Daring Bakers, April: Cheesecake Pops
It's that time of the month again ... meaning it's Daring Bakers time! Every month, hundreds of Daring Bakers are assigned a baking project by that month's host, and we have all month to bake it. At the end of the month, on the assigned day, we post our final product! This month, Elle and Deborah assigned cheesecake pops! At least a few had to be covered with straight chocolate, but we could also use whatever other "roll-ins" we wanted. I made a small, simple, straight-forward batch--just enough to make a couple handfuls of flavors.
These were pretty yummy! The cheesecake had an almost flan-like flavor. Between the snappy chocolate coating and the crumbly coatings, one had to be careful with eating these, though most held together pretty well. It's either the kind of dessert you have to eat while standing over the sink or with your plate right under your chin with your face jutted forward over it, or fed to you decadently while reclining in the tub or on a chaise lounge. Woot!
My flavors were chocolate sprinkles, honey apricot, ginger cookie, muddy buddy (peanut butter, chocolate ganache, vanilla, butter, and powdered sugar), chocolate peanut butter, peanut butter with chocolate sprinkles, almond, blue sugar, and dark chocolate.
A recurring problem with this recipe amongst the DBers was that the cheesecake didn't seem to want to set up within the prescribed bake time. That was frustrating to read, since I'm a stickler about published recipes being well tested. I halved my recipe, and I had to cook it the full time to get it to set well enough to have workable cheesecake--we had to be able to scoop it up into balls, or at least form it into balls with our hands. I was able to use spoons to form "quenelles." Although the recipe called for shortening, I decided to just use tempered chocolate, melting it, then letting it cool to body temperature, which also resulted in a thicker chocolate for dipping. Tempered chocolate will give you that bon bon "snap," and it will still set up quickly, especially since they're going straight into the fridge after dipping. I was really happy with the result, and really happy that I got to avoid having to buy shortening. The non-chocolate-dipped pops (honey apricot and peanut butter chocolate)
I combined all the crumblies left after coating to make a "special of the day."