Sunday, April 27, 2008

Daring Bakers - April '08 Challenge!

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


That's me skidding into this month's Daring Bakers challenge. :D I wanted to have a whole weekend where I wasn't doing anything so I didn't have to rush. Well, that sure wasn't last weekend because I was at Homecoming. And the weekend before that I was in Little Rock all Saturday with a college alumnae meeting that morning, and hanging out with a friend that afternoon and evening. I don't like to do a lot of involved baking (on an unknown recipe) during the week, because who knows what's going to happen after work from one night to the next. So that left me starting this one the day before our posting date. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

The cool psychedelic quality in the picture wasn't intentional, but I love it! Unintentional artsy-ness!

Elle of Feeding My Enthusiasms and Deborah of Taste and Tell are the hosts for this month, and their choice for our challenge is Cheesecake Pops from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor. I halved the recipe out of sheer fear (although I did use 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp. vanilla powder) - I just knew if I made the whole thing that *ahem* we would probably devour it in a matter of moments, only to have it show back up on the scales. Erk! Here is a time line of my progress.

Sat. 4/26:
10:30AM - Actively getting mise en place together, and I swear if my child comes over one more time asking to help I'm going to scream. Not that I don't want her to help, but I've already told her three freaking times, "I'll let you know when I start mixing." The last time I had to threaten her with NOT helping me if she asked me about it anymore. How the hell she even knew what I was doing in the kitchen, when she was in the living room, is beyond me.

11:40 AM - Cheesecake in oven. Mixing was easy, and Sweet Pea had fun helping. ('Finally! What does Mom think she's doing, putting me off like that?! It's not like I have a long attention span or a memory that overrides excitement at this point in my life.') Fears came to fruition when a little bit of the boiling water sploshed into the pan with the cheesecake instead of into the roasting pan, but I don't think it did much, if any, damage. I set the timer for 35 minutes to see how it is doing then.

12:15 PM - Timer goes off, signaling the necessity to peek at the cake. Because of other Daring Bakers' posts about having to cook their cheesecakes a long time, I anticipated great soupiness. However, the cheesecake feels pretty firm to the touch. Needs a little more time, though, so I put another 10 minutes on it. Hopefully by then it should be done.


Wow! How'd I get it that perfect?!

12:28 PM - Ohhhhh.... My goodness gracious.... I should not, I repeat, NOT, have taken a tiny bite from the warm-from-the-oven cheesecake. I've made them before but the recipes I have used give a dense cake. This one is soft and creamy....Clawd have mercy!!! Now I'm wishing I'd made the full recipe just to have one extra cheesecake to eat warm, burning the roof of my mouth because I couldn't wait to just make the darned little pops. No....it is all for the best, and truly a wise decision....


Ahem...

1:15 PM, 1:38 PM, 1:55 PM, 2:30 PM, 3:05 PM, 3:34 PM - Peek into fridge and lightly touch top of cheesecake, feeling it gradually getting cooler each time. Once I pinched off a little bite smaller than the size of a pencil eraser. If that's not enough to tick you off....

4:14 PM - FINALLY pull out cheesecake and use a measuring tablespoon to scoop out pops. Sous Chef Sweet Pea helps by putting the sticks in. Fun and messy, and I enjoy licking off my fingers when finished!

Nekkid pops!

4:35 PM - Sous Chef Sweet Pea is witnessed peeking in freezer, "checking" the pops....

5:30 PM - Time for dipping and decorating! I really enjoyed it. I guessed at the amount of chocolate to get, so about 5-6 of the pops go undecorated, but I'm sure they will not be culled. I did three kinds of decorations: little sugar flower decorations, finely chopped candied lime peel** and candied ginger mixture, and finely chopped candied orange peel** with Italian cocoa. Into the fridge while we have supper -- after we tried a couple of the plain, uncoated ones, that is.

**(I made the candied lime and orange peel sometime around Christmas - yum.)


Chillin' with my peeps, I mean pops

6:35 PM - Ohmigosh, these are great! And portion control - yay! I'm not sure which I like the best, but the ones with the candy flowers don't have anything competing with the cheesecake and chocolate.


6:54 PM - Sous Chef is in her room, crying because I told her that she must eat supper before she has any more cheesecake pops. Tried to use cuteness to override my decree but in light of that failure she decides to throw a fit on the living room couch. She has been relegated to continuing the show in the bedroom, as Mom is rarely in the mood to put up with that kind of malarkey.

7:05 PM - Still hearing sniffs and wails from child's bedroom.

But it's confirmed - - these things are too good for acting right!!

See my toes down there? LOL

Thank you, Deborah and Elle, for the great challenge!

37 comments:

Phoebe Ann said...

Your pops are BEAUTIF'L!!! :) Am grinning in envy here!

Gabi said...

Lovely pops! Love the post with the sous chef and I and doubly impressed with the double DB challenge- good on ya!

chriesi said...

Cute pops!

HoneyB said...

Great blog on the pop's "progress"! You have me LOL! and YUP, I see the toes! The pops look great!

The Irreverent Cook said...

Hi Amy! Your pops look really nice! And the baked cheesecake [pre-scoop] looks great too! I have yet to accomplish a perfect grand-canyon-free cheesecake yet =P

Jeanine said...

Amy, your pops look awesome! And I was absolutely amazed at how the cake looked after baking too, definitely going to put this on top of some kind of crust next time! :) And boy, can I ever relate to your daughter's behavior throughout the day, I have a 5 & a 2 1/2 year old. ugh, just let me bake!! LOL! Great job! :)

Marye said...

just lovely! You did a great job! I understand about rushed!
bakingdelights.com

Lis said...

hahahahaha! What a great post! I loved reading that. :) Did she ever come out to eat dinner? heee!

Your pops are just lovely.. I love the idea of the candied citrus peel & chocolate.. *swoon*

Great job!! :D

xoxo

PS - I need to email you soon with a question.. but as you can imagine, this time of the month is ca-razzzyy as soon as it calms down a bit, I'll be writing. :D xoxo

Gretchen Noelle said...

Wasn't the cheesecake itself just absolutely delicious?!? These look great - even your toes! :)

bonnie said...

nice~ they look great.

Robyn said...

Those looks delicious, and I love the story about your daughter!

Gina MarySol Ruiz said...

Beauteous pops!! Great story as well.

BC said...

Little sous chefs can be the most challenging part of a recipe!

enza said...

oh dear as mother of three little children I can understand expecially when somebody throw something in the living room!
nice job!
and nice blog it's amusing

Erin said...

Thanks so much for your comment! Yours look delish too! And I can totally relate: every time I go home my niece asks to make cupcakes. She doesn't actually want to MAKE them. She just wants to watch me make them, lick the bowl, eat lots of frosting, and then run around on a sugar high for a few hours!

Joey Biscotti said...

great pops!!!

Rebecca said...

The cocoa powder decoration was a great idea; they look just like regular truffles!

Faery said...

Your pops look beaautiful and delicious with all that chocolate...mmmm yum

Tracy said...

Awww ... it's funny, I have such fond memories of cooking with me when they were little. But those memories probably would be different if I had blogged about the experience afterward! Nice job -- love the exotic toppings!

Lunch Buckets said...

Congratulations on ending up with nice pops and no bloodshed! I bake alone. There's a reason for that.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Great looking pops! Very well done!

Cheers,

Rosa

Erika said...

Portion control is a must with these! I gave the rest of mine away to friends because I knew I would have no self-control!

Liz said...

Your pops turned out great! You have the most interesting toppings. I like your presentation on the red tray!

Jacquie said...

Thanks for the encouragement on my cheesecake pops. They don't hold a candle to yours though! I love the variety you made~

familiabencomo said...

You're such a good mama! I would have had these Pops for dinner (my 5 yr old has the same sweet tooth as me!).

Great job - perfect presentation!

xoxox Amy

Proud Italian Cook said...

Your lime and orange peel sound fantastic with the chocolate. Your pops turned out great!

Fin said...

we halved it too, for the same reasons (the whole family - with the exception of the sweet pea - is TRYING to get fit for summer) and MY sweet pea (foo) was DETERMINED to get a chompin' for her requests to "help" (at 4 she does not at all comprehend the concept of mise en place!)
and yours look (and sound) WONDERFUL. I did the chocolate/sprinkles and the chocolate/graham cracker crumb, and plain chocolate (and a few plain plain ones for me - not a huge fan of chocolate!)

(and I have ABSOLUTELY found my new cheesecake recipe!)

Andrea said...

I love the story...reminds me of so many days in the kitchen with my boys! Great job on the challenge.

Sunshinemom said...

Its tough being a good mummy sometimes :) The pops are kiddy delight!

Jen Yu said...

Very pretty! I like all of the decorations you used on your pops. They look delicious :)

Allison said...

awww how nice to have a cute sous chef helping you!
And I love the idea of the candied peels!

marias23 said...

Great pops and I'm sure the teeny tiny premature bite you took tasted good *winks* And I also love the psychedelic picture, hehe!

Sheltie Girl said...

Great job on your pops! Your challenged little girl, chocolate and cheesecake can do that to a person.

Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

KJ said...

I loved your post and your pops.

Barbara said...

Yummy looking pops! I like your presentation on the red plate, great colors.

Deborah said...

All of your versions sound so delicious!! And a complete success for you!

Heather said...

Candied citrus peel sounds so yummy! They look great!