They said it couldn't be done. 'Food on a stick?!' they cried. 'Don't be ridiculous. How could you eat, say, cake on a stick? Fish on a stick? Cheesecake on a stick?'
No one actually did say that, to my knowledge, but I'm sure they would have done had I proposed food on sticks.
To which I would reply airily, 'cheesecake pop?'
Yes, it's that time of the month. No, not that time of the month. Daring Baker time of the month. And because I like to start revolutions (albeit of the slightly limited, let's-eat-things-off-sticks kind, rather than the Call-in-the-Communists kind) I was ridiculously excited over it. Not least because I got to turn chocolate pink.
That wasn't in the recipe, or anything. I just saw the DB recipe and thought, 'this calls for pink chocolate'.
- This called for a ridiculous amount of cream cheese, so I, er, two-fifth-ed the recipe. It seemed to work. I'll give the quantities I used below.
- Lolly sticks were nowhere to be found round where I live, not even for ready money (customary Wilde quote slipped in there, sorry). I used cocktail sticks on a suggestion from one of my friends - this is the reason she got into Oxford, I think - and used a melon baller to size my pops. At least, I think it was a melon baller. I don't eat melon, so it could have been anything, on reflection.
- 35-45 minutes for a water bath cheesecake? BOLLOCKS. I upped it to almost an hour, and my cheesecake was half sized, and even so it was underdone!
- This meant I pretty much had to keep my pops in the freezer. In fact, there's no pretty much about it. I did. And I had to dip them in chocolate in batches, cause if they were out of the freezer too long they collapsed and dropped in the melted chocolate and I was forced to eat them. It was terrible. No, really.
- No, not really. But I did eat them. Yum yum yum.
These are the reduced quantities I used. For the real quantities, look on the DB blogroll and you should find them on more or less any blog there. For the actual directions, below, my adaptations or metric-isations are in red.
448g soft cheese
320g caster sugar
15g plain flour
1 tsp vanilla
25ml double cream
180g chocolate (in theory, but I used a huge amount, haha. About 300gish? Say 100g of each kind of chocolate, if you're doing it my way)
1 dessertspoon vegetable oil (rather than buy shortening)
Boiling water as needed
Thirty to forty 8-inch lollipop sticks/ cocktail sticks.
Assorted decorations such as chopped nuts, colored jimmies, crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars, dragees) - Optional
1. 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.
2. Grease an 8-inch cake pan (not a springform pan), and pour the batter into the cake pan. (I then wrapped this in foil to stop the water bath making it soggy; a little bit got in anyway but I'd definitely recommend using foil around the cake tin). 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, 45mins to an hour. It needs to be fully cooked!
3. 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. I used a melon baller, which worked. But my cheesecake was so soft I had to keep the pops in the freezer full time.
4. When the cheesecake pops are frozen and ready for dipping, prepare the chocolate. Microwave half the chocolate and half the shortening on high at 30 second intervals, 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.
5. 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. 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.
These did take a long time, mostly I think because I got so excited over decorating them (crushed biscuits to make it more cheesecakey, sprinkles, chocolate chips...) but they were such a hit with my family it was worth it. The crack of the chocolate and the soft cheesecake when you bit into them = total win.