Sunday, April 27, 2008

Cheescake pops and my first Challenge


I am very excited to tell you that I have joined 'Daring Bakers' and I have completed my first challenge successfully. Hurray !!! For the ones who are thinking what is this 'Daring Baker' group all about, let me introduce you to this group. " They’re a group of over 400 bloggers across the world that each bake the same recipe each month, chosen by fellow members".
So our challenge was to make Cheesecake Pops, chosen by dear 'Deborah' and '
Elle'. As the ladies have said,' 'These cute little bites of cheesecake, held on a stick and dipped in chocolate and, if you like, decorations, are sure to make you smile. The cheesecake is New York style, the pops can be jazzed up with different toppings, and they are FUN…just right for a party. They are from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor.''
The following is the basic recipe that we had to follow...

Cheesecake Pops

Makes 30 – 40 Pops

Ingredients:

  • 5 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 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 chocol
ate 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

Method :

  1. Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Set some water to boil.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.

What I did and Problems faced :
I followed the basic chesecake recipe, but halved it and baked the cheesecake in my eight inch pan. To make these cute lollipops I bake a cheesecake, create little balls from it and coat them in chocolate. It was all very straightforward but I found forming the balls quite messy and at times the cheesecake mixture came apart in my hands. I also found, as did several other Daring Bakers, that the cake took much longer to cook than specified –(60 mins and then also not brown on the top). Apart from this, I had fun decorating them...And it was a big hit in the party.

19 comments:

Michele said...

Wow-- yours turned out great! It was my first DB challenge as well (and I think they are up to almost 1000 DB members now... amazing, huh?).

I had some of the same problems as you did: my cake took about an hour and I thought the balls were too messy so I just cut mine into squares.

Yours really turned out cute and look so yummy!

xoxo

Michele

A Big Cup of Tea

Uma said...

looks delicious. mouth-watering. nice entry.

Jerry said...

Congrats on your first challenge! Great job!

Swati Raman Garg said...

this looks so goood... this is my first time here and i love ur writing style...

Namratha said...

Good going Divya, well done on your first challenge and welcome to the Daring Bakers :)

Divya Vikram said...

looks gorgeous Divya..great work!

Rachel said...

COngrats on your first challenge and well done...

Cham said...

Wow, this pops on the net make me hungry! They are gorgeous, great job!

Arundathi said...

Congrats on your first challenge - looks like you rocked it! :)

kamala said...

the Pops are looking cute Divya

Jenny said...

Welcome to the Daring Bakers! Your pops are adorable, you did a great job.

Divya said...

Thanks Michele ..Fun to be DB right !!
Thanks uma,jerry for wonderful words ..
Thanks swati ..I love your blog too
Thanks Namratha,Divya,rachel
Thanks cham ..wish i could send some across :)
thanks arundathi,kamala and jenny for stopping by and appreciating
Your words really means a lot to me

Srivalli said...

wow..that looks lovely!

Deborah said...

Great job on your first challenge!! Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

Barbara said...

Very pretty pops!

Sheltie Girl said...

You did a wonderful job on your pops!

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Gretchen Noelle said...

Wonderful job! They look cheery and tasty! Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

Jacque said...

Nice work! they look so festive :)

Sheltie Girl said...

Lovely job on your pops!

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go