Sunday, April 27, 2008

Cheesecake Lollies

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I don't really like cheesecake. There, I said it. I'm just not a fan of cream cheese especially when it's the star of the dish like with cheesecake. But even so, I make cheesecake pretty often since everyone else seems to love cheesecake. Also, cheesecake is one of those easy-to-make-little-effort-big-wow-factor desserts. I'm always a big fan of easy, especially lately as I've been too lazy to bake and totally neglecting my blog. But since cheesecake is so easy and Elle of Feeding My Enthusiasms and Deborah of Taste and Tell chose cheesecake pops for this month's Daring Baker challenge, I got off my a$$ to join the challenge.

The original recipe for these cheesecake pops from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O'Connor makes a whole lot of cheesecake. Too much if you ask me. Of course some would say that you can never have too much cheesecake. I made only 2/5 of the original quantity since I only had 16 ounces of cream cheese. Well, truth be told, I only had 8 ounces of Philly, but I also had 8 ounces of mascarpone which is like cream cheese but creamier and richer and definitely much less tangy than regular cream cheese. Because I was using 50% mascarpone in my 2/5 recipe, I omitted the heavy cream since I was afraid the batter would be too runny and not set up correctly. (Baking tip: Cream cheese plus heavy cream is a decent substitute for mascarpone in some recipes. So I figured that the opposite would be true too which is why I left out the heavy cream.)

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I baked my cheesecake in ramekins that were deep enough to scoop out balls of cheesecake. Each ramekin has a 6 fluid ounce capacity and I got 3 walnut sized balls per ramekin. The resulting cheesecake was super creamy and even better when dipped in chocolate. I have to admit that they were pretty good. Maybe I've become a cheesecake convert? Well, I wouldn't go that far. But that's the power of the Daring Bakers. Like I say with every month's DB challenge, step outside of the box and discover or learn something new. I discovered that I like the 50/50 combination of cream cheese and mascarpone for making cheesecakes and I learned that bamboo skewers are not a good substitute for lollipop sticks. No matter how clean the cut is, you'll still get splinters.

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FULL RECIPE

Cheesecake Pops
(makes 30 – 40 pops)
(from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O'Connor)


5 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temp
2 cups granulated 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
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

Assorted decorations such as chopped nuts, colored jimmies, crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars, dragees) - Optional

Instructions:
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.

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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 its 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 as needed.

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

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65 comments:

zorra said...

Yes, the power of DB let me do these Pops too! Yours look perfect

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I was totally surprised at how fun these were and how good. I considered the mascarpone and will be sure to try it when I do these again!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Perfect! Very pretty and delicious looking!

Cheers,

Rosa

Dolores said...

Mascarpone cheesecake... I learn something new with each Daring Baker challenge.

HoneyB said...

As always, your food looks delicious! I like how you baked yours!

Aran said...

Well done!

maybahay said...

very sophisticated looking pops. these will make great after-dinner treats

Y said...

I don't really like cheesecake either, but definitely had fun making these little pops :)

Madam Chow said...

Great discovery about the mascarpone. And I used bamboo skewers, too!

Deborah said...

I've never tried substituting mascarpone - I'm going to have to do that! Your pops look lovely!

Gretchen Noelle said...

These look very decadent. Great job with them!

Judy @ No Fear Entertaining said...

What a great idea subbing the marscapone for the cream cheese. I bet they were delicious!

kim at allconsuming said...

Very sensible to make a smaller batch - it made a LOT.

Yours are very sweet indeed.

Veron said...

well for someone who does not like cheesecake you sure did a fabulous job!

Christine said...

I love mascarpone! Next time I will try that instead of the 5 blocks of cream cheese. I love that you baked them in ramekins. Your cheesecake pops came out beautiful and look delicious!

Sarah said...

Marscapone would be a great addition! Yum! Your pops look great!

Jerry said...

Great job! Glad the substitutions worked.

Rachel said...

I love the mascarpone idea.

creampuff said...

Cream cheese AND mascarpone all together in one little perfect ball dipped in chocolate ... where do you live again???

Mary Ann said...

Interesting take and info! They look yummy!

glamah16 said...

You may not have been baking much lately, but they look like perfection. Thanks for the tips too.

Anne said...

They're simply lovely :)

VeggieGirl said...

I too have never been a fan of cheesecake; but for some reason I LOVE vegan "cheese"cake, haha ;0)

I absolutely LOVE your variation of the cheesecake pops - so innovative, and brilliant!

Lis said...

Ouch with the splinters! sheesh.. be careful ;)

They look delish! I left a similar comment on another gal's blog - she also isn't a big cheesecake fan, but seriously this cheesecake is so creamy good that you just have to like it. :D

Beautiful job, sweets!
xoxo

Gabi said...

Beautiful lollies- I like the 50/50 mascarpone idea and will try that next time. Good of you to make this not liking cheesecake yourself.

BC said...

Daring Bakers rule again! This cheesecake was great.

marye said...

Mary these are fantiactic

Baking Soda said...

You did a marvellous job for a non-cheese cake lover! I halved the recipe, can't fathom the mounds of cheese cake with a full recipe!

Susan said...

Good to know about the mascarpone conversion (in both directions). Your pops are lovely, cheesecake fan or not!

Nemmie said...

They look beautiful! I am not a huge fan of cheesecake either, but really loved the consistency of this cake.

Great job!

Sheltie Girl said...

You did a fabulous job on your pops. Very pretty.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Half Baked said...

Your pops look perfect! Nice job!

Dagmar - A Cat in the Kitchen said...

Beautiful pops!

Lina said...

your cheesecake pops look perfect! I just joined DB and will be starting next month! So excited! :)

Bumblebutton said...

They are beautiful! Even if you aren't a cheescake fan!

Andrea said...

The marscarpone sounds like a wonderful addition!

Jen Yu said...

Nice job, Mary. I'm with ya on the whole cheesecake thing, but I think you did them quite beautifully :)

Melanie said...

They look great and I'm sorry you ended up with splinters. Hopefully they were worth it!

Jenny said...

Splinters... in your tongue too? Yeowch! Thanks for the tip on a mascarpone cheese substitute. I can only seem to find it certain times of the year!

Jenny said...

Nice to see you around Mary. Need me to send you some lollipop sticks for your next batch? Not that the bamboo skewers don't look great, they do.

mimi said...

yumm, mascarpone cheesecake sounds delish! your pops came out so beautiful and smooth!

Rebecca said...

As always, your stuff looks wonderful. Mascarpone makes me wonder what cheesecake would be like with well-drained Greek yogurt!

Faery said...

They are beautiful and so regular in size(not like mine)) I did not know about the mascarpane thing, maybe that is why this cheesecake is different in texture from others cheesecakes,thanks for the baking tip

culinography said...

These are lovely, Mary! Well done!

Claire said...

Your pops looks wonderful! I was going to do the same thing you did and 2/5 the recipe, but I did not get a chance to make it this time. :-( Glad you did and discovered that you like the pops!

Cakelaw said...

Glad you liked these, even if cheesecake is not your favourite thing. Your pops are very cute.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

mascarpone cheeseckae--delicious! they are so perfectly spherical, too...lovely!

RecipeGirl said...

They look so perfect! I like the sub of mascarpone. Will have to try that next time :)

L Vanel said...

I also had to sub the cream cheese for white farmers cheese and they came out great anyway. Your pops really look great. Lots of fun!

Courtney said...

i hope you become a cheesecake convert! and those look like something you would buy at a fancy chocolate shop...well done!

Meeta said...

simply lovely mary. they look adorable!

Antonio Tahhan said...

absolutely beautiful!! I love the idea of using half cream cheese and half mascarpone!

familiabencomo said...

Mary, dear, yours are wonderful! I have to confess that I'm not a huge fan of cheesecake either.... why the heck didn't I halve the recipe?!?! I love what you did & thank you for the mascarpone tip.

xoxox Amy

Renee said...

They look wonderful! I love the idea of using marscapone. Yummy.

SweetDesigns said...

Great pops. they look fantastic!

Dharm said...

Wow.. Mascarpone cheesecake - now that is something Daring!! Well Done!

Bake your cake and eat it too said...

skewers were a better idea than my toothpick idea. lol. they look awesome!

judi0044 said...

Glad to see you're back - I've been checking! Thanks for the tip about the mascarpone substitute - it's it big help when I need some and can't drive 30 minutes to pick some up.

kitten said...

yum...the 50/50 combination of cream cheese and mascarpone sounds so good. , i'll have to give it a whirl. your pops look adorable !

Anna said...

Ooohh, these look great and very fun to make...I'll have to plan ahead a bit, but I know everyone at work will love them.

Pilar - Lechuza said...

I've seen many cheesecake lollipops in some blogs theese days, but I have to admit, yours look very nice and delicious. Good work!!
Kisses from Spain

marion - il en faut peu pour ... said...

they look very cute :) congratulations !

Molly Loves Paris said...

I'm so glad that I'm not the only one who doesn't like cheesecake all that much. The mascarpone sounds like a nice alternative to so much cream cheese. I also learned that skewers don't make it as popsicle stick substitutes. IKEA straws would have been better. Your pops look very nice.

Oye Cookie! said...

great looking pops!!

Hillary said...

You daring bakers did such a good job this month! Yours look fabulous! They look like taffy apples...but cheesecake!