When a food critic turns the poison pen on herself

Cheesecake pops November 18, 2009

Filed under: All-occasion cakes — crummb @ 3:51 pm
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finished sprinkle 3I admit. When I first learnt I was pregnant earlier this year, I sent a few upward missives that went: “Lord, please give me a son this time round.” My firstborn E is a girl, so out of the purely selfish reason of wanting one of each, I wanted my second to be a boy.

Just think of it. I will have a daughter to dress up and bake pretty cakes with, and husband Z will have a son to skateboard with and do all those smelly things that boys do. And at first, all signs suggested that we would enjoy this idyllic, life-insurance ad configuration.

My aunt, who has a track record of accurately predicting the sex of a foetus by using some mystical formula involving the mother’s age, month of conception, etc, swore it was a boy. We have friends who “just have a feeling” that it was a boy. Even the wonton noodles auntie in my office canteen, with just one glance at my front-tilting bump, was sure of it too.

Then we found out the baby is actually a girl. And, wow, nothing prepared me for the tide of disappointment verging on disapproval that followed when we broke the news. My aunt, looking like she had just bitten into something rotten, told me I should “bok” (gamble) again and hopefully hit jackpot the third time round. When I told the wonton noodles auntie that I actually quite like having another girl, she said, with her back turned towards me: “As long as you’re happy lorhh. It’s okay lorhhhh.”

Everywhere I turned, people above the age of 45 would console me, saying “It’s okay lah. These days, boys and girls are all the same”. But, funny huh? If boys and girls are really the same, you never hear anyone saying this when you’re expecting a boy.

I, for one, have totally embraced and am loving the fact that I’ll be having two girls. First, you save lots of money by recycling the clothes. Second, if our new baby is anything like her older sister, we will have a pair of mild-mannered, well-behaved, neat and tidy kids who will not turn our home into a crime scene on a daily basis.

Third, and on to the real point of this post, I will have twice the opportunity to make the cutest, prettiest cakes all year round.

I mean, check out these adorable cheesecake pops I made as goodie bag takeaways for E’s birthday party two weeks ago. Would a birthday boy have appreciated the heart-shaped sprinkles or the pastel-coloured non-pareils? I don’t think so. When he becomes a teenager, he will look back on the birthday photos and accuse me of instilling in him an unmanly penchant for pink and polka dots.

If I had a son, every special occasion cake I make will have to factor in boy colours and emblems. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think a cake shaped like a blue tractor looks all that appetising. A dinosaur cake? Sure, I can make one. Just don’t make me eat it.

But with two girls, I will have at least two birthday cakes to make a year, festooned with flowers, flounces, ruffles in all manner of lemon-yellows and rosebud pinks. Already, I am having soul-lifting visions of my two girls in cute little aprons, helping me in the kitchen with the whipping, kneading and washing. What absolute bliss.

Having said all this, I’ll wait till I pop in January before I celebrate. Imagine the back-paddling I’ll have to do if the ultrasound scans turn out all wrong.


CHEESECAKE POPS adapted from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor

(makes 50 golf ball-sized pops)

40 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup plain flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 eggs (about 250g without shells)

2 egg yolks

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup heavy cream (at least 35% butterfat)

50 lollipop sticks (Wilton brand, available at Phoon Huat)

1 pound eating chocolate (dark, milk or white)

2 tablespoons shortening


1. Preheat oven to 160 deg C.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, flour and salt together until smooth. Add whole eggs and egg yolks one at a time, beating on low speed. Beat in vanilla and cream.

3. Lightly grease a 10-inch or 9-inch cake pan (not springform as the batter will leak) and pour batter into it. Place pan inside a larger roasting pan and fill up the latter with water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the inner cake pan. Bake until cheesecake is firm and golden-brown on top, about 45-50 minutes.

4. Remove cake pan from the water bath and leave to cool to room temperature. Then, refrigerate cheesecake until cold and very firm, about 3 hours.

5. Scrape off the golden-brown crust on top (because it will keep the cheesecake from sticking together in a ball). Then, using a small ice-cream scoop, make golf ball-sized balls and insert a lollipop stick. Freeze the pops until very hard, at least 1 hour.

choc dip6. While cheesecake balls are being frozen, prepare the chocolate dip. Place half the amount of chocolate in a bowl (use only half because the chocolate will harden very quickly during dipping, so might as well do in two batches) and microwave on high, taking it out every 15 seconds to stir. If you don’t, chocolate will seize and become grainy. When chocolate is melted and warm, add in shortening (to lower chocolate’s melting point so it won’t melt into a mess when you’re eating it) and mix till smooth.

7. Dip cheesecake balls into the chocolate until evenly covered. You will have to work quickly because the cheesecake’s cold temperature will harden the chocolate very quickly.

sprinkle 28. Then, immediately sprinkle over decorations before chocolate hardens. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

9. Once first batch of chocolate is used up, heat up second batch of chocolate and shortening. Repeat with remaining cheesecake balls.

choc dip wide 2

10. Or, for more adult-looking pops, leave cheesecake unadorned and swirl patterns on the chocolate before they set. Gorgeous! 


19 Responses to “Cheesecake pops”

  1. hello, just dropping you a comment to say you have the most beautiful baking blog! gorgeous photos and great great writing. i don’t bake and you’ve got me oohing and aahing. it’s lovely. 🙂

  2. livetoleave Says:

    i jumped for joy when i realised u r having a baby girl – just so u remember how supportive auntie jenny is :))

    en en is so big now….goodness! I still remember the last time we saw her…when uncle chris baked a cake and she had mozzie bites on her face. How time flies.

  3. Haha the wonton noodles auntie also told me she could tell I’m having a boy. I bet she says this to everyone!

  4. daphnechan00 Says:

    bagus! Your desserts are looking better everyday ! See my feeble attempt!

    • crummb Says:

      looks yummilicious to me! rice krispies smothered in milk chocolate.. CHOMP!

      • daphnechan00 Says:

        you are too kind my holy one ! *kow tow*
        I have no oven at home so if you have any NON-BAKE recipes to share with me please do!!! 🙂

        I made a better batch of the choc and brought to work and they liked it and I might need to make a big batch for christmas! More variety be nice, let me know yar! Oh that Chocolate and Peanut Butter yummies you made for my dad’s bday last year, that’s one I want to try! The weather so cold here I am hoping they do not melt fast!

  5. Kat Says:

    those cheesecake pops look oh so enticing!!! everyone i know LOVES and i mean LOVES cheesecake… if i ever want to bribe them or get them to do anything for me, all i have to do is bake a cheesecake… and they are my willing and obedient servants… these balls look so yum and fun i am definately going to try and make them (probably only after the wedding though – 9 days to go) who knows… they may end up been my new bargaining chip..hee hee.

    yay for babies!!! i cant wait to see the new addition to your family as soon as she arrives!!! li’l en en is gonna be a big sister!! Two extra cutey pie mini bakers to help their mum in the kitchen… you will have to post lots of pictures of them in their aprons helping you in the kitchen for us all to admire and adore!!! but be warned.. they may steal the show from you…

    have a super day

    Be blessed
    With Lotsa Love

  6. vivian Says:

    omg, heart-shaped sprinkles… They look lovely and sweet! hmm…blue tractor cake actually sounds quite cool… i might want to order! anyway… swiss roll is yummy and a saviour to a hungry hobbit! and what’s in that cream filling?

    • crummb Says:

      white chocolate whipped cream! yummy right?!! glad you like it. although it’s been in the fridge for a few days. woulda been better fresh 🙂

  7. ah pei Says:

    Such pretty cake pops ! look difficult to make !

    Crummb, need your professional advice, i want to make my brother cupcakes for his solemnisation ceremony (its in Jan ! sharks ! not sure if i’ve got time to brush up my skills!)
    Oh yes back to the topic, what time of buttercream/frosting (whatever you call that cream on top), will be most appropriate for outdoors ??


    Ah Pei

    • crummb Says:

      hello ah pei!
      for a buttercream that tastes great AND lasts outdoors, i would recommend Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Just google it for the recipe. it’s not too difficult to make but you do need to practise at least once so you know what to expect. it contains egg whites which makes it quite stable in our humidity – it also contributes to a silky, luxurious taste. forget about those simple buttercreams that only require you to beat together butter and icing sugar (or worse, with added shortening, which tastes horrible). this type of buttercream has a very greasy mouthfeel and can be quite grainy in texture. try the SMB and lemme know how it goes! hope this helps 🙂

      • ah pei Says:

        Woo thank you for your advice, shall explore ! Will let you know the results when i try ! Bet need more advice from you!
        Thanks again ! and take care !

  8. Nick Malgieri Says:

    E torta di formaggio! E schiocco! E bello!

    • crummb Says:

      according to babelfish, you said “I crack!”. well thank you! i’m happy that my cheesecake pops made you crack 🙂

  9. Midori Says:

    I have daughter envy! And, please, will you make blue cakes in trains/tractors/dinosaur shapes for Ju and Winky next time?

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