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SUCCULENT ALMOND JOY DESSERT LEAVES DINERS SAYING `CHEESE!’

SHARE SUCCULENT ALMOND JOY DESSERT LEAVES DINERS SAYING `CHEESE!’

Question: Almond Joy Cheesecake is a dessert to die for! It is concocted by a chef at Major Tooley's Public House in Indianapolis. I would be most appreciative if this recipe could be obtained.

- Kris Sanders, Plainfield, Ind.

Answer: Indianapolis is a city laid out in a wheel pattern. Major arteries converge at Monument Circle with the 285-foot-tall Soldiers and Sailors Monument. A short distance away are the five-block World War Memorial Plaza and the state capitol.

In a style reminiscent of an English pub, Major Tooley's Public House is warmed by wood paneling and deep shades of forest green and burgundy. With a corner on the imported beer market in Indianapolis, Major Tooley's offers an extensive selection of suds, which includes the popular Watney's Red Barrel, a heavy-bodied English ale, as well as imports from Japan, Romania, Italy, New Zealand and Greece.

Major Tooley's is also known for serving fabulous cheesecake. Combining additional ingredients with the basic batter creates a variety of cheesecake flavors. Some crowd pleasers are German chocolate, raspberry swirl and key lime.

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RECIPE

ALMOND JOY CHEESECAKE

CRUST

2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup margarine, melted

BASIC BATTER

3 pounds cream cheese, softened

2 1/2 cups sugar

7 eggs

ALMOND JOY CHEESECAKE

1 recipe basic filling

1 1/2 cups flaked or shredded coconut

1 cup sliced almonds

3 tablespoons Coco Lopez brand (or other coconut milk, often sold with drink mixers and used to make pina coladas)

1/4 cup coconut-flavored rum, or 1 tablespoon rum flavoring plus 3 tablespoons more coconut milk

3 ounces semisweet chocolate pieces, melted, with 12 whole almonds

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Prepare crust: In mixing bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted margarine. Mix well before pressing into a greased 9-inch springform pan.

Prepare Basic Batter: Cream cream cheese and sugar in large bowl of mixer. Add eggs and mix thoroughly on medium-high speed.

Prepare Almond Joy Cheesecake: Gently beat coconut-flavored rum or rum flavoring into Basic Filling in large bowl of mixer. Remove 21/2 cups batter to a separate mixing bowl. To remaining batter in large bowl of mixer add coconut, sliced almonds and Coco Lopez. Mix well to combine. Pour into prepared crust. Place in freezer 20 minutes. Stir 1 cup of remaining batter into melted chocolate. Mix to blend well and stir back into batter, stirring until chocolate and batter are well blended. Remove cheesecake from freezer. Pour chocolate batter (from outer rim to center) onto top of almond coconut batter. Decorate top with whole almonds.

Wrap springform pan in foil. Place springform pan in large deep pan filled with 1/2 inch water. Cover top of deep pan with foil. Bake 11/2 hours. Remove all foil. Reduce oven heat to 225 degrees and bake 10 more minutes. Turn oven off and let cheesecake sit 1 hour. Remove from oven, cool and refrigerate.

For key lime, add 1/4 cup Rose's Lime Juice and 4 drops green food coloring to Basic Batter.