Saturday

She who dares... bakes cheesecake pops

If you're reading this on the designated Daring Bakers' challenge day it means that I have managed to drag myself away from the beach, find an internet cafe and negotiate the trickeries of blogger formatting to post this. Yes, although I am currently on my sofa in chilly London, when you read this I should be in Cuba. God willing. I don't want to tempt fate before getting on the plane!

This month the Daring Bakers have grown a forest of cheesecake lollipop trees and, in between packing and trying to learn Spanish (I've got as far as 'Hola'), I've managed to make some too. I have to admit that initially I was sceptical about cheesecake on a stick. What's wrong with cheesecake in a big fat wedge with a chunky layer of crust on the bottom? However, I can see that these little fellas are very cute and would be perfect for a party or something a little bit different. Thank you to Elle and Deborah for the innovative challenge.

The pops are based on a basic vanilla cheesecake recipe which is baked in a water bath to ensure a rich and creamy result. I have used the water bath technique before and it definitely gives the cheesecake a real 'New York' consistency. It's also really easy. You just pop the cheesecake tin into a roasting pan and fill this outer pan with boiling water. Scented candles and bubble bath are optional. In the past I've used a loose bottom pan and even after wrapping it with layers of cling film I've ended up with a soggy crust. This time we were sensibly advised to avoid loose bottoms and it is definitely better to do so.
Once the cheesecake is baked you allow it to chill for a few hours (I left mine over night). When it is firm, you make your little balls (or other shapes - I used a heart cutter for variation). I was quite excited about this stage as I have a melon baller which I've used precisely once since pestering my mum to buy it for me about 6 years ago. With the help of the melon baller I was sure that delightful cheesecake orbs were well within my grasp. No. As I turned out less than perfect balls I decided to relgate this worthless piece of kitchen aparatus to the drawer once more. It's probably easier just to shape them with your hands.

Once you have prepared your shapes you can insert a lollipop stick. I decided to jazz the pops up by using edible sticks. I was searching for orange flavoured Matchmakers, but unfortunately I couldn't find any. In the end I used After Eight Mint Straws and Cadbury's Chocolate Fingers. I also think that those 'Mikado' biscuits that you get in France would be good as well. Once you have impaled your cheesecake balls they go into the freezer to harden.


When your pops are firm you can melt the chocolate in preparation for dipping. We added shortening to the chocolate in order to improve its consistency and I think it does make a difference as it was very easy to work with. I was, however, a little peeved when I greedily grabbed a stray piece of cheesecake from the counter, only to find out that it was a lump of lard. Yuk. The chocolate and shortening are melted in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until the mixture is rich and glossy. You then dunk your cheesecake and hope that it doesn't fall off the stick and into the molten mixture.

I finely chopped some of the leftover mint straws so that I could roll the minty pops in the crums to add texture and extra flavour. For the pops on the chocolate fingers I used digestive crumbs to give a nod to the typical cheesecake base.

I think that the minty pops would work well with coffee at the end of a meal: whereas the biscuity ones are good straight into your mouth:On reflection, I'm not sure whether I would make the pops again. Cute though they are, they are a bit fiddly and I did feel a little sad as I demolished my lovely cheesecake in the name of a challenge.
If you want to try these cheesecake pops you can get the recipe here. Be sure to go and see what the other Daring Bakers have done too.
Ps. Yipeee I made it across the Atlantic! I am now in Cuba and posting from the slowest computer ever with the sounds of salsa and the smell of mangos in the background. Unfortunately I have now given myself a craving for cheesecake! I will stop and look at all the other pop posts as soon as I am back.

22 comments:

Tartelette said...

I absolutely loved that you used Cadbury Finger cookies for sticks.. there are my favorites!! You did a great job Cheryl on the challenge once more!
Enjoy your vacation!

Joy said...

Wow you are speedy! Thank you very much. I am posting this on English time (officially Sunday there) so I can go and put my salsa lessons to good use now! I look forward to seeing your, no doubt, beautiful results when I am back online.

Dolores said...

Here's hoping you're enjoying your vacation. I love your heart shaped pops, and the edible sticks idea is brilliant. Great job!

chelley325 said...

These looks absolutely wonderful! Great job! Enjoy your vacation :)

Bumblebutton said...

The hearts are so sweet! Great job--and extra points for posting this while you are on vacation!

Pixie said...

lol go lie down on the beach! you are one dedicated daring baker....they look great and love the idea of the edible sticks. :)

chriesi said...

Great pops!

Magnolia Wedding Planner said...

What a wonderful idea! These lollypops are fantastic even for a wedding! Really thank you from the bottom of my heart! :-P
Silvia

marye said...

cookie sticks? Brilliant!

jasmine said...

Sigh...you want to be in Cuba, I want to be somewhere with pina coladas...and here we are making cheeseypops...

Sigh...

j

glamah16 said...

Cuba, How fab. Very creative and beautiful pops.

Lina said...

your cheesecake pops look wonderful! Good idea to use cookies for sticks! I just joined DB and will be starting with next months challenge! Im so excited!!!

Jenny said...

I really love the heart-shaped pops, although I'm not sure my cheesecake would ever have been firm enough to make that work. Have a wonderful time in Cuba.... I can't go there from my country, wah.

Gretchen Noelle said...

I LOVE the fact that you are in Cuba - what a treat! Your pops look amazing! Great job on these!

L Vanel said...

Really nice heart shaped pops. Looks like they came out perfectly!

Deborah said...

I love the heart shaped ones! Great job. I hope you are enjoying your time in Cuba - sounds like fun!!

Lunch Buckets said...

Hola! Hope you're enjoying your holiday. Brilliant idea to use the cookies for sticks!

~Amber~ said...

Beautiful looking cheesecake pops, they look incredible.

nek0 said...

The heart shaped ones are mega-cool! Sooo cute! :D

Mike of Mike's Table said...

These look absolutely amazing. Very nice work and I hope you enjoy your vacation!

Joy said...

Thank you for all your great comments - it was a real treat to come home to them!

zlamushka said...

Joy, so many cute cheescake pops. I dont think I ve ever had any. Cooking for events? I am hosting Tried & Tasted event dedicated to cooking from other blogs. This month, we re cooking from Cynthia. Up for the challenge?