Saturday, April 26, 2008

cheesecake pops with a swedish twist.

my first daring bakers challenge post! how exciting. i have to admit that ive been waiting all month to post this. i went ahead and executed the recipe at the beginning of april. well, i wanted to share it with everyone but had to wait. i thought about my changes and additions to the recipe for about a week before charging into the experiment full speed. and boy was i happy with the results - as was everyone else.

so when the recipe arrived, i thought "cheesecake? hmmm how can i make it special?" since i have a great pride for all things swedish and any swedish dessert, i decided to venture down that road. and what did i come up with? a few thoughts on typical swedish taste. and one spice in particular: cardamom. a basic type of ginger, cardamom is commonly used in nordic treats. when i searched the spice on a swedish recipe site, i found everything from cardamom waffles to cardamom ice cream to cardamom panna cotta to rhubarb pie with cardamom. it's extremely versatile and its aromatic flavor was exactly what i needed in my cheesecake.

well i can report that it was a super pleasant experience with a lot of fun in the kitchen. the time in the oven (35-45 min) recommended for the cheesecake was far too little. it took my cheesecake over an hour to finally finish baking. but when it was finished. it was wonderful. the aromatic smell just filled the kitchen. at one point, my mom and i wanted to bail on the recipe and just grab a spoon and eat it straight out of the pan -it smelled that good! but we restrained ourselves, and put it in the fridge over night.

the next morning, it was off to central market to pick up some milk chocolate baking discs. i love that you can buy them loose weight. plus, who can say no to a trip to CM? but sundays are dangerous (and delicious) because there are a million little employees handing you samples left and right.

okay, sorry i got sidetracked. back to the recipe. while at central market, i also picked up my other staple swedish item: anna's pepparkakor. the cardamom ginger snaps were perfect for my crumbled cookie topping on the outside of my cheesecake.

sure, my cheesecake pops are not pure perfection, as i am sure most of the other seasoned daring bakers' will be. but i had a blast. and i like the rough rustic look of my pops. and the result? do they taste swedish? more than expected. i loved them. and so did everyone who tried them.

the only problem? it's hard to stop after you've had one. you feel the need to have another. and another. and well...another.

here's the original recipe:

Cheesecake Pops
Makes 30 – 40 Pops
  • 5 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • Boiling water as needed
  • Thirty to forty 8-inch lollipop sticks
  • 1 pound chocolate, finely chopped – you can use all one kind or half and half of dark, milk, or white (Alternately, you can use 1 pound of flavored coatings, also known as summer coating, confectionary coating or wafer chocolate – candy supply stores carry colors, as well as the three kinds of chocolate.)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • (Note: White chocolate is harder to use this way, but not impossible)
  • Assorted decorations such as chopped nuts, colored jimmies, crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars) - Optional ((I used Anna's Pepparkakor in the original flavor...and crushed them up for the crumbs!))

Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Set some water to boil.
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.

Grease a 10-inch cake pan (not a springform pan), and pour the batter into the cake pan. 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, 35 to 45 minutes.

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.

When the cheesecake pops are frozen and ready for dipping, prepare the chocolate. In the top of a double boiler, set over simmering water, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, heat half the chocolate and half the shortening, stirring often, 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.

Alternately, you can microwave the same amount of chocolate coating pieces on high at 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth. 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 (dark chocolate drizzled over milk chocolate or white chocolate over dark chocolate, etc.) 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.

check out the daring bakers here. 


kim at allconsuming said...

Very cute indeed!

marye said...

they look great!

HoneyB said...

Whoever said something had to look perfect to be good? I think they look great! Wish I could try one of yours!

Bumblebutton said...

Nice job. Did you eat one for breakfast? I did!

Robyn said...

Those look great, and I like the rustic look too. Who needs fancy? ;-)

Susan said...

Great job, the cardamom ginger snaps sound very tasty. Welcome to the DBs!

farida said...

Cute looking pops!

glamah16 said...

How beautiful. Love the Sedish twist. Welcome to the DB's.

kimberleyblue said...

Mmm, cardamom, excellent idea! I bet they were great - they look excellent!

Dagmar - A Cat in the Kitchen said...

Great idea with pepparkakor! When making "normal" cheesecake I love to put some cinnamon in the bottom cake, so I can imagine that your pops taste great.

Antonia Stubbe said...

thank you everyone :) they were very tasty!
tackar dagmar!!

Jenny said...

I'm sure this is not the first time I have begged for this, but maybe the first time in your blog - please can I become Swedish? I love cardamom and would love your cheesecake pops!

Maggie said...

Yum, I love pepparkakor cookies!

culinography said...

These are wonderful! Congrats on a very successful first challenge and welcome to the DB'ers!

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

These look delicious!

Deborah said...

Wonderful job on your first challenge! The cardamom ginger snaps sound delicious!

Brilynn said...

Congrats on a first challenge well done! They look great and cardamom would be fantastic!

KayKat said...

I love the idea of using cardamom ginger snaps - am sure they tasted fabulous!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Beautiful! you did a great job!



marias23 said...

Fantastic job "Swedefying" this challenge with cardamom. You're making me wish that I had played with that wonderful spice too!

Lunch Buckets said...

mmmmm, I love me some cardamom :)

Marija said...

Cute pops!
Welcome to DB!

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