This month's Daring Baker's challenge was an interesting one - Cheesecake Pops from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor. It made me hunt out some new goodies for my kitchen like a mini ice cream scoop for making the balls (which I haven't really got the hang of yet) and a 10" (non springform) cake pan - I was really having no luck at finding one that wasn't ridiculously priced but ended up buying Promt from Ikea because it was a great price for all I'd probably end up using a cake tin of this size for and also because it's a 2 in 1 tin - yes it's a springform which wasn't recommended for the recipe but I lined it with 4 or 5 layers of tin foil to prevent the water from the water bath getting into the cheese cake. I'm not sure if it was because of the multiple tin foil layers that I ended up having to bake it for longer, however on the new Daring Baker's Kitchen forum I noticed a few people had commented on how they also needed to bake theirs for longer. My other problem with this recipe was a lack of shortening in the UK - I'm not sure if there's a British version or name for shortening. So after consulting with Deborah of Taste and Tell who was co hosting this month's challenge with Elle of Feeding my Enthusiasms, who said that leaving out the shortening would be better than trying to use butter or oil or anything. I also couldn't find the lollypop sticks so ended up using drinking straws which were a little weak but did the job alright.
Anyways this was a really fun challenge and worked great around my business seeing as I could do a couple of steps and leave it then come back to it the next day etc.
I'm taking them all down to my youth group tonight where I'm sure they will be devoured!!!
Makes 30 – 40 Pops (I got 46 out of mine)
5 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature (1134g - but for ease I used 1150g) 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 (double cream)
Boiling water as needed
Thirty to forty 8-inch lollipop sticks (I used straws cut in half)
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: White chocolate is harder to use this way, but not impossible) I used 600g mixture of dark and milk chocolate
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening (I left this out seeing as I couldn't find any)
Assorted decorations such as chopped nuts, colored jimmies, crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars, dragees) - Optional
1. Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325˚F (160˚C). Set some water to boil.
2. 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.
3. 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. However mine took 75-80 minutes
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.
Thanks Elle and Deborah for the challenge. It's been my first baked cheesecake so I've learnt loads!!!!
And for all who are waiting to hear about Enjoy the Taste of Scotland and also about our anniversary celebrations I'll hopefully have it all posted by Tuesday at the latest... I've just had a really busy week and had to cut a few corners quite often with the cooking and use jars of sauces! (I'm ashamed!!!!!) This week shouldn't be as bad though so I'll have lots to blog about. And sorry to people whose blogs I read and comment on, I should be back to speed and reading about all your lovely creations very soon.
Also don't forget about the Bookmarked Recipes round up! If anyone has any late entries I'd love to see them!