Daring Bakers: Cheesecake Pops

Or, in my case, Cheesecake Truffles.

And squares.

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 πŸ˜‰

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.

Thank you to Elle of Feeding My Enthusiasms and Deborah of Taste and Tell for hosting this month and selecting such a scrumptious challenge!

Cheesecake Pops
(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
ΒΌ cup all-purpose flour
ΒΌ teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
ΒΌ 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

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.

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33 Responses

  1. Nice!!! Looks good. I like the drizzling.

  2. These look so pretty with the drizzled chocolate! I’m definitely saving this recipe to make again. They would make great gifts at Christmas or for snacks at parties. Have fun at the beach πŸ™‚

  3. Nice job – and great great pictures. I’m such a camera moron and sit in awe of people who take great pictures.

  4. They look awesome!! I am glad you were finally able to use the pan. The drizzling makes for one prefessional looking truffle pop. πŸ™‚

  5. beautiful Chelle! your truffles look amazing. cheesecake and chocolate is one of my favorite dessert combinations. i’m gonna have to go find one of those square shaped pans, cause those look adorable πŸ™‚

  6. Really beautiful! I love the drizzled effect. True that you really need a lot of freezer space to use the sticks, but I think the eating is easier without them.

  7. Great job- the square shape and the drizzling look fab!

  8. Pops… truffles… it’s all good! And yours look beautiful!

  9. Really nice job. Your drizzle effect turned out wonderful.

  10. Your cheesecake truffles look AMAZING! Well done.

  11. Your truffles look great! I love the contrasting drizzle. I had to do quite a bit of rearranging to be able to fit my pops in the freezer–the lollipop sticks do make it rather challenging.

  12. Oooh, cheesecake truffles. Now THAT’S a great idea! They look fabulous!

  13. You make such great truffles

  14. truffles is a great idea! I should have ditched the sticks and gone for truffles!

  15. Dang! These look tasttteee. Great job. Can you send me some? I think that cheesecake balls will help me get A’s. I know it!

  16. Beautiful beautiful beautiful. I also did this but mine weren’t half as gorgeous as yours. Excellent result.

  17. I have a drawer freezer, but laid mine on their sides for freezer time. They were so close to the light I had to take a picture! Great job on yours though…they look yummy and I love things you can just pop in your mouth!

  18. I LOVE that you made them truffles b/c EVERYONE I looked at reminded me of some gourmet truffles…and you actually made them that! Yum! They look fabulous!

  19. They look fabulous – I must invest in one of those pans! Hx

  20. Cheesecake truflles rock!! They look wonderful!

  21. They are beautiful! Love the truffle idea, great job!

  22. those look fantastic! i love the idea of turning them into truffles–and yours are so perfectly round!

  23. Those a GORGEOUS! Great job on your challenge. I like the use of the square muffin pan – hmmmm, something I don’t have in my collection… ideas πŸ˜‰ The truffle idea is terrific.

  24. The squares are adorable and i love the truffle idea. Great job on these!

  25. Your pops look delicious!

    I had a similar problem with my freezer, it was too narrow to fit a cookie sheet so I had to improvise in order to freeze my pops.

  26. Mmm cheesecake truffles. Just the name makes them sound extra special! I love the thick chocolate drizzle on top of them. Yum.

  27. great great great job πŸ™‚ congratulations !

  28. Great job! I want that square tin!

    I’m glad the recipe worked without the water bath. I hate using a water bath.

  29. i could only fit about 8 pops in my freezer at a time, because i only had one shelf in my freezer where i could fit them. your “truffles” look great, beautifully drizzled πŸ™‚ i giggled when i saw the 3rd pic – you can see the teeth marks πŸ˜‰

  30. Seriously, you inspired me to make them. And they’re fabulous. Absolutely wonderful, especially as bonbons… I think I’m going to keep a freezer bag too, though I shouldn’t!!!

    Yours are so beautiful!

  31. I hope you are enjoying your holiday. Coming home is going to be heaps easier now that you have a freezer full of these delicious looking treats. Yum!

  32. I own that same square muffin tin… thanks for offering another suggestion for using it… because this recipe’s definitely a repeater even if it DOES make a mess. Great job…your truffles are stunning.

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