daring bakers go cheesecake-crazy


when i travel i go crazy and buy all things heavy. no wonder an airline employee once asked me if i had a dead body in my suitcase when he lifted my baggage. but why not buy a kilo or two of sugar... or beautiful porcelaine... or dishsoap... or very heavy books?

my bags where heavy like a sumo wrestler already but there was this book at one of my favourite shops that i had my eyes on. sticky, chewy, messy, gooey by jill o'connor was a must and i made the extra trip back to the shop to buy it. it is filled with supersweet desserts and wonderfully decorated with lotsa ribbons and polkadots and all the other fun stuff.
the daring bakers proved that it was the right decision to buy this book.

because this month's mission was the cheesecake pops from this lovely little book. a wonderful idea for babyshowers, birthday parties, a chit-chat-marathon with your best friends or even an evening in front of the telly. it takes a bit of time to prepare because the cheesecake needs to chill and freeze before its coated with chocolate and needs another chill in the
freezer.


i halved the recipe because 40 cheesecake pops where too much to handle for me. worked out well - i used 3 eggs & 1 yolk instead of the 5 eggs and the 2 yolks. the batter fitted perfectly into a 30 x 18 cm baking pan.



RECIPE

Cheesecake Pops

Makes 30 – 40 Pops

5 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature

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

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 / 170 C° . 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.