Friday, May 2, 2008

Cheesecake pops

For our monthly Chocolate therapy challenge, my friend at Bittersweet Cakes & I had a difficult time settling on just one thing. Until the Daring Bakers posted their monthly challenge. Yum! I was hooked and I had to make them! I halved the recipe and was still surprised at how much it made. But it was deliciously simple and just requires lots of time hanging out in the fridge or freezer.

These are just fabulous. The cheesecake center is creamy and soft and wonderful. Putting it on a stick and coating it in chocolate and any other toppings you like is so American, (food on a stick!) and it's awesome. I can see taking them to a dessert exchange or a party and them being a huge hit. If you are a cheesecake fan, you really want to try these.

I used mostly Hershey's new Bliss chocolates to coat these, which are not as good as Dove Promises, I'm sad to say. I was a bit disappointed. But really any good chocolate that you love makes a good coating. One Daring Baker used melted Toblerone's. (yummy!)

Here's the recipe (which comes from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O'Connor)

Cheesecake Pops

Makes 30 - 40 Pops (Note I got 33 from the recipe halved, using the proper scoop so I think this is not an accurate #.)

5 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature

2 cups sugar

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

5 large eggs (to halve the recipe, halve the yolk of one egg in your hand with a knife and use a liquid measuring cup to halve the white by volume.)

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.) (Note that I used 1 lb of chocolate to coat just my halved batch, so make sure you have plenty of chocolate on hand!)

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.

1 comment:

Rose of Stockholm said...

Lovely! I will try to make these!

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