Sunday, April 27, 2008

[Daring bakers] Cheese cake pops!

Note: French version is on my other food blog La cuisine de Babeth
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Hi my dear fellow food lover friends, today is the day the secret society: Daring Bakers reveals April challenge. We, the Daring Bakers, prepared with love a very cute surprise for you: cheese cake pops. I must admit I was never found of cheese cake while living in California and was never touched by the French cheese cake frenzy trend. But as a docile member I tried this month recipe. I just replaced the vanilla extract by real vanilla, and it's a real taste booster, a little je ne sais quoi that makes me fall in love with this cheese cake recipe.
I'm leaving tomorrow to visit my brother in Manhattan so I will give an other chance to American cheese cakes. I will keep you posted of course!

I'm a very lucky girl because my friend Jeff brought me from La Reunion more than 30 vanilla pods! Also here in Antibes, France I was unable to find lollipops sticks, so I just cut in 3 colorful straws. Even if there a huge Anglo community here on the French Riviera I was unlucky in my cream cheese quest. I asked for help to the Daring Bakers community and miss Tartelette told me that "Kiri" or "petit-suisse" will work well. Thanks a lot :-)


Here Elle & Deborah April's challenge:

Cheesecake Pops

Ingredients: 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

Directions:

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.

Previous Daring Bakers challenges:
-Julia Child's French bread
-Lemon meringue pie
-Tender potato bread

14 comments:

kimberleyblue said...

So pretty! I love the colourful sticks!

Molly Loves Paris said...

Wow, 30 vanilla beans. That could cost $75 is some places. I almost used straws, but I broke skewers in half instead. Vanilla beans sounds like a terrific idea for what to do to help cheesecake. I was tempted to put brandy into the batter, but I know so little about cheesecake that I chickened out.

Dana McCauley said...

These look grand!

Lunch Buckets said...

The bright colored straws look really nice with the sprinkles.

edamame said...

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Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

They look great! Very well done!

Cheers,

Rosa

Jerry said...

I love that you used real vanilla beans! They are so expensive here, probably like trying to find cream cheese there! Great job!

Tartelette said...

I remember the day I went home and made cheesecake for my dad with the individual mini kiri...unwrapping a load of them was killing my patience!! You did a great job on these! Enjoy NY!

Tartelette said...

I remember the day I went home and made cheesecake for my dad with the individual mini kiri...unwrapping a load of them was killing my patience!! You did a great job on these! Enjoy NY!

Fearless Kitchen said...

These are so cute! They look like a lot of fun. I've never been a big fan of cheesecake myself, but the next time I get an opportunity to host a crowd I might have to give these a try!

Deborah said...

I love how you can see all of the seeds in the pops without the chocolate - delicious!! Great job on this month's challenge!

(oh, and have fun in NYC - I'm going next month and can hardly wait!!)

Passionate baker...& beyond said...

I used bendy straws too & I love your pops, Marie. Am envious of the vanilla beans of course....lucky lucky you. Have a fun trip to NY!!

Sheltie Girl said...

Your pops are beautiful. I love the colored straws.

Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

Dolores said...

Your bright colored straws bring a sensational springtime flair to April's whimsical cheesecake pops. Great job!

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