Monday, 28 April 2008
April Daring Bakers Challenge - Cheesecake Pops
Its the end of April, which means it Daring Bakers challenge time. This month one of my favourite bloggers, Deborah from Taste & Tell joined Elle from Feeding My Enthusiasm choose the challenge - Cheesecake Pops. I was quite excited to see this recipe originally as I've never made a baked cheesecake and have not really 'played' with food like this to form it into something so fun.
We're moving back to Adelaide, South Australia from Sydney next week so I wasn't sure I'd be able to complete the challenge but things came together and I managed to make them this weekend for my gorgeous friends Stacy and Will who are kindly looking after us at the moment as we had to get get out of our apartment quicker than we thought.
I loved this challenge, the pops taste fantastic and I didn't struggle with any of the tasks. The only slight difficulty was the fact there are no beaters in this kitchen, so it took me a long time to combine everything to the right consistency. It made me realise how much I love my gorgeous red KitchenAid! I will definitely be making these again, maybe not us 'pops' but the cheesecake part for sure. It'll be a breeze with the KitchenAid.
Thank Elle and Deborah, this was a lot of fun. If you would like to check out my fellow challengers, please do so here.
Makes 30 – 40 Pops
5 x 225g packages cream cheese at room temperature
2 cups sugar
¼ cup flour
¼ tsp 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
450g milk chocolate, finely chopped milk
2 tbs vegetable shortening
Assorted decorations such as chopped nuts, colored jimmies, crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars) - Optional
Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 160C. 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.