cheesecake pops (daring bakers april 2008)

My first impression when I saw Elle and Deborah’s choice for this month’s Daring Bakers challenge was that it was going to be a pain in the ass. Then I convinced myself that it wouldn’t be so bad. I figured it would be a valuable recipe to have in my arsenal. It’s transportable, perfectly portioned, visually impressive, okay to sit at room temperature for a few hours, and well-liked. And how hard could it be? Scoop out some cheesecake, poke a stick in it, dunk it in melted chocolate. Easy cheesy.

Uh-huh.

Mixing up the cheesecake batter was as easy as I expected. The flour is an unusual ingredient in cheesecake which I’m assuming is there to stabilize the cake enough to form balls. I ate a lot of batter during this part. I like batter.

But after the batter-eating, things got dicey. I made half the recipe in a pan exactly half the area of the pan the recipe called for. I baked it far longer than the recipe stated and took it out when a normal cheesecake would be done – when an instant read thermometer read 150 degrees and it was a bit jiggly in the center. I let it chill overnight.

The next day, the center was far too liquidy to be formed into balls, although the outer half of the pan was more solid. I found out later that others had this problem as well. They came up with creative solutions such as piping the batter instead of rolling it and keeping the batter frozen. I just ate the too-soft middle portion with a spoon. Yum.

The rolling process was still a mess. It seemed like there was cheesecake everywhere. The dipping went similarly. Far messier than I had planned for.

But the real problem was that the balls weren’t stable outside of the freezer. Because the cake was so soft, the balls would fall right off the stick. Not good.

Tasty though. It’s hard to go wrong with cheesecake.

Cheesecake Pops

Makes 30-40 pops

5 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature
2 cups (14 ounces) sugar
¼ cup (1.25 ounces) 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.

Comments

  1. These do look great. I am finding I am growing to love frozen cheesecake, one pop at a time. Wonderful job on these!

  2. Erin says:

    These look so pretty! I love your variety and the red ones really jump out at me! Great job!

  3. Jessica says:

    We had very similar problems! The ones that made it to pops look great though!

  4. Melanie says:

    I’m impressed you even got yours rolled into balls. I ended up with squares because I failed at the first method. I think yours look great and I love the color on the pink one – what is the topping? I had similar issues as you had – yours look great!

  5. Amber says:

    Your cheesecake pops look wonderful. It stinks that so many people had trouble with their cheesecakes setting. To the next challenge we go.

  6. princess5811 says:

    They may have been difficult but they look GREAT!

  7. Amy J. says:

    Hate you had trouble, but your pops look great!

  8. Lisa says:

    After a full 24 hours in the freezer mine are finally firmly attached to their sticks. For what that’s worth!

  9. RecipeGirl says:

    Great job! I would have eaten the liquidy middle myself. YUM!

  10. Jen says:

    Those look really nice. I love the bright pink thingies on your pop. What are they? I laughed and laughed that you ate batter and THEN you ate the gooey middle. OMG, you’re hilarious… Great job.

  11. bridget says:

    The bright pink topping is crumbled freeze-dried raspberries. My favorite cheesecake is chocolate raspberry, so I thought this would be a way to mimic those flavors in the pops.

  12. Ally says:

    Despite the problems you encountered, those are some fantastic looking pops!

  13. Elle says:

    Your pops look wonderful! The freeze dried raspberry topping is such a great idea! Sorry about the goopy batter, but we just copied the recipe from the cookbook. They do taste pretty good. Great job!

  14. Texana says:

    Sorry you had problems with liquidy cheesecake, but I agree, eating batter with a spoon is the best!

  15. Debbie says:

    These look delicious and are a different twist to regular cheesecake. Great pictures!

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