Sunday, April 27, 2008
As far back as I can remember, my mom has been making cheesecakes. ( I think I learned to make them prenatally!) It was made for company, holidays, and many special occasions. She made one with a sour cream topping and a chocolate cheesecake, which was our family favorite. Then she started making a New York Style cheesecake. It had a cookie crust and the cheesecake was tall and felt like it weighed several pound. The center of the cheesecake was so creamy it almost oozed out when cut. Once people had this cheesecake they'd ask for it again and again. At some point, while I was in high school, she started making them to sell. I usually helped her get the cheesecakes made. On one particular week-end before a holiday, she had a large order, something like 18 or 20 cheesecakes, I think. As we started making the cheesecakes, I reach over to turn on the water in the sink, it spits and sputters but no water comes out. As we're trying to figure out why we have no water, my dad walk in and informs us the a pipe has broken and he's turned the water to the house off! These things happen when you have a well and live on a farm. He promises he'll have the water on again as soon as possible. So with nothing more than a few gallon containers of water to clean up with, we made all 18 or so cheesecakes. After we finished them all, sometime later that evening, we had water again. Now that's a daring baker!
So I had no worries about making the cheesecake part of the challenge. Now scooping it out and attaching it to a stick was a different story! Although quite messy, it was a fun twist. However, I'm happy I didn't have to attempt it with no water!
Thanks Deborah and Elle for a fun challenge. Be sure to check out all the other DB'rs cheesecake pops.
Here is the recipe. It really does make about 40 pops. I dipped some into semisweet chocolate and some into white chocolate. I rolled some chopped pecans and some into finely grated chocolate. Then since they were already on a stick, I put them into a flower pot for a kind of cheesecake flower arrangement and took them to my book club.
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. (It takes at least 45 min. I think I baked mine 50.)
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.