As you can imagine, with this past week has been busy with the roundup for the Blogging for Babies Event (and don’t forget to check it out and vote for your favorites to help them win some prizes!). Then the March for Babies was held this morning and went really well – but more about that later. You’re here for cheesecake, right? Right.
I chose to dip mine in bittersweet chocolate and red candy melt (from Wilton) with a layer of graham cracker underneath. The big surprise (for me anyway) was the fact that I liked a couple that I left with just the graham cracker (no other coating) the very best. I guess I’m a cheesecake purist or something.
So, here you go. The recipe with a few notes from me in italics. Thank you to our lovely hostesses this month, Elle at Feeding My Enthusiasms and Deborah at Taste and Tell. I thought their challenge and recipe was absolutely inspired and definately a challenge. Thanks again!
As always, don’t miss out on what all the other Daring Bakers and Alternative Daring Bakers have offered up this time around. Seriously, go check it out!
Makes 30 – 40 Pops (I got closer to 30 at the almost exact weight of 2 oz)
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. 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. (Mine baked for about 60 minutes until it was pretty set if not completely firm and barely golden – as I mentioned above though, I ended it taking it out of the oven and not getting to take it out of the water bath until it had pretty much cooled completely. I think that actually worked in my favor because I was firm and well set, but not browned. It was either end up burning it before I could take it out of the oven though, or take it out before it was completely done. So, there you go, lucky for me the carryover heat really did the trick).
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.
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.