- Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy - http://stickygooeycreamychewy.com -

Pop Goes the Cheesecake!

Well, it’s that time again. The time when Daring Bakers everywhere flaunt their talent and creativity, their hits and their misses, their flips and their flops! It’s post time for the April Daring Baker Challenge: Cheesecake Pops!

This month our lovely hostesses are Elle from Feeding My Enthusiasms [1]and Deborah from Taste and Tell [2]. The recipe that they selected was from the cookbook Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth by Jill O’Connor [3]. Now before I get thousands of comments and emails about this, let me clear something up. Yes, I know that the name of this book is similar to the name of my blog. And no, I am not a big, fat copycat. I did not name this blog after Jill’s cookbook. In fact, I had never even heard of this cookbook before I started blogging. That’s the God’s honest truth. Those of you who have followed my blogging journey may remember that when I first started out – I didn’t bake! Since I wasn’t really a baker, I didn’t even own any baking books until I went out and bought Dorie’s book [4].

I named this blog after the most gorgeous cinnamon buns I had ever seen while watching the Food Network one day. Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy just popped into my head and I typed it into my Blogger profile. After a while, I did learn about SCMG and I was pretty damn shocked (and a bit embarrassed). But, that’s life. It’s a big world out there folks, and things like this are bound to happen. Deal with it. I have. Now, back to the challenge.

When I read that Elle and Deborah had chosen Cheesecake Pops for us to make as our April DB challenge, my reaction was…..well…..let’s just say, enthusiastic. Cheesecake? Did somebody say cheesecake? Oh boy! I love cheesecake!!! Cheesecake is one of my all time favorite things ever!!! I can’t believe it! WOOHOO…..CHEESECAKE!!! YIPPEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

After I calmed myself down, I sat down to make a plan. Right from the start, I knew I wanted to make my pops reminiscent of flowers. I had a helluva time finding flower cookie cutters in the right size and thickness. I ended up with only one lousy cookie cutter that would work. So much for having a variety of different flowers in my little garden. But I was undaunted. At the craft store, I found a couple of cute flower pots to “plant” my flowers in and some pretty ribbons in the dollar bin. I was set. Excellent!

Baking the cheesecake was not as easy as I thought it would be. Even though I’d never had problems before, this time the cake cracked a little. Crap! While I was wailing and moaning, Mr. SGCC calmly pointed out that the chocolate would probably camouflage this. Oh. Right. I knew there was a good reason why I married him! He was right. After the flowers were dipped, I
couldn’t even notice the cracks.

I used a mixture of dark and milk chocolate to dip my pops, because while the dark looks better, we all prefer milk chocolate. To decorate the flowers, I swirled some iridescent pearl dust on them. Pearl Dust is usually used to decorate fondant, but it worked really nicely with the chocolate. I took the cheesecake scraps and rolled them into balls. Then, I dipped them and rolled them in toffee bits, crushed pecans and crushed pistachios. I tied some ribbon around each and arranged them in my pots.

I was very pleased with the way they turned out. I really thought they looked lovely, but you can judge for yourself. I will tell you that they tasted divine! They earned the Mini-SGCC Taste Testing Seal of Approval. There’s no higher praise than that!

If you’d like to see some more delectable cheesecake creations, please visit the Daring Bakers Blogroll. [5] I know you’ll have a very sweet time!

Cheesecake Pops

Adapted from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey
(Printable Recipe)
5 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature
2 cups sugar¼ 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
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, confectionery coating or wafer chocolate – candy supply stores carry colors, as well as the three kinds of chocolate.)
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.

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 confectionery chocolate pieces) as needed.

Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.