This month Elle at "Feeding My Enthusiasms" & Deborah at "Taste and Tell" chose to challenge us in a unique and dazzling way by asking us to make "Cheesecake Pops". I must say that I wasn't expecting to produce lollipops, so their idea surprised me positively!
Those cute "Cheesecake Pops" are not terribly difficult to make, but their confection can be tricky at times. So, although you don't need to be hyper concentrated while following the recipe, it is to be said that you still have to not mess it up completely and keep an eye on what you are doing!
The first complication you'll come across is related to the cheesecake's baking time. As a matter of fact, it takes longer to bake than mentioned in the recipe. Instead of the 35-45 minutes required, it took me a good hour in order for it to set. Then, rolling the cheesecakes portions into balls was quite a finicky and messy job as they tended to melt and desintegrate a little in the hands. So, I found out that if you wet your hand before you start shaping the balls, it help a whole lot and doesn't allow the cheesecake to leave a thick coating all over the palm of your hand. In that way, the balls will look a lot neater. Otherwise, apart from those two critical points, and the fact that one needs a big freezer, everything went smoothly and the final result was more than satisfying.
I must say that this cheesecake was one of the best I've ever made or eaten, so I will keep that recipe for my future cream cheese creations. It had a lusciously silky texture and a wonderfully delicate taste, and above all, it never cracked (it looked perfect). The vanilla aroma wasn't overpowering, but just sufficiently present to add a refined flavor to the batter. The semi-dark chocolate coating added an interesting contrast to those lollipops as it's slight bitterness and strong cocoa flavor paired perfectly well with the subtle roundness of the cheesecake...
Being a big cheesecake addict, those melt-in-your-mouth creamy bites were a real hit and rejoiced my gourmet palate. I would even say that I prefer this delectable frozen treat to ice creams (which I enjoy without ever really being overtaken by them, no matter how fine they are). Just simply to die for!
Those pretty and dainty "Cheesecake Pops" are ideal for outdoor/garden festivities, birthdays, brunches, weddings, christenings, etc... as they are kid and party friendly. So, you have no excuse not to try those exquisite calorie bombs!
~ Cheesecake Pops ~
Recipe taken from “Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey” by Jill O’Connor and adapted by Rosa @ Rosa’s Yummy Yums.
Makes 30 – 40 Pops.
5 8-oz. Packages (1200g) Cream cheese, at room temperature
2 Cups (420g) Castor sugar
1/4 Cup (32g) All-purpose flour
1/4 Tsp Salt
5 Large eggs (~53g)
2 Egg yolks
2 Tsps Pure vanilla extract
1/4 Cup (60ml) Heavy cream (43% fat, Crème de la Gruyère)
Ingredients for the chocolate coating:
1 Pound (450g) Chocolate, finely chopped (see remarks)
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
Other needed items:
Boiling water as needed
Thirty to forty 20cm (8-inch) lollipop sticks
Assorted decorations (optional)
1. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 170° C (325° F).
2. Set some water to boil.
3. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt until smooth (If using a mixer, mix on low speed).
4. Add the whole eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well (but still at low speed) after each addition.
5. Beat in the vanilla and cream.
6. Grease a 25cm (10-inch) cake pan (not a springform pan), and pour the batter into the cake pan.
7. Place the pan in a larger roasting pan.
8. 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.
9. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and cool to room temperature.
10. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 3 hours or overnight (better option).
11. When the cheesecake is cold and very firm, scoop the cheesecake into 60g (2-ounce) balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
12. Carefully insert a lollipop stick into each cheesecake ball.
13. Freeze the cheesecake pops, uncovered, until very hard, at least 1 to 2 hours.
14. (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.
15. Stir until completely smooth. (Save the rest of the chocolate and shortening for later dipping, or use another type of chocolate for variety.)
16. Quickly dip a frozen cheesecake pop in the melted chocolate, swirling quickly to coat it completely.
17. Shake off any excess into the melted chocolate.
18. Roll the pops quickly in the decoration(s) of your choice.
19. Place the pop on a clean parchment paper-lined baking sheet to set.
20. Repeat with remaining pops, melting more chocolate and shortening as needed.
21. Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.
You can use all one kind chocolate or half and half of dark, milk, or white chocolate.
I used dark chocolate (60% cocoa).
Alternately, you can use 1 pound (450g) 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.
White chocolate is harder to use this way, but not impossible.
Do not heat the chocolate too much or your chocolate will lose it’s shine after it has dried.
You can also drizzle the frozen balls with a contrasting color of melted chocolate (dark chocolate drizzled over milk chocolate or white chocolate over dark chocolate, etc...).
Use decorations such as chopped nuts, colored jimmies, crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars, dragees, etc…
Accompany those pops by a glass of cold milk, lemonade or homemade iced tea.
You can also serve those pops for dessert, along with other items.