My First Daring Bakers Challenge – Cheesecake Pops


Wrapped and ready for Carley!

I learned about Daring Bakers from the What’s Cooking board on TheNest and from reading quite a few food blogs online. It seemed really interesting. So I decided to join.

Each month, members are presented with a challenge. For April, the recipe was selected by Elle of Feeding My Enthusiasms Deborah of Taste and Tell (Thanks for this gem). After looking over the ingredients and instructions, I felt somewhat overwhelmed, but excited about it too.

Since my niece (who was also my flower girl) is going to take her First Communion tomorrow, I decided to make these for her, since I won’t be able to make it to the church. With her insane sweet tooth, I have no doubt that she would enjoy these.

When I first read the instructions, I was shocked about the baking time of the cheesecake. It seemed to me that 35-45 minutes was not enough. When I made cheesecake in the past, it took 60 to 70 minutes to bake. After 35 minutes, I checked the chesecake, and it wasn’t firm. I let it bake for 10 minutes, and the top felt firm. So I took it out and let it cool before placing it in the refrigerator over night. Man, something must have been wrong with my fingers!! When I went to scoop out the cheesecake, it was so runny in the center that I had no choice but to put it in the oven again. I baked it for another 30-35 minutes, then I let it sit for about 2.5 hours, before making the pops. All was fine then.

With the exception of the baking time, there were no other problems. scooping the cheesecake was rather fun. I really liked how they turned out before dipping them, and I actually had one “plain.” I have to say that the cheesecake tasted wonderful (one of the best I’ve had).

Dipping them got a little messy, but it’s my favorite part. I had good time with it, and tasting the chocolate in between dips. DELICIOUS!

I would definitely make these again for friends. I may even do a sugar-free batch for Carlo. I just need to pick up some sugar-free chocolate melts from the lady on Morris Park Ave, and we’re good to go.

I’m looking forward to what we’ll be making next month!

– Carmella

Here’s the recipe below:

Cheesecake Pops
Makes 30 – 40 Pops

INGREDIENTS:

  • 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

DIRECTIONS:

  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.
  7. Alternately, you can microwave the same amount of chocolate coating pieces on high at 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth.
  8. 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.
  9. Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.

Yeah, I dare to be a Daring Baker!

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10 Replies to “My First Daring Bakers Challenge – Cheesecake Pops”

  1. Carmella, those are super cute cheesecake pops…hope your niece appreciated them. Sorry about the undercooked part, but those were the times given in the cookbook. I love you great attitude and agree that this is good cheesecake by itself. Glad you are a Daring Baker!

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