More than 1000 cheesecakes pops are landing on the food blog world today, because this is the Daring Bakers challenge for April! It is no secret that cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts, seeing that I have made quite a few varieties in the past. I would even stock up on cream cheese when they are going on sale in the grocery stores!
Instead of baking one big cheesecake, our hostesses Elle of Feeding My Enthusiasms and Deborah of Taste and Tell have chosen the Cheesecake pops from Jill O'Connor's Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth as our April challenge. Readers, you will soon hear the resounding "YUM" from other fellow DBers that this is one delicious and fun challenge.
The original recipe makes 30 to 40 pops, which would be great for party. But seeing that we won't have any party going on anytime soon, I have scaled the recipe down to 3/5. Most of them are brought to OCT lab, but I save some for snacking in the afternoon. I love that they are of the perfect size to nibble. It will still be less than the calories of 1 slice of cheesecake if I have eaten 2 cheesecake pops. And if I only eat one, that's practically no calories consumed. (yeah, right..)
I have posted two recipes below; one is my scale-down version and one is the original. Remember to check out other fabulous cheesecake pops from my fellow Daring Bakers here. Thanks Deborah and Elle for the fun and delicious challenge. This recipe has both thumbs up from this cheesecake lover! xoxo.
from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth by Jill O’Connor
Makes 30 – 40 Pops
5 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 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.
Mandy's 3/5 low fat version
3 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature (I used 2 blocks of Neufatchel and 1 block of original)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 egg yolks
1.5 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/8 cup heavy cream
Boiling water as needed
Proceed as mentioned in the recipe above.
Note: I bake the cheesecake in a 9x3 loaf pan for about 45 minutes, depending on the temperature of your oven, it may need shorter or longer time. Check your cheesecake after 25-30 minutes.