Sunday, April 27, 2008

My First Daring Baker's Challenge

Have you ever played Candy Land? The wonderful board game where you navigate through the land of candy...running from Lord Licorice, hanging out with Princess Lolly in the Lollipop forest and ultimately saving the King in the castle! As you can imagine, I loved this game as a child. It is a simple straightforward game made so much more interesting by a Candy Cane Forest and Gum Drop Mountain. I could never decide who I wanted to be, eitherPrincess Lolly or Queen Frostine. They were both so beautiful and lived in such delicious places.

Ok, I know that you are wondering why I am reminiscing about some board game I played last night...er...um...15 years ago...Well, my first Daring Bakers challenge, Cheesecake Pops, as chosen by Deborah and Elle, would fit in perfectly in Candy Land. They could live right next to the Lollipop Forest with their bright colorful sprinkles, chocolate coating and yummy cheesecake center.

I am very excited to be joining the Daring Bakers. Every month the members are secretly given a recipe to follow to the letter and then blog about it on the designated day. This was a fun challenge and I brought my pops into work for a baby shower. Everyone loved them! I followed the recipe as it was written and used the microwave method to coat them in chocolate.



Cheesecake Pops
(adapted from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor)

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.

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.

P.S. Check out the other Daring Bakers' Creations...

25 comments:

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Ooooo... purdy sprinkles.

Emiline said...

Ohh, those are so gosh-darn cute. I love the sprinkles. Takes me back.

Pixie said...

Well done on your very first challenge and welcome to the db!

sunita said...

Very pretty pops :-)

VeggieGirl said...

Candy Land was seriously one of my all-time favorite boardgames to play, when I was little - loved it!!

Ginny, you totally ROCKED your very first Daring Bakers Challenge - the cheesecake lollipops are stunning!!

LyB said...

Ginny, those are so cute and colorful! They look delicious too, your roommates must really love you! ;)

Brilynn said...

Well done on your first DB challenge, those look great!

Ally said...

Very pretty pops! Great job!

Elle said...

Those look great! Congrats on your first challenge!

cakewardrobe said...

I love the fact that you said these would fit right into Candy Land. That is my FAVORITE game!! I still have that game til this day! Your cheesecake pops look amazing!

Tartelette said...

Welcome to the DB! It's about time dare I say :)!!
The pops all look wonderful! Bravo!

Deborah said...

I love your reference to Candy Land - I was obsessed with it when I was young, and I have fun watching my nieces really get into it. Great job on this challenge - your pops look great!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Welcome to the Daring Bakers, Ginny! This was a fun one to start with. Your pops look adorable! I love the Candyland analogy. Well done!

Barbara said...

They're beauties! You did a great job on your pops.

Ginny said...

Marc- Thank you! I love sprinkles!

Emiline- thanks! I'm such a sucker for anything colorful!

pixie- thank you! I'm so excited to be a part of the group.

sunita- thanks! :)

veggiegirl- isn't it just the best! thank you! I tried!

lyb- The only way I can get away with making a mess of the kitchen is if I feed my roommates well...so I keep it up! :) thanks!

Brilynn- thank you very much!

ally- thank you! I'm so glad you stumbled onto my blog! :)

elle- thanks so much!

cakewardrobe- it is the best! have you seen the new version with new names? Where Mama Ginger Tree replaces Plumpy? hold on to your old game! :)

Tartelette- thanks! That is sweet of you! I'm glad to finally join the ranks!

Deborah- Thanks for the challenge! I loved it!

Susan- it was a perfect one to start with! very fun!

Barbara- Thank you for stopping by!

Sheltie Girl said...

You did a wonderful job on your pops! The are beautiful.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Jenny said...

Welcome, welcome to the Daring Bakers! Your pops look delicious. A true candy forest.

Ginny said...

Natalie- thank you! glad you like them!

Jenny- thanks! They were quite yummy (and to be honest, cheesecake doesn't normally thrill me- i'm odd like that)!

Marija said...

Cute sprinkles!
So good to have you with the Daring Bakers. Welcome!

Texana said...

Congrats on your first challenge, and on your very cute pops. Good job!

Ginny said...

Marija and Texana- thank you so much! I'm excited to finally join your ranks! :)

Mandy said...

welcome to the DB community!! I am glad you joined. :D Well done on the pops.

Gretchen Noelle said...

Lovely cheesecake pops! I think they would definitely fit well in candy land! Welcome to Daring Bakers!

Ginny said...

Mandy and Gretchen- Thanks! I am very happy to be a Daring Baker! :)

Mary said...

Your pops are so cute! Welcome to the DBs! (And whenever one of my nieces wants to play Candyland, I'm the aunt to go to. I love that game!)