The SECOND I type or say the words piña colada, this song pops in my head. Well, mostly the chorus, which hangs in my brains ALL DAY.
I can’t get it out until…
You know what? I can’t get it out. I’m singing the song as I type this. It’s a campy, happy little tune. It’s so campy no one would ever guess it’s about a couple who are on the verge of a breakup.
A husband, clearly bored with his boo puts an ad out in the personals. Who responds to the ad? His wife. Turns out, those mofos were compatible after all.
This is a clear case of couple mis-communication. Seriously, if they just spoke to each other on the regular they’d discover their mutual love of piña colada and getting caught in the rain.
Communication, folks… It’s key to relationships. And when I say communicate, I don’t mean expecting your partner to say the very things you want to hear.
I do love that song, though…
Oh – There it is! Back in my head…
So it’s September, right? The weather in NYC has cooled somewhat. We don’t know what to wear. Do we wear our scarves? Leather jackets with our summer dresses?
Boots with our shorts?
We just don’t know.
So how do we ease into fall?
Flow with me… I’m going to effectively communicate why these piña colada mini cheesecakes are the perfect gateway to your fall situation.
I’m doing something called the half bake.
As you know, I haven’t been baking much this summer. My oven took most of the summer off; however, now that September is finally here I want to go hard on the oven situation.
But I’m feeling kind of lazy. And I really want a piña colada somethin’ somethin, ’cause that damn song is stuck in my head.
So I compromised.
I baked a lil’. Half, actually.
I love, love, love the idea of a completely edible dessert, so I baked you a coconut cup situation. I used silicon cupcake molds for this. If you don’t have silicon molds, now’s the time to change that. Silicon molds are so damn versatile it’s ridiculous. You can bake or freeze things in them, making your edible vessels endless. What’s best is everything pops right out in the form of the mold. It’s terrific. You need to be up on this.
So anyway, these coconut cups come together easily. It’s mostly coconut and sugar, with a splash of vanilla extract. Egg whites hold them together – And we know you have egg whites in your fridge from all the ice cream you made. They bake until browned and you wait until they cool off – Then you pop ‘em out.
Pro tip: When you make these cups don’t make them too thick; otherwise they don’t bake all the way through and break.
So now I have these delicious coconut cups. What does one add to these?
We add a “no bake” pineapple coconut cheesecake. Oh, hells yea! This all starts with a cold cream cheese base and some confectoners’ sugar. Since this is a piña colada – Coco Lopez and rum. Oh yea –Rum – And to make this pillowy soft, some heavy cream. Finally crushed pineapple is folded into this jammy and allowed to chill for a minute.
You can have at it right then and there and I won’t blame you. Hell, you can pipe some that piña colada filling in your mouth and miss the cups altogether. I don’t judge. I do encourage you to use the coconut cups, piping as high as you can go, and chill for a bit.
Now, when you decide to make this – And you will make it – The piña colada song will forever pop in your head.
And that’s just fine, isn’t it?
Half Baked Piña Colada Cheesecake Minis
- For the coconut cups
- Unsweetened shredded coconut (I used Bob's Red Mill) - 2 cups
- Egg whites - 2 (2 oz, 60 grams)
- Granulated sugar - 1/2 cup
- Vanilla extract - 1/2 teaspoon
- For the piña colada filling
- Cream cheese, cold - 6 ounces
- Confectioners' sugar - 1 cup
- Coconut cream (I used Coco Lopez) - 2 tablespoons
- Dark rum (or to taste) - 2 tablespoons
- Vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon
- Cold heavy cream - 1 cup
- Crushed pineapple (fresh or canned, strained slightly of its juice) - 1 scant cup
Make the coconut cups:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and have 12 silicon cupcake molds ready.
What you’re looking for is a ground coconut consistency, so if you have large coconut shreds place the shreds in a food processor and pulse until your coconut is sufficiently ground. Measure out 2 cups.
Place the ground coconut in a medium bowl and add the sugar. Mix to combine the sugar and coconut. Add the vanilla extract, followed by the egg whites. Mix until the coconut is well moistened. Press the coconut into the silicon molds evenly. I like to start from the bottom and work my way to the sides. Don’t coat the silicon cups too thickly; otherwise your cups won’t bake through and will break when you try to pop them out of the molds.
Bake the cups for 25-30 minutes or until the coconut, especially the top is lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Pop the coconut cups out of the molds and place on top of a sheet of parchment to cool completely.
Makes 12 coconut cups.
Make the Piña colada filling:
Add the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar to a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Mix over low speed for a few seconds to combine. Add the coconut cream, rum, and vanilla extract. Increase the speed to high and whip until smooth and combined. Stop and scrape the mixer as needed.
Continue whipping on high and add the heavy cream in 3 parts, making sure the whip cream has incorporated and thickened before each addition. Whip until the mixture is thickened and has a mousse consistency. Stop the mixer and fold in the crushed pineapple. Add the piña colada cheesecake mixture to a piping bag fitted with a round tip. A ziplock bag works here too. Be sure to snip the end of the ziplock bag. You can also spoon this situation. Spoon or pipe the piña colada cheesecake filling into the coconut cups. Place the piping bag in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. Allow it to chill for a bit.
Remove the piping bag from the fridge. If it's way too cold, just run your hands on the piping bag to soften a bit. Pipe the piña colada filling inside your prepared coconut cups until you reach the top of that jammy. Right when you think you may spill it, add a little more. Chances are you probably won’t spill it. Garnish with a piece of pineapple if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Then go in on that.
Coconut cups were adapted from Half Baked Harvest's Samoa Macaroon Tarts.