So, my cheesecake pops were frozen solid today, I didn't need to have worried about them at all. And the bamboo skewers stuck firmly into them too.
After I made the caramel walnuts the other week, I realised that making lollies requires some sort of holder to hold up the sticks, so I invested in a couple of circles of florist's dry Oasis - a dry spongy material used for floral arrangements and worked very nicely to stick my pops in while the chocolate was to set. The dry variant is a bit dusty, so I wrapped it with clingfilm and made sure to wash my hands, no idea what it's made of.
I melted half the amount of chocolate with half the amount of vegetable fat, mainly because I wasn't sure all would fit into my bain marie bowl. I'd also bought a (for me) large amount of sprinkles. I always look at them in the shops, wishing I could buy them and not really having a reason to. So I was rather miffed when last Friday I joyfully walked up to the isle where they are kept only to find that there were only Barbie themed ones! Though a little bit of digging around at the bottom shelf uncovered a dusty container with "no artificial colourings" sprinkles. So I bought one Barbie and the dusty one. Luckily I had some candied violets at home.
And so, with the chocolate ready melted and all my sprinkles lined up, I took out a few pops at a time from the freezer, unwrapped the cling film and dipped in the chocolate. Which set oh so fast and the sprinkles so didn't want to leave their containers. The round pops were the best for dipping, the square ones needed a bit of help with a spoon.
Also keeping in mind that a lot of Daring Bakers had had trouble getting the sticks to stay, I wanted to make sure to cover the pops completely with chocolate, once it set, I reckoned it would keep the stick in place.
Looking at the photo, I realise that I should not be let loose on innocent pops with such a big choice of sprinkles. I just try to put on as much as possible. Silly. Half way through the dipping, I got the idea to dip in dessicated coconut, which worked out OK (taste remains to be found out). Then I thought why not try sesame seeds and ground almonds, but neither looked very attractive, so I only made one of each.
Still, this month's challenge was a very good one and I'm definitely repeating this. Some lessons learned for next time:
- Cut the bamboo skewers in three, the sticks were a bit too long.
- Bake the cheesecake a bit longer still.
- Leave the cheesecake in the freezer overnight.
- Roll smaller balls of cheesecake
- Plan decorations in advance and dip the pops rather than sprinkle on them. Try toasted chopped hazelnuts and candied rose petals.
Also work out a way to store them in the fridge, today I placed them as close as I could on a couple of plates, placed a piece of kitchen tissue on top and covered with cling film. Hopefully the sprinkles won't go too soggy.
This was a great challenge! I had a great time, and I'm sorry that I didn't make the pops earlier.