In the spring, Gray’s school has a fundraiser called Cocoa Bella. It’s a fun and elegant evening filled with socializing, bidding on art and donated items, and eating lots of chocolate. In fact, everything there is chocolate — including the savory items. Some of the items on the menu were cocoa and coffee crusted steak, Kahlua truffles, and chocolate dipped candied bacon. I was tasked with making Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Pops.
When I read the recipe, I was a bit concerned. I wasn’t sure how they would work on a stick. Over the years my mom and I have experimented with all kinds of cake balls and cake pops, and one of the things we have learned is that if the center is too soft, it cannot support the weight of the chocolate on the stick. That was true with this recipe as well, but they worked beautifully without the stick.
Below is the recipe as it was given to me, but of course I made some changes. Instead of the second package of Candiquik coating for dipping, I opted to dip them in some higher quality white chocolate which I also thinned with a bit of melted Crisco. I simply melted the chocolate in the microwave on 50% power in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until smooth. Then I stirred in 2-3 tablespoons of melted Crisco shortening to get the consistency I wanted.
My mom and I also figured out a few things as we made each batch. (Oh, I failed to mention that we made 200 of these things — that’s 4 batches.) First, we neither one thought it had enough raspberry flavor. If I were doing it again, I would probably add 1 1/2 teaspoons of raspberry extract. Second, we didn’t need to freeze the mixture before making the balls. We used a melon ball scoop (sprayed with non-stick spray) to ensure consistent size, scooped them onto wax paper sprayed with non-stick spray, and then sprayed our hands with non-stick spray so we could roll them into balls. We then placed the rolled balls in the freezer overnight to make sure they were completely frozen before dipping.
Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Pops
- 2 (16 oz.) packages Vanilla CANDIQUIK® Coating
- 2 (8 oz.) packages Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 packet (3.4 oz.) Jell-O Lemon Instant pudding/pie filling
- 1 tsp. Raspberry Extract
1. Melt 1 package of Vanilla CANDIQUIK according to the package directions.
2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, blend melted CANDIQUIK with softened cream cheese, dry pudding mix, and raspberry extract until smooth.
3. Cover and place mixture in the freezer for 2-3 hours or until firm. These are very hard, it not impossible to roll if they are not super cold.
4. Remove mixture from freezer. On a baking sheet (dust with flour to ensure they don’t stick) roll mixture into 1” balls. Return the cheesecake balls to the freezer for an additional 45 minutes – 1 hour.
5. Melt Vanilla CANDIQUIK according to the package directions.
6. Remove a few cheesecake balls from the freezer at a time and insert a lollipop stick into the middle of each ball. Holding the end of the stick, dip each pop into the CANDIQUIK, using a spoon to cover the ball completely in the coating. Allow excess coating to drip off and set on wax paper. Work quickly when dipping, as the coating will dry very fast due to the temperature of the cheesecake pops. Sprinkle immediately (before coating dries) if desired. Or drizzle pink and/or yellow colored CandiQuik over your cheesecake pops.
Keep refrigerated in an airtight container.
They were elegantly displayed at Cocoa Bella and received rave reviews. Unfortunately, I failed to take a photo of them in their elegant state, so all I have is the messy work-in-progress photo. Sorry……but you get the idea.