I wasn't able to find cream cheese, and looking around on the internet, it seems to be uniquely American and the closest to it in Europe is mascarpone. So that's what I bought. Quite lucky really, because just when I was in the shop, I realised that I'd forgotten to look up the equivalent, so just went for the mascarpone. Pot luck!
But here it is, Daring Bakers April 2008 Challenge which is Cheescake Pops from the book Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor. The hosts this month were Elle & Deborah. The recipe was originally given in American quantities, but I have re-calculated in metric.
1.125 kg mascarpone
4.75 dl granulated sugar
0.6 dl plain flour
0.25 tsp salt
5 large eggs
2 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
0.6 dl extra thick double cream
400 g dark chocolate
2 tbsp baking margarine
sugary decorations in various shapes and colours
- Select two oven safe pans, one should be able to fit into the other and there should be room for water - this chesecake needs to be baked in a bain marie. My smaller pan is 32 cm x 22 cm x 5 cm. The original recipe called for a round non-spring form of 10" (25.4 cm) diameter.
- Place the larger pan in the oven and preheat on gas mark 3 (160 degrees C). Boil up some water in the kettle to have it ready for the baking.
- Combine the mascarpone, sugar, flour and salt in a bowl, whisking at the lowest setting.
- Add the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time.
- Finally add the vanilla extract and the cream.
- Grease the smaller pan and transfer the batter into it.
- Place the smaller pan into the larger, preheated one and pour hot water into the larger one, until it reaches at least half way up the sides of the smaller pan.
- Bake in the middle for about 60 - 80 minutes, until the cake goes firm and light golden.
- Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature - I speeded this up by resting the pan on ice blocks. Then I put it in the freezer for it to firm up further for about 4 hours and 30 minutes.
Then I cut it up into small-ish pieces and threaded on bamboo skewers, that I'd cut in half. At this point, things became a bit more difficult than I'd expected - either the cheesecake hadn't baked sufficiently and was too gooey in the middle or four and a half hours in the freezer wasn't enough or both. I started cutting in squares, but the knife had a lot of cheesecake stuck to it and their shape was ruined. So I took out the outer ones that were in a decent-ish square form and the rest I rolled into balls with my hands. Had to give up on the very last one, it was just too loose and creamy. At this point also the skewers didn't want to stay in either and so I decided to wrap each in cling film and leave in the freezer overnight, hopefully they'll go firmer and I'll dip and decorate them tomorrow. It's getting late and it's a school night.
Tomorrow I'llmelt the chocolate over another bain marie, this time on the hob. Mix in the margarine with the chocolate - this makes it easier to use apparently. Then I'll dip the cheesecake pieces into the chocolate, shake off the excess and sprinkle with the decorations.
Finally they need to chill for at least 24 h before serving. The should also be stored in the fridge.
By the time the cheesecake had finished baking, it had swollen up to be slightly above the edge of the pan, but not in any danger of overflowing. Once it started cooling, it sunk back into the pan.
If you are using a round cake tin, the main reason for not using a springform is that these often leak and there's danger of it doing so in the bain marie. Though some of the fellow Daring Bakers have used one anyway and it had worked out fine. When you first start whisking the batter, it'll be fairly thick and in my case at least a bit lumpy, but as soon as I added the eggs, it went nicely smooth.
Lundulph got to lick the bottom of the bowl and said it tasted like custard.
Here are the pops just before I put them back in the freezer: