once this is combined, add your eggs and extra yolks one by one until just combined.
Then add in the lemon rind and juice and process again.
Now retrieve your base from the fridge, pour in your mixture and bake for 20 minutes. It should still have a slight wobble when you take it out of the oven. Set to cool for 15 minutes while your make the meringue, but don’t turn the oven off.
Last preparation step is to make the meringue. Meringue is tricky – I had to make it three times and may or may not have had a mental breakdown in the kitchen, but I persevered and it turned out beautifully. The most important things to remember when making meringue is that the bowl you mix in must be completely clean and dry, and egg whites must contain no yolk at all.
Place egg whites in your clean and yolk free bowl, and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add caster sugar and keep beating until meringue is thick and glossy. One this is achieved, slowly fold in the coconut. I also didn’t use the full cup of coconut as the recipe calls for, but you can use it to taste.
Carefully spread your meringue over the cake until just covered, and put back in the oven for 10 minutes, or until your meringue is light golden and firm to the touch.
Allow to cool and serve with ice cream. Deeeeeeeelicious.