Chocolate + Cheesecake = Chocolate Cheesecake Pops!
Now, I probably should have made them earlier in the month, but since I am hosting my Bunko group on May 1st I thought these might be a fun contribution to the evening. So, I just made them this weekend knowing that today (April 27th) was the day to post about them. I'll warn you now, that mine are more plain than everyone else who participated this month. I need to work on my decorating technique. I had a grand plan of doing a white chocolate drizzle over the milk chocolate, but let's just say the white chocolate chose not to cooperate with me and I ended up with a couple of not so pretty chocolate pops. Oh well, better luck next time, right? I just need another excuse to make something this decadent again (I'm sure the Daring Baker's will give me that opportunity throughout this year), so I can improve on my decorating skills.
I actually managed to remember to take some pictures throughout the process so, I can share those this time. The batter was a cinch to put together and was so nice and creamy.
I have never used a water bath when baking a cheesecake before, mainly because it made me nervous. I must say that it was for good reason, because it's hard to get the baking pan out of the water bath once the cheesecakes are finished baking. I did manage to spill some of the really hot water on the counter, but not me (I'm a bit of a klutz, so that's actually shocking that I didn't burn myself). I also didn't have the proper size cake pan, so I baked mine in two 8x8 square pans and it worked out well.
I forgot to take a picture of the cheesecake balls I made, but I would say that I made quite a mess of myself in the process. That was probably the most time consuming part of this challenge. Once the pops were frozen, I began to melt the chocolate for the dipping step. Doesn't melted chocolate look so decadent?
Be sure to check out the rest of the Daring Baker's posts, you'll be very impressed with the adorable little pops that they all made!
Makes 30 – 40 Pops
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
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 confectionary chocolate pieces) as needed.
Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.