Monday, April 28, 2008

Pop Goes the Cheesecake


My daughter was about 6 when she had her first taste of cheesecake. It was love at first bite and she ate so much of it she got wretchedly sick on it. Cheesecake is like that. It's delightful, but a little goes a long way.

What a good idea, then to put a little bit on a stick. And then cover it with chocolate. And add sprinkles. This was the happy idea for this month's Daring Baker's challenge. Elle ofFeeding My Enthusiasms and Deborah of Taste and Tell decided on this fun recipe for the Daring Bakers to take on.

I was enthusiastic when it was announced, but in the actual execution of the recipe I had a few stumbling blocks and by the end of the process I was much less than jolly about this challenge.

The 10-inch cake pan that I have isn't super deep and the cheesecake sort of mushroomed up and over the edge while it baked. Fortunately, there were no drips to scorch on the bottom of the pan and it didn't matter if it looked elegant as the cheesecake was just going to be scooped out anyway.

Scooping was messy, to put it mildly. The cheesecake was a wonderfully creamy consistency, which would have been great for a slice, but to try to get a neat scoop or chunk was difficult. I tried some scoops, then just cut triangles out and scooped up the leftovers. Both were untidy. And I learned quickly that licking the fingers to deal with the mess means you end up eating a lot of cheesecake.

Then there was the sheer volume of cheesecake I had to deal with. Two full cookie sheets of cheesecake blops to find room for in my freezer. I'm fortunate to have an extra freezer in the garage. If I'd had to squish them into my itty bitty refrigerator freezer, I'd have been doomed.

Then the dipping of the pops went on as long as a cross country car trip and I used about twice as much chocolate as the recipe called for. I'm not sure if I overdid on the chocolate, but I couldn't see how else to do it. Dipping is not a strong point of mine. I enlisted my daughters to help. I dipped, then passed off the pop to eldest daughter who sprinkled, then she passed off to youngest who held a fist full of pops till the chocolate set enough so that they could be set down on a plate. Thank you girls!

So, now we have a freezer full of pretty party pops. Drop by and have some. Please! Because for now, I've had enough of cheesecake.

Be sure to check out the other (much more talented and less whiny) Daring Bakers and their beautiful version of the Cheesecake Pops.

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.

40 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Despite enduring a few obstacles, you persevered and succeeded with this month's Daring Bakers Challenge (no surprise there, since your baking skills are uncanny!) - LOVE your variation of the cheesecake lollipops!

Sean said...

You are so cruel! Demanding that I come over and help make that deliciously divine combination of chocolate and cheesecake disappear when I'm trapped over here at college. You are simply fiendish...

Chelsea said...

Your's look great!

I skipped this one due to the fiddliness and messiness of it. Not my thing.

Sarah said...

Your pops look great! I think this is the messiest recipe I have done with the Daring Bakers so far!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Those are simply delightful! I'll pass them on to my mom who loves to bake with my two nieces. They would go crazy over these pops! :)

Deborah said...

I think they look so great!! And just a hint - I kept mine in the freezer in a ziploc bag. We just barely finished them off yesterday, so they really lasted quite awhile. I had mine in there for 3 weeks, and they still tasted great!

Kristen said...

I love the thought of these being for portion control :) Great idea.

Tartelette said...

Love that it was a family affair! And they traveled too! They look super sophisticated, great job!

Tartelette said...

Love that it was a family affair! And they traveled too! They look super sophisticated, great job!

Mandy said...

good job on the challenge. I cut down the recipe so that I wouldn't end up with a freezer full of pops. :p

Suzana said...

Nothing better than help when it comes to tricky challenges! You did great - the pops look lovely.

Melanie said...

Your pops look great! I, too, abandoned the "scoop into balls" theory and went with squares. And I'm glad I'm not the only one that ended up with cheesecake everywhere (and licked plenty off my fingers).

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Totally this made a lot of pops unless you had the foresight to splash a cup or so on the kitchen walls and floors ;))
Geeze if it's not one thing it's another.
I like the size of these pops for a serving.
Yours look like fun with all the sprinkles!

Grace said...

good for you for sticking it out, although i hope it doesn't sour you on cheesecake for too long. i totally share your frustration with dipping, so much so that i now avoid any recipes requiring it. so much for practice makes perfect... :)

Claire said...

That second picture is SO cool! I love the way the middle pop looks. So much fun to have help. I don't have space in the freezer to harden these, so I wasn't able to participate this time. Boo!

Bruce said...

You are saving some for me aren't you? 3000 miles away and you taunt me with these pictures? You certainly are the temptress aren't you.

The Husband

Steph said...

Your pops look great! Beautiful pictures too!

Kevin said...

Nice looking pops! I am glad that I only made a half batch. I would not had had the space in my freezer for the full batch.

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Your post had me cracking up! Cross country car trip! Hehehe!When I made mine, my daughter stood by holding a fist full of pops too!

Your pops came out great! They look so pretty with those colorful sprinkles. It was worth the mess!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Great looking pops! Very well done!

cheers,

Rosa

Melinda said...

Yours look lovely. It was good to have a team working with you on this
one.
I think you are right about the foot cut outs. They probably would have looked nothing like a foot...more peg leg'ish. So it is a good thing I passed on this challenge! The cookie feet might work. X

Baking Soda said...

I knew I should have had daughters instead of hungry, impatient, grumbly boys! They stood in line to steel cheesecake but vanished when I needed the extra hands.

They look very festive!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Hahaha! A great tale of overcoming the odds! I cannot imagine how many pops you had. I made a fifth of the recipe on Saturday and still have pops in my freezer! How wonderful that you had extra help in sprinkling and drying, what fun!

LyB said...

Lynn, I so want one of those! Cheesecake is like, my favorite dessert ever, and I very rarely make it. I'd just eat too much! Your pops are so cute!

Kelly-Jane said...

You got there in the end...with some cutie tootie pops :)

Brilynn said...

It was definitely a messy process, I could have used a helping hand or 3 when trying to roll those suckers into balls...

Aimée said...

I'm wishing I could come over and help you eat these! I love cheesecake and your pops look so good. That's nice to had some helping hands, you're lucky they were girls, though. Boys would have eaten everything!

Aamena said...

wow.. eating so much cheesecake that you get sick.. i think i have missed out on some good things in life... :P

Dolores said...

I also made a mess, had freezer space issues, and used a ton more chocolate than the recipe called for. I love the way you got your kids involved with this one! That's the stuff from which great memories are made.

SweetDesigns said...

Great job. Yes, very messy.. The only step I disliked was the rolling of them, it was quite..hmm annoying haha..but the outcome made it worth it. Your pops look great, hand one to every person whom comes and goes from your house haha

Cakespy said...

Yeah, they sure were messy and sticky--that book title is no joke! But so, so delicious! :-) Yours look beautiful to me!

Cakespy said...

Yeah, they sure were messy and sticky--that book title is no joke! But so, so delicious! :-) Yours look beautiful to me!

Lina said...

Awesome job! Those cheesecake pops look great! ♥ I just joined daring bakers and ill be starting next month! im so excited!!!

sher said...

They look delicious--and your pictures are so cool!

Texana said...

Great job. I love the "family" concept--I could have used about six extra hands on this project myself!

eatme_delicious said...

Ooo yum they look good. I'm really glad I 1/5 the recipe because the full recipe seemed a bit overwhelming in the amount of cheesecake pops that would be made!

Angel said...

Your pops are adorable. I love that your daughters got to help you make them as well as taste them!

Lunch Buckets said...

I see now that I was missing one essential piece of equipment for this challenge - the youngest kid for holding the pops while the chocolate set up. Of course with my youngest I'm sure more than half would have "fallen off" into her mouth. No idea where she gets that....

Neen said...

Wow. I'm not a daring Baker, but that sounds heinously challenging. Not how I would want to spend my Saturday afternoon since I don't have daughters, an extra freezer, or a particularly strong sweet tooth. Intense. I hope that you daughters have a lot of friends who like cheesecake pops!

Sheltie Girl said...

You did a wonderful job on your pops.

Natalie @ gluten a go go