I'm a Daring Baker's Newbie! This was my first Daring Bakers Challenge and boy was it a Doozie! The Cheesecake Pops came out absolutely beautiful and delicious, but getting there that was half the battle. Most of you know that we live on a sailboat, and while this was supposedly an easy recipe, working without a freezer and lots of counter space was very challenging. But I'm always up for a challenge, especially if it includes cheesecake!
Man I Miss My Kitchen Aid, and my 10 burner stove, and my
convection oven, and, and, and....
But look how cute my Hamilton Beach is! He needs a name.
The cheesecake went together so easily. I only have my little 5 speed
Hamilton Beach Mixer and my tiny Easy Bake Oven, and both were up to
the task and performed admirably. The mixer started to struggle a
little, but with 2 1/2 pounds of cream cheese, it wasn't a surprise! I
think I can, I think I can, I know I can.....It was done and in the
oven, just like that! The recipe said to bake it for 35-45 minutes. I don't know if it was the Easy Bake or the recipe, but I had to leave it in for 75 minutes until it was firm enough! Oh well, that wasn't too bad. I cooled it down and it went in our fridge overnight. (BTW, we just got our fridge 8 months ago. Prior to that, we were living out of a cooler)
The Cheesecake puffed up so much, it rose right out of the pan!
Next came the ball shaping! This was fun....NOT! It was sticky, gooey and very messy! I oiled up both hands and dove right in! Yuk! I suppose if I were a kid again, this would be child's play. After washing my hands 5 times, I gave up and started licking my fingers! Man was it good!
The lollipop sticks came next. Stick 'em all in and into the freezer they go! OOOPS! I forgot to tell you, we have no freezer! No worries, the marina office has a little apartment sized fridge with a freezer, so John hiked up the dock and slid them in the freezer.
The Assembly Line ~ See our table? It folds down from the wall and flips out to double the size.
I had all my toppings ready the next morning. Crushed Oreos, Heath Bars, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Pistachios, Sugared Almonds, Toasted Coconut, Sprinkles, Sanding Sugars in assorted colors, etc, etc, etc. It looked like a freakin' candy store in our little boat and boy, did it smell awfully good!
I melted my chocolate coatings in a pan of water on the stove, because, you guessed it, we have no microwave! It melted quick enough and then I was ready to go into business! John hiked back up the ramp into the office to retrieve what we thought were frozen...did I say FROZEN cheesecake pops? They were not frozen! Very cold maybe, but certainly NOT frozen!
This is my Easy Bake Oven and 2 Burner Stove ~ I need to paint it pink!
I came this far and these suckers were not gonna get the best of me. I was gonna win this cheesecake war! I dipped while John sprinkled. Then we switched. He dipped while I sprinkled. We got about 9 pops done, when we noticed the chocolate coating wasn't harding and seizing up on the pops like we had planned. We fought through 3 more until the cheesecake started to fall apart and slide off the sticks. OH NO! We started licking fingers and the sides of the cups and I threw one of them into John's mouth before it ended up on the floor!
CHEESECAKE, CHEESECAKE AND MORE CHEESECAKE!
The whole scene reminded me of Lucy and Ethel in the candy factory on "I Love Lucy". You remember the one? The candy was coming down the conveyor belt so fast they couldn't keep up. They popped them in their mouths and stuffed them down their shirts! Finally we gave up! We figured we have 12 good pops for pictures and we'll give the rest away...And so we did!
Setting up for the "PHOTO SHOOT"
This gives you an idea of how we take pictures!
I don't want to discourage you from making these awesome Cheesecake Pops. They would have all come out perfect if we had a freezer that worked properly and froze them solid. That's the trick...You just need to have rock hard frozen balls!
YES! The flowers are real! They were so gorgeous!
Click these photos to see the detail!
This recipe is from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor.
- 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 confectionary coating
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 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.
These little baby cakes were all the scraps that fell off the sticks!
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.
How do we stick the pops in the teapot without them falling over? Easy!
We filled the pot with white sugar and marbles! Yeah, Marbles! It worked!
When the 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.
Don't forget my Cookbook Give-Away for a brand new Martha Stewart's Cookies. You have until midnight Tuesday 4/29 to get your comments in. Click here to enter. Good Luck! And please tell your friends. I'm so pathetic when it comes to challenges, give-aways and competitions. Ask my kids!