I made this cheesecake sugar free as my birthday cake last week. It was so good that even the sugar-eaters ate it instead of the traditional cake.
This, of course, can be made with real sugar for those without that particular dietary restriction. It can also be made crustless with excellent results.
cookie crust* (optional)
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute
1 large egg
1/3 cup coconut milk (I used lite/reduced fat organic coconut milk)
1 tablespoon coconut rum or coconut extract
Beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy; beat in egg. Gradually mix in creamer, then rum. Pour over crust (or without crust, into a greased 8-inch cake pan) and bake in a preheated 325*F oven until puffy and golden--about 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool. Cheesecake will deflate and harden as it cools. Cover and refrigerate for several hours (overnight is best).
*Cookie crust: I used Joseph's sugar-free coconut cookies, about 1/2 bag (1 bag = 6 ounces), crushed and mixed with 3 tablespoons of butter and pressed into the bottom only of my cake pan. It formed a beautifully crunchy base for my cheesecake.
**Coconut topping: Sugar-eaters can simply toast dessicated sweetened flaked coconut for a topping; however if, like me, you need to eat sugar-free, here's what I did: toast 1/2 cup organic unsweetened flaked coconut in a dry skillet until golden; remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon sugar substitute and about 1/2 teaspoon vanilla-flavored sugar-free coffee syrup (agave nectar could also be used) and stir until well incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To serve: Plate cheesecake by turning a plate upside-down over your cake pan. Using both hands, carefully turn both over, tapping the cake pan to loosen (you may need to run a knife or spatula around the rim of cheesecake before doing this). When it releases, remove cake pan. You'll now have your cake crust-side up. Now place your serving plate upside-down on top of your cheesecake, and again, using both hands, turn it all over. Remove top plate. Now you will have the cheesecake on a serving plate right-side up. Don't worry if it cracks or tears--just mound your coconut topping over the top, sprinkling some around the plate decoratively.
Note: It would be easier to make this in a springform pan to avoid the double-flipping for plating. If you have one, use it.