Make the filling:
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and reduce the oven
temperature to 325 degrees F. Using two large pieces of heavy-duty
aluminum foil, tightly wrap the outside of the pan.
In a medium saucepan combine the milk and the toasted coconut and
bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the
pan from the heat and cover. Steep the mixture for 30 minutes. Strain
the coconut milk, pressing the solids to extract all of the liquid:
you should have 3/4 cup of liquid.
In the 4 1/2-quart bowl of a heavy duty mixer using the paddle
attachment, beat the cream cheese at low speed for 1 minute, until
creamy. Gradually add the sugar in a steady stream and heat at medium
speed until blended. Add the corn starch. Scrape down the side of the
bowl and beat 30 seconds longer. At medium-low speed, one at a time,
add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Gradually add the
strained coconut milk and beat until blended. Beat in the vanilla and
Pour the filling into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the white chocolate
chunks evenly over the filling. Sprinkle the prepared coconut topping
over the center of the cheesecake, leaving a 1-inch plain border
around the rim of the cheesecake. Place the cheesecake in a
high-sided roasting pan on the lower rack of the oven. Pour boiling
water into the roasting pan so that the water comes half way up the
side of the springform pan. Bake the cheese cake for 70 to 80
minutes, until the sides are puffy and the center quivers. Leave the
cheesecake in the pan in the oven and turn off the oven. Prop open
the door of the oven with a wooden spoon and allow the cheesecake to
cool down slowly in the oven for 30 minutes.
Remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan and remove the foil from
around the outside of the springform pan. Run a thin-bladed knife
around the inside of the pan to release the cheesecake from the side
of the pan. This will prevent the top of the cheesecake from
cracking. Cool the cheesecake in the pan set on a wire rack.
Refrigerate uncovered for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Garnish the cheesecake:
Run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the cheesecake to loosen it
from the side of the pan. Unclamp and remove the side of the
springform pan. Gently press the chocolate wafer crumbs onto the side
of the cheesecake. Dust the top with confectioners' sugar and
decorate with white chocolate curls, if desired
Slide a metal cake spatula under the cheesecake to loosen it from the
bottom of the springform pan. Slide two long metal cake spatulas
underneath the cheesecake and transfer to a serving plate.
Cut the cheesecake with a sharp, thin-bladed knife, dipping the blade
in hot water and wiping it dry after each slice.