My wife is not a big fan of coconut so I cook this without it but it’s so good anyway you try it.
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- pinch of salt
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Sweet Potato Mixture
- 1 29-ounce can sweet potatoes, drained
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup pecans
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup coconut shavings
- 1/3 cup sugar
In a mixing bowl, mash the drained sweet potatoes. Add the heavy cream cinnamon, and light brown sugar. Mix. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 10-inch spring-form pan with butter. In another bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, light brown sugar, sugar and melted butter. Press the mixture into the pan with a spoon and chill the pan for 30 minutes. Bake crust for 10 minutes and allow to cool.
Raise oven temperature to 450ºF. In the bowl of an electric mixer, use the paddle attachment to beat the cream cheese until smooth. Continue to mix and add sugar and salt. Add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after the addition of each egg. It is important that there be no lumps in the mixture as these will be difficult to remove in later stages of mixing. Next add the sour cream, flour, and spices.
Lower the speed of the mixer and fold in the sweet potato mixture. Pour the batter into the crust-lined pan. Place the pan on 2 sheets of aluminum foil that have been set down in a cross fashion. Gather the foil around the pan to form a protective collar around the pan, this will help keep the crust dry during baking. Place the foil wrapped cheesecake pan in a larger pan, fill the larger pan with hot water until it comes half way up the side of the cheesecake pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 450ºF, then lower temperature to 250ºF and bake an additional 45 minutes or until the center is firm.
Let the cake cool completely in the pan on a rack for 30 minutes, then wrap it in plastic (still in the pan) and refrigerate until completely chilled. Loosen pan sides and remove cheesecake. Carefully slice cake by dipping the knife in hot water and lightly drying before each cut.
In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the pecans, sugar and butter for 1 minute on high. Store covered at room temperature until ready for use.
Set oven to 350ºF. Scatter coconut all over a baking pan, sprinkle 1/3 cup of granulated sugar all over the top of the coconut. Place in oven and rotate the pan every 5 minutes until the coconut is light brown in color. Remove from the oven and stir the coconut on the baking pan, allow to cool completely. Store covered at room temperature until ready for use.
After the cheesecake is cut, garnish each slice with the candied pecans and toasted coconut as a topping.