It’s that time of the month again…time to post the daring baker’s monthly challenge. This month’s challenge is cheesecake pops, chosen by dear Deborah and Elle and I must say that it has probably been the most fun of all the challenges that I have completed till now.
As the ladies have said,”These cute little bites of cheesecake, held on a stick and dipped in chocolate and, if you like, decorations, are sure to make you smile. The cheesecake is
The following is the basic recipe that we had to follow…
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.
Allowed Variations. We could make some changes to this cheesecake as long as we promised to use the basic cheesecake recipe (although we could add a flavor to it if we liked) and kept it white, and also keep the pops to the 2 ounce size.The dipping flavors and colors were also left to our personal choices.
I followed the basic chesecake recipe, but halved it and baked the cheesecake in my eight inch pan. It worked perfectly…and I had no problems for getting a firm cheesecake, although it took much longer than the 35-45 minutes as stated in the recipe. Apart from this, the rest was fine, and I had fun decorating them… I inserted bits from bamboo skewers instead of the lolly sticks.
Check out what the others have been up to. All in all, I had great fun during this challenge. As for the taste, the hubby, the li’l girl and the baker loved it…but sonny boy seemed to like the toppings more, leaving the insides untouched after a bite…ah well, can’t please everybody, can you
The nutty ones were my favourites…