When I first found out about this month’s challenge, I was ecstatic! I love cheesecake, I love chocolate, and I love bite-size things, so I was thrilled. I was also excited that it was something that I could make for Passover with minor adaptations. Had it been bread, I may not have been able to participate. I did a bit of research and took advantage of the fabulous DAB knowledge about going gluten-free and decided to sub out the flour with half the amount of corn starch. The making of the cheesecake went out without a hitch. I used a 9-inch springform pan (all I had), triple-covered with aluminum foil to prevent water leakage. Here it is during baking. Not sure if the bumps are bubbles or lumps in the batter…
I checked it after 45 minutes of baking and it was still fully liquid. Having read the comments on the forum about baking times and having some previous cheesecake experience, I let it keep baking until it look set. I’m not exactly sure how long that was, but I’d guess it was about 80 minutes. I wasn’t surprised it took that long because a) my oven runs a bit on the cool side, b) I used a smaller pan so it had more depth, and c) I probably let the oven cool down from too much time with the door open (between pictures and putting in the water for the water bath). I took the cheesecake out, let it cool and set it to chill. When I went to make the pops, I noticed that it had developed a thick skin (potentially from slight overbaking) but looked and tasted very creamy. I rolled the balls by hand, which was a messy and sticky endeavor but lots of fun. Here are the balls before getting the lollipop sticks.
Once they were frozen and ready for dipping. I slowly melted the chocolate in the microwave (my method of choice when I don’t care about tempering) and mixed in some hazelnut oil just to thin it out. I had a feeling that with the frozen balls, the chocolate would harden immediately and create too thick a shell. I probably should have added more oil, since it gave the chocolate a nice nutty undertone and it would have been better if it had been a bit thinner. I dipped the balls as quickly as I could, shaking of the excess as much as possible, and then dipped them in candy sprinkles. I had grand plans to do some with white chocolate decorations, but I ran out of time.
How did they turn out? They were delicious and a big hit at our Seder (Passover dinner), (along with some Chocolate-Covered Matzah Crunch, aka Matzah Crack, the most addictive and delicious Passover treat, pictured below). My only issue was that they were a bit hard to eat. When they were fully frozen, they lost their creaminess and were a bit insipid. When they defrosted a bit, they tasted great but the sticks just popped out of the balls, defeating the whole “pop” point. Also, the balls were a bit bigger than one bite so taking a bite would make the other half fall off the stick, so people had to hold the other half in their hands… not ideal hand-held food. Overall, though, I loved them and would definitely make them again, albeit smaller. They are delicious and have a great wow factor. Thanks to Elle and Deborah for the wonderful recipe and to all the DBers for the help and wonderful inspiration for the future.