Everyday Cooking

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Cheesecake Pops-A Daring Bakers Challenge

I was still feeling a bit dejected from stuffing up last month's Daring Baker challenge when I saw Elle and Deborah's April dare. It promisingly looked delicious and fun- Cheesecake Pops. I've never had these before, let alone attempted making them.
The pops looked like the perfect treat to take to our favourite twins' fourth birthday party. The do was to be held over the ANZAC long-weekend which means I get an extra day of playing around lest things don't work out the first time around. I need not have worried. These were actually quite easy to make.

Basically, one makes a baked cheesecake, let this firm up, scoop balls out of the cake, freeze the pops and then dip them in chocolate and then decorate. See, doesn't that sound easy? I made less than the specified quantity in the original recipe but this recipe seems quite amenable to adjustments. I wasn't very strict with the measurements and ratios but the cheesecake turned out beautifully light (for a cheesecake anyway. None of that dense texture which I don't particulary enjoy) and yet firm. Instead of using 5 tubs of cream cheese, I only used 3. I used 3 eggs (instead of 5), 1 egg yolk (instead of 2) and 1 cup of sugar (instead of 2). These quantities produced 25 pops.

Oh and I baked the cheesecake for 70minutes, instead of the recommended 35-40mins. I used a spring-form tin, wrapped in three layers of foil to avoid water getting in. I have to say, this is the very first successful cheesecake I have made, no cracks- the top was as smooth as a bub's bottom.

The recipe also calls for scooping out balls of cheesecake but I decided to slice up the cake into cubes. Less wasteage and mess that way, I reckon. The cheesecake morsels were coated in white and dark chocolate from either end of the luxury spectrum. The 250g of white chocolate was a cheap and cheerful, store home-brand. The dark chocolate was Couverture. They were what I had in the cupboard, not really because there was some well-thought out reasoning behind the choices. Curiously, both kinds of chocolate turned out very well after melting them with a tablespoon of shortening. They formed sweet, crunchy shells over the frozen cheesecake cubes.

As for decorating, the pops, no sophisticated bling on mine. Just a sprinkling of colours from rainbow choc chips, butterfly shapes and hundreds-and-thousands.

The pops were a hit at the party! It wasn't a particularly warm day and they held up well on the wooden craft sticks I used. These just make such cute nibbles for the little ones but the taste was much appreciated by the grown-ups. Thanks for a fun challenge Elle and Deborah.

Here is the original recipe from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O'Connor.

Cheesecake Pops

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.


Dolores said...

I think your cheesecake cubes look wonderful in their whimsy. I'm glad you got the chance to join in this month!

Megan said...

Love the cubes!!!

KJ said...

Lovely pops!!

Manggy said...

Those look great, Desie! You and I are on the same page regarding waste, haha :) I don't think I could afford to buy 5 tubs of cream cheese, especially since 25 pops sounds like a LOT!! :) I'm glad they were a hit!

Jade said...

I have a feeling your cheesecake pops are going to surpass the lamb shanks as my fave food moment, miss! They're very yummy and definitely a hit with me.

Deeba PAB said...

From one maybahay to another...your pops are fabulous; absolutely decadent. Great to see mabggy my friend here too. Happy belated birthday to your twins. Thanks for stopping by!! Cheers

zlamushka said...

I have seen three different ones today and yours are the most beautiful. I reckon they require some time and patience.... nothing for me ;-)

Veron said...

great looking pops! You did a wonderful job. I did think these would be fantastic to take to any occasion.

glamah16 said...

Perefection on a stick!Great job.

Anonymous said...

Very nice! I like the cubes and imagine they were a lot less messy to form than balls. I'm glad your white chocolate worked out better than mine!

Anonymous said...

Love the cubes, fantastic job, they are adorable little bites.

Anonymous said...

The cubes work really well!

Lis said...

They are just beautiful! I love how they are cubes!

Well done! Really, really cute. :)


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Golly, I do love your squares!!

Kajal@aapplemint said...

the cubes look perfect. I'm sure your kids must've relished these.

Deborah said...

I love the squares! Great job on this challenge!

Christine said...

I love your squares! These pops are perfect for a party!

maybelles mom said...

cute--the black and white ones are cute.

Cakelaw said...

Your pops are so cute - I love the fact that you got even cubes (I just chopped mine up as the knife fell, so I have all sorts of weird and wonderful shapes and sizes).

Katie B. said...

Great pops! The contrast between the dark and white chocolates is stunning!

Brilynn said...

Cubes are a great idea! They definitely would have been easier that trying to roll those fiddly balls. Mine baked for much longer too, but it worked out in the end.

Lunch Buckets said...

Cute pops, I love the sticks, they remind me of tinkertoys!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pops! My daughters, although teens already, still loved sharing these treats with their friends. They're all still big babies :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Very pretty looking pops! I love the shape you gave them...



Jerry said...

Love the designs on the pops! Bravo!

test it comm said...

Nice looking pops. I should have tried dipping some into white chocolate.

Jen Yu said...

The square pops are so cute! They look fantastic and you're so right about less mess than rolling them (ask me how I know!). Great job on your challenge!

Molly Loves Paris said...

Dice instead of balls, what a great idea! They are really cute.

Anonymous said...

Those look like so much fun to make, and to eat!

Anonymous said...

Love the cube shape. If I ever make these again, I'm going to either do cubes or wedges.

Laura said...

As seems to be more and more the case these days, I've once again missed out on trying these very tempting goodies :( They look amazing, I may even try making these for Ailey's party....

Unknown said...

The squares are SO classy, nice job on these.

Chibog in Chief said...

oh you've done it beautifully dessie!! too bad i didnt had time to do my challenge last month :-(

creampuff said...

Awwwwwwwww ... I love all your pretty decorations!

Chibog in Chief said...

just dropping by to greet you happy mother's day!!

my biggest and warmest kisses goes to you!!

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Chibog in Chief said...

im so glad to hear from you dessie :-)

warm kisses, dhanggit

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Food Wine Sleep said...

Wow these look great just the thing for my daughters birthday party that is coming up. Might even get the kids to make them as part of the party to bring home

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