Or, in my case, Cheesecake Truffles.
I love cheesecake. It’s my favorite dessert, and I will eat it in just about any form. Rolled in a ball and dipped in chocolate? Bring ’em on!
More about the challenge, and the recipe, after the break…
This was a fairly easy challenge, albeit a little messy. The cheesecake took quite a bit longer to bake than the recipe indicated, but the result was absolutely worth it – rich, creamy, and the perfect flavor. The recipe calls for a 10″ cake pan but since I don’t have one I split the batter between a muffin-style square tin (given to me by my friend Amber), and four mini springform pans. I went without the water bath.
After thoroughly chilling the cheesecake I set forth to scoop them into balls. This was definitely the messy part, as my hands and just about everything else ended up covered in a layer of cheesecake!
I had my lollipop sticks ready to go and then encountered a problem – I didn’t have enough clearance in my freezer to stick the lollipop sticks in. When I make buckeyes I usually use toothpicks, which I never have a problem with, but obviously the lollipop sticks are longer. I had already crammed all of the rolled balls onto a baking sheet and didn’t have space to insert the sticks sideways, so I just did without them. Hence, my pops became truffles.
I chose to roll all of the cheesecake balls in bittersweet (60%) chocolate and then drizzled with a combination of white and milk chocolates. I dipped a corner of each square cheesecake into the dark chocolate as well.
Although these took a little bit of work and were a bit messy, they are fabulous little treats. I plan on saving the recipe and will make them again sometime in the future. For now, I have a gallon freezer bag full of my cheesecake truffles that will serve me well when I want a late-night dessert snack. AFTER my beach vacation, of course 😉
EDIT: After having a few of hours upon returning from vacation, I think that the next time I make them (and there WILL be a next time!) I will coat them in semisweet chocolate instead of dark chocolate. I think the dark is just a bit too much of a bitter taste for the creamy cheesecake.
(Source: “Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey” by Jill O’Connor)
Makes 30 – 40 Pops
For the cheesecake:
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
For the pops:
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.
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.