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Benson Bed and Breakfast
Toast coconut on shiny pan in a 350-degree oven for about 5 minutes. Watch closely. Combine 1 cup of toasted coconut, ground pecans, and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside. With a large mixer bowl and electric mixer beat cream cheese on low speed with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla and almond extract. Break and add 3 large eggs. Beat to combine ingredients. Pour into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
Meringue topping: In the final 10 minutes of baking time, in a small mixing bowl beat the egg white until peaks appear. Beat in the 1/3 cup of sugar till stiff. Fold in the vanilla extract and toasted coconut that remains.
Remove cheesecake and carefully spread with topping. Return to oven and bake 20 more minutes. Cool on wire rack about 15 minutes. Loosen clasp on pan but wait another 30 minutes before removing the sides of pan. To serve, puree fresh strawberries and drizzle small amount over cheesecake slice. Garnish with fresh mint leaf.
Serves: 12 to 15. Very rich and very yummy!
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