Daring Bakers: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Cheesecake Chocolate Pops Recipe

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cheesestrawberry.jpgdaringpink.jpgI joined the Daring Bakers last month for the first time, and made a delightful Vegan Party Cake- dairy and egg free. As you know, I’m more of a savory girl than a sweet, but it was refreshing to make something fun and outside my usual repertoire, and DH and I enjoyed the results of my “daring baking.” I was looking forward to next month, and then when I found out the recipe was for cheesecake pops first I thought “WOW!” and next, “uh oh, now what.” Because, you see, I’ve been trying to eat dairy free lately, and how can you have dairy free cheesecake? On the up-side, it is delightfully easy to make this recipe gluten-free, as the flour plays a very minor role in the whole endeavor. I kept putting off making my recipe until, as the clock kept ticking away, and the calendar started to haunt me, I suddenly remembered my Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese in the refrigerator. Aha! I thought. And lest you wonder why it took me so long to think of it- let’s just say, there are many things lurking in my fridge, and it’s scary enough in there that it wasn’t the first staple I’ve forgotten about. Anyway, tofutti cream cheese found, I decided to use it as the base of my cheesecake. But another thing was worrying me. This recipe was HUGE, making enough cheesecake pops for an army of baby shower, wedding shower, or birthday party attendees. Over at our house, it’s just me and DH, and unless I’m going to start Ra and Neko on a cheesecake diet (yes, i know that dairy is super-bad for kitties, and chocolate even worse) we were going to be responsible for consuming those little sticks of loveliness. Luckily Eat Me Delicious posted on the brand new Daring Bakers Forum about how she had cut down the recipe to a fifth of the original size and had it turn out. I was thrilled, because I only had 1/5 of the required amount of cream cheese and honestly, a fifth is all we could really consume in any reasonable amount of time. Unless of course I want to buy a whole new (larger) wardrobe to accommodate my cheesecake chomping ways. In my exploration of the web, I also stumbled across a wonderful vegan site Novel Eats with lots of great cheesecake recipes, including a Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe to die for. If I’d seen her page sooner I would probably have gone vegan with this recipe, but I didn’t and so I just made it dairy-free. Anyway, gotta love the creativity of my fellow daring bakers! I have been really busy, and made this recipe as a last minute thing. I was feeling stressed about it, actually, but halfway through the process, as I was taking my cheesecake out of the ramikins and cutting them into hearts and filling half with strawberry jam- I realized that I was having a really good time. I would never have been inspired to make this recipe on my own, but once I actually did it, I felt the satisfaction of doing something different and interesting. I know, I know, I’m walking on the wild side here in the grad student kingdom. But this challenge really did make me feel like a Daring Baker, and so I’d like to extend my thanks to Deborah from Taste and Tell and Elle from Feed My Enthusiasm for picking this fun, playful recipe. And once again, I can’t wait for next month to see the new challenge for us DARING BAKERS.

PS Today I found out unexpectedly that tomorrow is one of my best friend’s birthdays. It just so happens that cheesecake is her favorite dessert AND she is lactose intolerant (A cruel combination, to be sure) and so today as soon as I finished these puppies I presented her with her own “frozen birthday cake.” It worked well AND saved DH and I from pigging out on all eight. haha.


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How to Make Dairy Free Cheesecake Pops:
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Dairy Free Cheesecake Pops
Ingredients
1 8-oz tofutti better than cream cheese
between 1/4 and 1/2 cups sugar
7.6 grams all-purpose GF flour blend (0.05 cups)
scant half of a 1/8 tsp salt
1 large egg
.4 egg yolk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp (15 mL) Silk Vanilla Soy Milk

4 oz. Dark Chocolate (half a loose bar)
2-3 tbsp silk vanilla soy milk

1-2 tbsp strawberry jam (unsweetened)
Crushed pecans

Directions
Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Set some water to boil. (I used my electric kettle.)

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 one tablespoon soy milk.

Grease 3 little ramikins, and pour the batter into each dish. Find a baking dish that all three ramikins can fit in comfortably and place them in it. Fill the roasting pan with the boiling water until it reaches a little more than halfway up the sides of the ramikins. Don’t get any water in them! Bake until the cheesecake is firm and slightly golden on top, 45 minutes or so.

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, remove them from the ramakins and cut them in thirds, making three hearts out of each ramikin. Take half of these hearts (4-5) and slice them neatly in half horizontally, putting a layer of jam in the middle. Leave the rest of the hearts whole and plain. Then place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Carefully insert a shortened skewer 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 one third of the soy milk, stirring often, until chocolate is melted. Add soy milk as needed to get a smooth, creamy texture. Stir until completely smooth. Do not heat the chocolate too much or your chocolate will lose its shine after it has dried. You can dip fruit for instant chocolate fondue with any leftovers.

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. Or, you can use a knife to frost your pops like a cake.(My method.) 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.

Additional Pictures

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