I mean… seriously? Who else will, out of love for you, make the noble sacrifice of frequently working with butter, sugar, cream and all things decadent? Who else, out of love for you, would practice over and over again, making treats JUST so that I could blog about them here for your pleasure? Who else, out of that great enduring love for you, would torture herself eating creations filled with said butter, sugar and cream, JUST so that I could then describe to you what it tasted like? No one else! No one I say! Ok, maybe a few other bloggers but they too do it out of a great love for you! It has nothing, nothing I say, to do with the idea that we like shoving gooey, rich creamy treats in our gaping maws! Perish the thought! It’s that love thing… yeah, that’s it. The love thing.
You believe me, right? *bats eyes innocently*
All of this is why I made not one, but TWO different batches of creme brulee cheesecake bars. The first I made was…ok. But the texture was off, the crust was extremely tough and dense and the flavor just didn’t work for me though I usually enjoy the particular flavor it was. You know how I feel about mentioning where I got something when it wasn’t that good so I won’t. I like to give links and all when things are good but I think it’s snotty to do so when they aren’t. That pan had one small piece eaten for testing and then got thrown out. I hate when that happens.
So I made another batch using the same basic idea but a totally different flavor and with some additions for ingredients. These turned out quite nicely though my husband doesn’t care for them as they have an almond flavor present in them and that’s not a favorite of his. Since he’s diabetic, his not wanting any is probably a good thing. So I ate one, the boys will get one, then the rest get shipped to work with hubby tomorrow to avoid temptation hehe.
So what is this you ask? Coconut Almond Creme Brulee Cheesecake Squares. Yes, you read that right. Cheesecake… caramelized sugar… creamy… oh so good. I tried to balance the flavors but as made, the almond tends to predominate so lower the amount of it if you want the coconut to shine. Or omit the coconut extract if you want the almond intensified.
Coconut Almond Creme Brulee Cheesecake Squares
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold
- 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 whole egg
- 2 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring (optional cause yes, it IS an artificial flavor but the milk alone didn’t add enough coconut flavor)
- sugar for the caramelizing
- a blow torch for same and also cause they’re damn fun!
- Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8×8 inch square pan with non stick foil (leave a bit of an overhang) and lightly spray foil with cooking spray
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour & powdered sugar. Add in the butter. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs. Get your fingers in there and smoosh it around if the pastry blender isn’t doing it well.
- Dump mixture into the prepared pan and press firmly down into the bottom to make the crust. Bake at 350 for about ten minutes until the edges are just beginning to brown. Take out and set aside. Turn oven heat down to 325.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Add in the sweetened condensed milk and beat at low speed until well combined and smooth. Now put away the mixer and use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to finish up. You never want to put too much air into any sort of cheesecake because that is one of the things that leads to cracks.
- Add in the whole egg and egg yolks; mix well. Pour over crust in prepared pan
- Add in the coconut milk and flavorings. Beat just until mixed.
- Bake at 325 until mixture is nearly set. Stick a thin skewer or toothpick slightly off center. If it comes out clean, take the cheesecake out. If you leave it until the center is firm, it is overcooked. The center inch or so (in an 8 inch square pan… this varies depending on pan size) should still be jiggly.
- Set pan on a wire rack to cool. When cool, refrigerate for at least 4 hours or so.
- When ready to cut, lift cheesecake out of pan using the foil. Peel foil off and lay cheesecake on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife that’s been run under very hot water (best way to get clean cuts and no ragged edges), cut the cheesecake into four pieces, then cut each of those into 4.
- Sprinkle each piece with granulated sugar. Don’t smother it but don’t skimp either.
- Using your blow torch, go back and forth over the top of each square until the sugar is browned and bubbly.
- Eat… enjoy… moan. Again. Cause I like doing that to you. Wait… that sounds bad.