Chef Aida Mollenkamp's Coconut Brownie Cheesecake Bars
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
½ cup extra virgin coconut oil
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
1 ⅓ cups unrefined granulated sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla or coconut extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 (8 ounce) cream cheese room temperature
½ cup sour cream
1 cup packed unsweetened flaked coconut toasted
Heat the oven to 350°f and arrange a rack in the middle. Line a 2-quart baking dish with parchment paper and cooking oil or butter. Combine the chocolate and coconut oil in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until evenly melted. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Combine 1 whole egg, ⅔ cup of sugar, cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and ½ teaspoon salt in a large bowl and briefly stir until just evenly incorporated. Add the cooled chocolate and mix until uniform in color. Add the flour and stir until just incorporated (no white streaks should remain). Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly. Bake until brownies are just set, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside while you prepare cheesecake batter.
Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, ½ cup coconut flakes, and remaining ⅔ cup sugar in in bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture is smooth. Scrape down the sides of the processor then add the remaining 2 whole eggs and the 1 large yolk and pulse until incorporated. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and ½ teaspoon salt and pulse until blended.
Pour the mixture over the brownies, top with remaining coconut flakes, and bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean and the center of the cheesecake is just set (it will look like custard), about 30 to 40 minutes.
Turn off the oven, leave the door slightly ajar, and let the cheesecake cool for 15 minutes. Remove cheesecake from the oven and set on a rack to cool. Coat a butter knife with oil or butter (or run it under very hot water) and then run it around the perimeter of the cheesecake. Let the cheesecake cool completely, about 1 hour. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 4 hours before cutting.
Get Chef Aida Mollenkamp's new cookbook, "Keys To The Kitchen Cookbook," at