Advance planning – clearly not my strong point!
Here are my ever-so-slightly-late results for April’s Daring Bakers challenge – cheesecake pops no less (or popsicles, as I keep calling them). Set by Deborah of Taste and Tell and Elle of Feeding My Enthusiasms, this task saw DBers around the world roll up their sleeves to get busy with gallons of cream cheese and melted chocolate to whip up this recipe from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey. Check out the Daring Bakers blogroll for many rather more elegant versions than mine. There are some very talented people out there 🙂
So yes, advance planning and/or a practice run would definitely have come in handy. Not because the recipe was tricky but because the whole shaping side of things went a little wonky and the results lack a little finesse on my part.
Partly that’s because I have the artistic abilities of a two-year old. But I think I also tripped up by not chilling the cheesecake for long enough before scooping it into the rather lumpy shapes you see above. Less haste and more speed… Nevermind – it was still a lot of fun rolling the pops into shape and dunking them into the melted chocolate, before making judicious use of my sprinkles (that’s the second time in one week those babies have come out of the cupboard).
I halved the recipe as we’ve got limited room in the freezer just now and that went just fine, which I was pleased with. Sometimes it’s not just a matter of chopping the ingredients in half to achieve the same result for a smaller batch. But after cooking it in the bain marie for about 45 minutes, the cheesecake had gone a beautiful golden-brown on top and had set quite nicely too. Seemed a bit of a shame to break it all up with the icecream scoop!
The slightly lumpy results didn’t affect the taste at all – they’re scrumptious! Many thanks to Deborah and Elle for setting this challenge not just for the kitchen fun but also because they solved my dilemma about what to make first from this book. I picked up a copy when I was in London a few weeks ago and have been drooling over the contents so much ever since I’ve been unable to decide where to start! Perhaps this recipe has set the sticky, chewy, messy gooey ball rolling. If a ball like that could roll, that is.
Cheesecake pops from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor
Makes 30 to 40 pops
Five 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs (When I halved the recipe, I just used two eggs rather than messily trying to get a ‘half’ too)
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup cream
boiling water as needed
Thirty to forty 8-inch lollipop sticks
1 pound semisweet flavoured, milk chocolate flavoured, or brightly-coloured confectionery coating
1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 170C/325F
2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer set on a low speed, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour and salt until smooth. Add the whole eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well (still on a low speed) after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and cream.
3. Lightly grease a 10-inch cake tin (not a springform pan). Pour the cheesecake batter into the cake pan and place in a larger roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with 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.
4. Remove the cheesecake from the waterbath and cool to room temperature. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refridgerate until very cold, at least 3 hours or up to overnight.
5. When 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 pops, uncovered, until very hard – at least 1 to 2 hours.
6. When the cheesecake pops are frozen and ready for dipping, prepare the chocolate coating. Place the chocolate wafers in a microwave-proof bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Remove and stir. If the chocolate is not completely melted, microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring until smooth. (Or just melt some chocolate in a bowl over some boiling water.)
7. Quickly dip a frozen cheesecake pop into the melted chocolate, swirling quickly to coat it completly. Hold the pop over the melted chocolate and shake off any excess. Place the pop on a clean parchment paper-lined tray to set. Repeat with the remaining pops, melting more chocolate if needed.