Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Daring Bakers Play with Cheesecake

I'm a little late with this Daring Bakers post, but April was one of those months where life just completely overwhelmed me and took over (That's also why there are no pictures in this post). But better late than never, right?

This months challenge was hosted by Deborah and Elle. The recipe they chose was for Cheesecake Pops from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor. The cheesecake pops involve making making a cheesecake, scooping them into little balls, placing sticks in them, freezing them, then dipping them in chocolate and decorated however we wished. Normally, this is the type of challenge that I would relish and take to extremes. But with how busy life has become, and the increasing exhaustion of this pregnancy, I just didn't have the energy to go all out the way that I wanted to.

Overall, I would say this was a great concept, but only a good recipe. Before I made the recipe, I read that several other Daring Bakers had trouble getting their cheesecake batter to set sufficiently. Unfortunately, I had the same problem. When it came time to form the balls, I found that the cheesecake was well set around the edges, but not so much in the center. Though not fully set, however, it was firm enough that I was able to make balls and insert the sticks (or in my case, segments of drinking straws). After freezing them, the dipping and decorating went well (too bad I didn't manage to get any pictures).

I thought the finished product was quite good, and Psycling quite enjoyed these little pops as well. We also gave some to a friend, who sent me this email a couple of days later:

I just ate your cheesecake balls for breakfast O:-) Damn they were good. The cheesecake part was the perfect consistency for my taste and the chocolate give it a nice texture contrast. I loved them!

I guess they were a success :-)

Now for my assessment: I thought these were very good, but if (when) I make them again, there are a few things I'd do differently. First, I'd use my standard, go-to cheesecake recipe which has never failed me. It comes out perfect every time! Second, rather than making cheesecake pops, I think I'd make cheesecake balls. Perhaps it was because I had trouble getting the cheesecake to set, but the sticks didn't stay in well...the balls of cheesecake tended to fall off them. But little balls of chocolate covered cheesecake sound like perfection!

Sorry for the boring (late) post this month. Hopefully, I'll be back on track for the May challenge.