cheesecake (and a few pops!)

I have to – I feel a need to be honest with you though who knows why since this is the internet – come clean and let you know that this recipe was a terrible, but rather fortuitous mistake. I had set out to make the fluffiest of japanese cheesecakes, all spongy and airy and everything beautiful but what I turned out was a light sort of new-york cheesecake. but it made cheesecake pops! and that is all that matters; or all that really matters is that when life deflates your egg whites, you coat it with chocolate.

I had hoped very much to share with you my joy at succeeding at the known-to-be-difficult japanese cheesecake, but it is terribly humbling, though mostly terrible, to be defeated by a recipe.

it could have been a variety of things – such as my choice of cream cheese though I was very pleasantly surprised at how thick it was since people usually purchase the more-expensive philadelphia for its low water content; it could be an imperfect whipping of egg whites, though I was pretty certain I had done it pretty well.

it did taste very pretty though – I had adapted the recipe by putting in the zest of an entire large orange and its only fault was that it had not fluffed up, hence rendering it a sort of light american cheesecake. my parents don’t really enjoy cheesecakes or western desserts, usually eschewing things like mousses and fussy entremets and cheesecakes, and so I had to do something with this one.

its crustless state made me realise that it was ideal for cheesecake-pops, as seen in all these blogs, but what I never realised was just how difficult they are to make. first I cubed the cheesecakes, and then tried to squish them into dense rounds of cheeescake – but for this I realised my cheesecake was now annoying too light and it started crumbling. second, cheesecake tends to stick to everything, like your fingers, or plastic gloves, or clingwrap, and so you’ll need to keep washing your hands or whatever utensil you are using for this job.

they didn’t hold very well on the skewer I was using to dip them into the chocolate, and so I realised I had to freeze them – but also that dipping frozen balls (oh, haha) into chocolate makes the chocolate drop in temperature remarkably, thus making it too clumpy to coat the cheesecake balls properly.

so to finish a long story, I made delicious milk-chocolate-coated cheesecake balls that weren’t really like balls. so I call them pops!

here are my notes for making cheesecake pops:

  1. make a dense, dense, dense cheesecake. the sort that would sink in water like a block – please use your intuition to gauge this since the cheesecake probably wouldn’t survive thus step. this helps make sure they roll into balls neatly, and stay compact.
  2. freeze your cheesecake balls in the freezer for at least 30 minutes (I didn’t adhere to this rule too well myself which created a few problems) so that they don’t melt into your chocolate as you dip into them.
  3. prepare a baking sheet with waxed paper to lay the pops on after you’ve dipped them. I’m not sure about the techniques for terribly round cheesecake balls, but I fancy the rustic look and brilliant taste of the cheesecake balls should silence any complains about their not-roundness. and if not, get nicer friends!
  4. use chocolate candy coating to make things a lot easier for yourself. what I did was use a mix of chocolate with a knob of butter to try and approximate a candy coating. I liked this because it felt a little more natural, but primarily because I couldn’t find any coating chocolate before attempting this. you need to constantly reheat your mixture to make sure the chocolate flows and doesn’t just clump on the frozen cheescake ball.

I’ve stored mine in the freezer, as a sort of cheesecake-icecream mash-up because the chocolate coating adhered a lot better. and also because I quite like them cold. let me know how you get on if you ever try to make some cheesecake pops!

p.s. as you can see, I did that whole egg-separation trick I mentioned before and as seen on steamykitchen and it worked brilliantly. just make sure you wash the bottle clean out if you want to use it again after for water!

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