This months Daring Bakers Challenge was from one the combo of Elle and Deborah. Deborah is one of my favorite bloggers in that she was one the first people to notice my new food blog and comment. I have never seen a more supportive blogger! Elle and Deborah chose Cheesecake Pops from Jill O'Conners Sticky. Chewy, Messy, Gooey. When I first saw the challenge I was kind of taken aback( I like cheesecake, but I'm not obsessed with it), but how more American can you get than with cheesecake and these cute pops! I didn't underestimated these would be easy. But I didnt have a enthustiactic feeling as I did with most challenges. Nevertheless I purchased some Merkens Wafers, and a mini heart shape cheesecake pan. I know the recipe called for scooping out the mixture to form the balls, but I wanted to play with the small shapes. I added Butterscotch Extract. The batter really rose tall in the heart shaped mini cheesecake pans and fell just a little once removed. I did the requisite chilling and started to work. I purchased two colors of wafers. Because I purchased in bulk, they were no instructions. I looked on line and read I could microwave them. Thankfully I only micro waved a bit, and I over nuked them to a caramelized crunch. I dug out the double boiler and decided to mix the two colors. This is where the trouble accelerated. My coating was very thick. I was getting tired of manipulating it to the pops. I did it small batches. Suddenly right before I was about to chuck the whole mess, I reread the instructions and forgot to add the shortening. It helped a bit. Some of my pops fell apart while coating. Maybe they were not frozen enough in my impatience. My hearts would have been more perfect with the thinner coating. I had to slice the hearts down to size, but the coating masked the shape. I kept adding my pan back to the freezer to hold. I tried squeezing some coating from a squeeze tub but had difficulty. I had lots of decorating supplies and sprinkles, various colored sugars, laid out, but this project needed more speed in decorating than artistry. Once my pops solidified a bit I went back and added gold luster to them with a brush. I did not make forty pops. I saved half of the mix to just scoop up and eat plain throughout the week. I prefer my cheesecake plain, or with a light fruit. I though the candy coating was little overkill. Kids would love it perhaps. My final verdict:
With all that's going on on with me, I'm glad I rose to the challenge. Despite my failure, I learned more about sugar craft and candy with this exercise. So thanks Deborah and Elle. But the other Daring Bakers and their creations.