27 April, 2008

Cheesecake POPS! (Daring Baker initiation!)

Do we look ready to be daring or what!!?!?!?

I can finally call myself a Daring Baker!! This was my daring baker initiation.
I loved this challenge, it was sooooo yummy. That is mostly what I care about, if the finished product turns out to be good, or if my time was wasted. Oh, but these Cheesecake Pops were so incredible that I would literally do it 20 times over. My four-year-old has already requested them for his birthday (a year from now). I cannot believe just how good they were. I made them for my younger son's birthday party. My friend Trisha came over and we made the cheesecake part together...and then we waited, and waited and waited for our cheesecake to be cold enough to work with. Well, I ended up rolling mine, which was fine because for me- messy= fun. I just had a bowl of warm water next to me and every little bit I would rinse off all the sticky cheesecake from my hands and that worked like magic!

Then I dipped them in dark-incredibly-wonderful-chocolate, and concluded the process by dipping the chocolate coated cheesecake pops in a tad of crunchy raw sugar. It was beautiful, they were just as beautiful to look at as they were to have melt in your mouth...I was in a daze, and so were all the people we invited to the party! This was a success of a challenge!! And since it is my first I am now in the DARING BAKER clan!

oh, the baking of the goodness , sweet, sweet goodness.

little boys running though the baking scene.

this is me, and my bright red machine...i love it.

Trisha has the nice camera, and left after the baking point of the cheesecakes, so...my final product picure is pretty ugly...really it does no justice to the actual insane-o yumminess of the cheesecake pops covered in deep-dark chocolate. I want more!

Cheesecake Pops

(adapted from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth by Jill O'Connor)

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, confectionery 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, degrees) - 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 confectionery chocolate pieces) as needed.

Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve


marye said...

welcome to DB! you did great...and the initiation wasn't too bad... ;)

tricia said...

beautiful darling! just beautiful. (the pops are cute too)

Trish said...

Yummy yummy yummy! It looks like quite a lot of work, though. I used to bake a lot, but since hubby doesn't like sweets I don't very often. I did make hard tack candy a few weeks ago with my grandma--that was fun. I'll have to give these a whirl. By the way, I'm coveting your beautiful red Kitchen Aid. ;)

Antonio Tahhan said...

congratulations on your first challenge!! the pictures still came out great because the cheesecake pops look DELICIOUS!

Kim said...

Great first challenge, and it looked like the whole family had fun. They look wonderful!!!

Angel said...

those look delicious and very fun!

Lunch Buckets said...

Welcome to the group! I love the idea of a sort foofy dessert in mason jars :)

Amy J. said...

I love the sugar sprinkles - it makes them look magical. Faery pops!

Christine said...

Welcome to DB you did great!

creampuff said...

Congratulations on your first DB challenge! You did a great job!

Elle said...

What a great post for your first challenge...love the photos of the boys running through the kitchen and you with the red KitchenAid mixer. So glad you liked the pops...yours look so cute with the sparkle of the raw sugar. Messy - fun is my favorite part. So glad you are a Daring Baker!

Gretchen Noelle said...

So glad you loved them so! You did a great job, it sounds like you had fun! Welcome to Daring Bakers!