April 27, 2008

cheesecake pops

guess what time it is!

yay! it's daring baker's time!!!

not too long ago i blogged about making some chocolate mascarpone cheesecake pots from a book called, "sticky, chewy, messy, gooey" by jill o'conner. now, i gotta tell you i bought this book last september because i wanted a new book and this one was just too pretty to put down. as luck would have it, fellow daring bakers, elle and deborah (great name, btw ;)), chose to dare us to bake "cheesecake pops" from said book, pages 132-133. it was also the next recipe from that book that i wanted to try out.

a lot of other daring bakers had troubles with the actual baking times, most saying that theirs baked in 55 minutes. knowing this in advance of me baking mine was great. also my mom makes killer cheesecakes (like dark and white chocolate with an oreo crumb and coated in chocolate... not kidding) and told me exactly what to expect- jiggly like jello when you shake it, but a toothpick coming out almost clean. so 55 minutes it was. it never got golden on top, just slightly around the edges. i let it cool in the oven for about 30 minutes before pulling it out and onto the counter.

the next day when the kids were both at school and away at play dates i got to work making the balls. i tried using my tried and true cookie scoop, but it wasn't working out so good- i still had to use my hands to get the cheesecake to form properly. as soon as i started i wanted to stop. now i don't know why it happens, but some textures just give me high anxiety. i literally felt like i was going to either scream or cry. so i stopped, put all the mixture in the mixer, beat the crap out of it and stuffed it into my biggest piping bag. cheesecake is not the easiest thing to pipe! lol! and instead of nicely formed round balls of cheesecake i had beehives. s'okay. at least i didn't want to throw it across the room. the dipping was easy peasy. i melted some blue and white wilton candy melts in a double boiler on my loverly new range (on it's special small inner burner;)) and then quickly dunked them into chocolate jimmies, blue or pink sanding sugar, and non-perils. so pretty!
even though the pops turned out a little mis-shapen, i'm really happy with the end result- snappy candy coating giving way to creamy classic cheesecake that even pete schweddy would approve. mmmmm!

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.


Christine said...

Making the pops was very messy. Kudos for you on the piping bag! Your pops look cute!

Jerry said...

They look like flowers! Great job!

Lis said...

I love Schweddy balls! One of my top 5 favorite SNL skits. :D

I love the colors you chose - it almost looks like your pops are crusted with jewels. ;)


Marye said...

I really like the colors...Great job

Susan said...

Ditto on the colors. I would never have thought of piping the balls but what a creative solution!

Dagmar - A Cat in the Kitchen said...

Great idea with piping the pops. They look lovely!

Lina said...

your cheesecake pops look perfect! I just joined DB and will be starting next month! So excited! :)

C.L. said...

The Schweddy skit is one of my all time favorites! You just made it on my good list! Beautiful pops by the way! I like that they are unique from the others that I have seen so far! Great job!


Jenny said...

I think the piping idea is terrific, and they really look great. That's what being a Daring Baker is all about - finding a creative solution instead of throwing a cheesecake across the room. :)

Laurie said...

Oh my gosh..I love that you piped them..it gives them a wonderful store bought look! Beautifully done!! :)

Bumblebutton said...

They are so cute!! Awesome job!

deb said...

"no one can resist my schweddy balls!"

pixie said...

love the candy colors! great job!

Deborah said...

Your pops look wonderful! I'm glad you thought of piping the cheesecake - I think the shape still looks great. And that book is adorable, isn't it!?!

Lunch Buckets said...

Love your admiring audience of one!

nek0 said...

Your pops look soooo good! :)

Angel said...

I love the colors of your dips. They look super cute!!!

marion-il en faut peu pour ... said...

great great great :))))
I'm discovering your blog through daring bakers, and it's really amazing :)

A&J said...

they look like ice cream! SO cute!