This is my first official Daring Bakers challenge and I was so excited to get my hands sticky with the Cheesecake Pops hosted by Elle from Feeding My Enthusiasms & Deborah from Taste & Tell and they are adapted from the book Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor. The whole idea of making cheesecake pops seems really unique...I mean I've seen cake pops & even cupcake pops at Bakerella's blog. But cheesecake pops? Now this is a first. I wanted to make the pops unique, I really like the idea of making cheesecake balls dipped in chocolate, but I wanted more of a challenge and more room for personalization. So I dug up an old heart-shaped ice-cube mold and decided to use it to create heart-shaped pops! I started to make the actual cheesecake, which calls for a huge amount of cream-cheese. Everything seemed to work well except that it took a lot longer then 40 mins in the oven (about 77 mins). The hardest part was getting the cheese-cake into and out of the mold because it was a bit fluffy (which is why it tasted amazing), but that made it hard to get rid of any air-bubbles. I froze the mold in the freezer for a few hours and then had to carefully pop the little cheesecake hearts out without squishing them. Finally, I used a candy fork to dip the pops in white chocolate cake covering (by super cook) mixed with pink food coloring. I let it harden before I drizzled the dark chocolate on top and finally stuck the bamboo skewers into the center (couldn't find lollipop sticks here in Dubai). It was so much fun to have an idea and then see it work and so here are the making-of images and also the recipe for the pops!!
For more pops look at all the other Daring Bakers' creations, thanks to Lisa & Ivonne we have a new website and public forum set up which is great for people who need advice and help with baking and don't want to commit to baking a challenge every month!
This is the original recipe:
Makes 30 – 40 Pops
5 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature
2 cups sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¼ cup heavy cream
Boiling water as needed
Thirty to forty 8-inch lollipop sticks
1 pound chocolate, finely chopped – you can use all one kind or half and half of dark, milk, or white (Alternately, you can use 1 pound of flavored coatings, also known as summer coating, confectionary coating or wafer chocolate – candy supply stores carry colors, as well as the three kinds of chocolate.)
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
(Note: White chocolate is harder to use this way, but not impossible)
Assorted decorations such as chopped nuts, colored jimmies, crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars, dragees) - Optional
Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Set some water to boil.
In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt until smooth. If using a mixer, mix on low speed. Add the whole eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well (but still at low speed) after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and cream.
Grease a 10-inch cake pan (not a springform pan), and pour the batter into the cake pan. Place the pan in a larger roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with the boiling water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the cheesecake is firm and slightly golden on top, 35 to 45 minutes.
Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and cool to room temperature. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 3 hours or up to overnight.
When the cheesecake is cold and very firm, scoop the cheesecake into 2-ounce balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Carefully insert a lollipop stick into each cheesecake ball. Freeze the cheesecake pops, uncovered, until very hard, at least 1 – 2 hours.
When the cheesecake pops are frozen and ready for dipping, prepare the chocolate. In the top of a double boiler, set over simmering water, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, heat half the chocolate and half the shortening, stirring often, until chocolate is melted and chocolate and shortening are combined. Stir until completely smooth. Do not heat the chocolate too much or your chocolate will lose it’s shine after it has dried. Save the rest of the chocolate and shortening for later dipping, or use another type of chocolate for variety.
Alternately, you can microwave the same amount of chocolate coating pieces on high at 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth.
Quickly dip a frozen cheesecake pop in the melted chocolate, swirling quickly to coat it completely. Shake off any excess into the melted chocolate. If you like, you can now roll the pops quickly in optional decorations. You can also drizzle them with a contrasting color of melted chocolate (dark chocolate drizzled over milk chocolate or white chocolate over dark chocolate, etc.) Place the pop on a clean parchment paper-lined baking sheet to set. Repeat with remaining pops, melting more chocolate and shortening (or confectionary chocolate pieces) as needed.
Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.
I had so much left-over cheesecake after making the pops that I made mini-cheesecakes with crushed digestive biscuits and decorated them with the remaining chocolate & strawberries...
This cheesecake is so versatile and tastes so great, I definately think I will make it again. A couple of night after making the pops (of course they were all gone), a friend came over and I had some left-over cheesecake sitting in the fridge. I crushed some digestive biscuits in a bowl, scooped out some cheesecake on top and drizzled it with chocolate sauce...it was heavenly!
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Posted by Bakerette at 10:10 PM