So, this month the challenge was set by Elle and Deborah and well, YUM.
But you know me, I’m not good at the fancy and the fiddly, so I was a little scared, particularly when some DBs posted their results on our secret site which were, well, bloody impressive.
Anyway, we had a gathering at a friend’s place yesterday and I thought they’d be great to take so it was game on.
Of course, I didn’t envisage getting gastro in the middle of preparations.
I can vouch for the cheesecake being delicious in and of itself, but as to how they taste dipped in chocolate and doused with sugary morsels? I’ll have to take the children’s verdict on that one, which is that they are an absolute winner.
- 5 x 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 (I forgot to get these so we just had balls and other assorted shapes)
- 1 pound chocolate, finely chopped –all one kind or half and half of dark, milk, or white
- 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.
This is a lot harder than it sounds. I realise now that what is cooked for cheesecake is undercooked for cheesecake chocpops. It was a divine consistency if it had been for a slice of fat-for-the-hips, but for rolling into balls? It was nearly impossible. Gloop is a good word for the bits near the middle but you know, I perservered.
- 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.
In light of my balls-up of the balls (haha – geddit) I did some slices/squares and half dipped them, which also looked quite impressive.
- 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.
You know, normally, I probably would have vacuumed down a dozen of these without blinking. But making them coincided with me being struck down with a virus that involved my body working hard at exiting food rather than ingesting it. Shame really. The children have given them a big thumbs up. Prior to them succumbing to the same illness.
So, by some bizarro world twist of fate, a whole container of cheesecake chocpops sits in our fridge, untouched.