Cheesecake Whimsy

>> Sunday, April 27, 2008


I have had my eye on this cookbook for a while now but kept telling myself that I didn't really NEED it. So once the Daring Bakers chose one of its recipes as this months baking challenge I took it as a sign that I should probably have it after all. The recipes are truly inspiring. Theres the Chocolate Marscapone Cheesecake Pots with Shortbread Spoons. You actually make little spoons out of shortbread cookies to eat the Cheesecake Pots with. Purely genius! Or the Rich Risotto Rice Pudding, it looks divine, served with caramel sauce. And then ofcourse there is the Cheesecake Pops, which brings me to this months Daring Bakers Challenge.



Little balls of decadent cheesecake sitting on a stick and dipped in luscious chocolate. What could be more fun than this? The creativity came in the decorating. I knew they could be really cute decorated with sprinkles and bits of candy and perhaps some colorful bows. And instead of the (recommended) round balls of cheesecake I chose to cook mine in a mini muffin silicone pan. This would give me a wonderful flat surface to use something else I had had my eye on for a while: Chocolate transfer sheets. They work like magic. You can use them on anything chocolate to create a whimsical edible design.


I used a 2 oz. cookie scoop to fill the mini muffin pan with. I then baked as directed for 20 minutes and let them firm up for a bit in the fridge. I was then able to pop the mini cheesecakes out by pushing up from the bottom of the silicone cups. I then put them on a cookie sheet and inserted lollipop sticks through the center. I then froze as directed and it worked like a dream.

I was then able to dip each pop in bittersweet chocolate, and before it dried I either rolled them in bits of toffee, or pressed them in real chocolate sprinkles. And some I used the chocolate transfer sheets on. I found a variety of sources that sold them over the Internet. Here is where I found the designs I used on the pops. The designs come in sheets that you can cut to the size you need. I cut mine into 2 inch squares and pressed them into the chocolate before it dries. Because the cheesecake is frozen you need to work really fast because the chocolate sets very quickly. You then wait a few minutes for the chocolate to set completely and you peel the sheet off and it leaves a wonderful little design.

Here is the recipe as given to us from the Daring Bakers Elle and Deborah. My alterations are stated above.

Cheesecake Pops
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, confectionery 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 spring form 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 confectionery chocolate pieces) as needed. Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.
You can check out the other Daring Bakers and there Whimsical pops here.

44 comments:

Gina MarySol Ruiz April 27, 2008 at 1:24 PM  

These are insanely gorgeous! I have to try this for my next round with cheesecake pops.

Heather April 27, 2008 at 1:28 PM  

Wow! Those are so beautiful! Great job!

HoneyB April 27, 2008 at 1:35 PM  

You did a beautiful job! I will have to look for the chocolate transfer sheets. This is the first time I have heard of them.

Katrina April 27, 2008 at 1:48 PM  

Those are adorable! I love the idea of baking them to shape!

sterling April 27, 2008 at 1:55 PM  

Those are stunning...and no sticky hands rolling the cheesecake balls! I feel the need to head out and look for the chocolate transfer sheets right now!

Dianne April 27, 2008 at 2:03 PM  

Oh wow! Completely stunning!

Jeanine April 27, 2008 at 2:05 PM  

Wow!! Those are the most beautiful cheesecake pops that I have seen! Those chocolate transfer sheets turn them from beautiful to spectacular! LOVE the idea of baking them in that shape too! You've raised the bar! :)

pixie April 27, 2008 at 2:20 PM  

I actually wanted to bake mine in molded mii tins but I was afraid they would not unmould. Beautiful pops! I love the chocolate transfers! they are not available here though.... congratulations!!!

enza April 27, 2008 at 3:45 PM  

simpy originale, congratulation!

Amy J. April 27, 2008 at 4:24 PM  

OK, my jaw is hanging open and I'm speechless! I'm going to have to get some of these transfers. Home baker or glam chef?! The world may never know! :)

Barbara Bakes April 27, 2008 at 7:11 PM  

These are so elegant! Almost too pretty to eat!

The Original Test Dummy April 27, 2008 at 7:26 PM  

Sarah,
You've outdone yourself, absolutely beautiful. They are way to pretty to eat! And Cyn I am so jealous! I bow to your amazing skills Sarah!

Tisha

Faery April 27, 2008 at 7:42 PM  

wow wow wow these are awesome ,beautiful

Candace April 27, 2008 at 8:30 PM  

Fantastic job! The chocolate transfers really dress them up!

Tammy April 27, 2008 at 8:47 PM  

wow, they are so amazing!!!!! It puts my pops to shame!

Deborah April 27, 2008 at 9:46 PM  

I have always wanted to try the chocolate transfers - your pops look amazing!

maybelles mom April 27, 2008 at 10:07 PM  

Chocolate transfers, very fancy. I love them.

Chantal April 28, 2008 at 7:36 AM  

Fantastic!!! I'll definitely try this some time.

Paula A April 28, 2008 at 7:42 AM  

These are awesome...too pretty to eat! I am going to have to look into these transfer sheets

Kim April 28, 2008 at 8:07 AM  

They are just incredible, I love the shapes and the transfer. Will have to give this a try. My family lives in New England, oh how I miss the quaint old homes.

Rosa's Yummy Yums April 28, 2008 at 8:21 AM  

OMG, they look extremely pretty! I love the decoration you used!

Cheers,

Rosa

Sheltie Girl April 28, 2008 at 9:57 AM  

Simply divine job. I love your use of the chocolate transfer papers they make the pops look extra special.

Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

Jacque April 28, 2008 at 10:56 AM  

Those are some seriously high-class pops! Wow, terrific job and love the photography :)

Katie B. April 28, 2008 at 11:04 AM  

I am in awe of your pops! Beautifully done!

TERESA April 28, 2008 at 11:49 AM  

Wow, Amazing¡¡¡¡¡¡

This are proffesional pops¡¡¡, and your decorations is so nice¡¡¡¡¡

Well done¡¡

Em April 28, 2008 at 12:20 PM  

Holy mackrel! Girlfriend, you knocked the ball straight on outta the park!!!!!

Awesome :)

docnita April 28, 2008 at 5:13 PM  

Sarah,

Amazingly beautiful! I still envision you selling your edible artwork in a little village shop someday! You amaze me!

Anita

docnita April 28, 2008 at 5:13 PM  

Sarah,

Amazingly beautiful! I still envision you selling your edible artwork in a little village shop someday! You amaze me!

Anita

creampuff April 28, 2008 at 9:31 PM  

That is just stunning! Well done!

Felicia April 29, 2008 at 12:53 PM  

What delicious looking cheesecake sticks!

encarna April 29, 2008 at 1:41 PM  

omg, sarah, you continue to out-do yourself! These are absolutely amazing!

Anonymous April 29, 2008 at 9:47 PM  

WOW...Sarah, stunning... so beauitful!! loves the photos too.
Can you do anything wrong? You make me sick...lol.
Give yourself a pat on the back.

~Soap

Barbara April 30, 2008 at 7:32 AM  

OMG. Those are just stunning!

Anonymous April 30, 2008 at 8:21 PM  

Sarah - these are absolutely amazing!!! You've definately found your niche! Keep up the GREAT work! Love, Jen :o)

mad knitter May 2, 2008 at 1:47 PM  

Sarah -

Incredible work, and just so impressive! They look so yummy, too!

marion - il en faut peu pour ... May 3, 2008 at 5:51 PM  

I can't believe my eyes !!!!! It's not pastry, it's art !!!!!
Congratulations !!!!!

Pixie May 4, 2008 at 2:12 AM  

Incredibly stunning- best i've come across to date!

Texana May 12, 2008 at 2:17 PM  

How gorgeous are those! Great Job!

Katia May 13, 2008 at 12:24 AM  

Hi Sarah,
I can't believe I haven't visited in so long! The pops are absolutely wonderful, as are the other yummies you've been making! I was a little bummed to have missed this challenge, but hopefully I'll be able to get my act together and make the next one.
The blog looks really good!
xo Katia

jain September 16, 2008 at 10:22 PM  

CUTE CUTE CUTE! i just so happen to have some transfer sheets, what a super idea!

Susie Homemaker September 16, 2008 at 10:51 PM  

Oh Wow. I had been thinking of transfer sheets but I was too scared to try them on a full sized cake. This idea is PERFECT!! Now I just need a really cool ocassion to try them out!
Beautiful job.
Susan of www.doughmesstic.com

Rachelle September 17, 2008 at 1:59 AM  

Beautiful! They look really neat with the transfer sheets.

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