Sunday, April 27, 2008
Daring Bakers - Cheesecake Pops
Elle of Feeding My Enthusiasms and Deborah of Taste and Tell are co-hosts of this month's DB's challenge - cheesecake pops.
When I first saw this month's DB's challenge, my feelings were mixed. I love cheesecake, and the pictures of the cheesecake pops sure were cute; but on the other hand, the practical side of me was saying, "why?" I knew that it was going to take a lot of effort and a lot of mess to produce these bite-size treats, and when cheesecake tastes so good on its own, I wasn't sure that I could see the point. However, after completing this challenge, I can say, yes, it is time consuming; yes, it is messy; but boy oh boy, are these delicious!!!! These creamy, smooth bites of cheesecake on sticks are encased in a crispy chocolate shell (lollies optional), and the combination is rich, decadent and altogether other worldly.
Elle and Deb invited us to use shapes other than round balls for our pops. I had grand plans of making flower shaped pops, and decorating them with ribbon with the sticks stuck in florist's foam in a vase to resemble a floral arrangement. Alas, I found that the cheesecake was too soft to allow this kind of frippery, so I opted for geometric shapes (rectangles, squares and triangles) instead. This allowed me to make the best use of my round cheesecake, because uniform shapes were not necessary.
I used dark and milk chocolate to coat my cheesecake pops, not because of my brilliant forethought in planning for variety, but because my non-mathematical brain thought that 250g of dark chocolate equalled a pound. It was sheer luck that I had a block of Cadbury Dairy Milk in the cupboard that I could use to make up the shortfall in dark chocolate. However, as far as finished results go, the dark 70% cocoa solids chocolate was a clear winner, both in workability and taste. The milk chocolate was very sweet, and because I forgot to add shortening to it, it tended to thicken much quicker, which meant that it didn't go as far and gave less-than-smooth results as it set more quickly.
I sprinkled the chocolate-coated pops with a combination of lollies. Some had red, yellow and green smarties arranged to make the rectangular pops look like traffic lights. These were my favourites, as I thought that they were kinda cute. I had to work quickly when sprinkling the lollies, as the chocolate dried very quickly on the frozen cheesecake. I found that it was a disaster to to attempt to roll the chocolate-coated pops in lollies to get a more even coating, as the chocolate tended to dribble all through the lollies, making a mess and ruining them for any other use.
If you would like the recipe for cheesecake pops, it is available here. Thanks to Elle and Deborah for choosing such a cute and delicious recipe this month.
Verdict - I loved the taste of these cheesecake pops, and would make them again in a heartbeat given an occasion warranting the expense and effort.