Sunday, April 27, 2008

Daring Bakers - Cheesecake Pops

This month I've waited to the last minute to start the Daring Bakers recipe. I had been thinking of it all month but couldn't quite get started on it. After returning from a weekend get away, I finally got the ingredients to start making the Cheesecake Pops. The recipe comes from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor and the recipe can be found at Taste and Tell and Feeding my Enthusiasms.

I like cheesecake well enough, though I haven't made one in a very long time. The cheesecake for this recipe was actually very straightforward and easy to assemble with the help of the KitchenAide mixer. I halved the recipe to try it out and I baked it in a 9x9 square pan for 40 minutes since a number of baker reported longer baking times for the full recipe. The cheesecake was set and just starting to brown at 40 minutes.

I set it in the refrigerator overnight and then rolled some into balls and cut some into squares. After putting in the lollipop stick, they went into the freezer.

Then it was chocolate time. The kids enjoyed watching me dip the cheesecake into the melted chocolate and then they dipped a few into sprinkles. I didn't have a good way to set the pops down once they were dipped in chocolate so they looked a little lopsided. I also tried putting white chocolate on first and then drizzled bittersweet chocolate over that. Those looked the best.

Verdict from my cheesecake loving husband? A little too much. The cheesecake part was good but didn't need the extra chocolate. I thought they were very good (of course, I love the chocolate part). They would be fun to make for a party.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Meatballs - Two ways

Last weekend I was going through various food blogs and came across this recipe for meatballs. They come from a well known chef, Rocco DiSpririto (though I hadn't heard the name before) and apparently he has made quite a business of selling meatballs made from his mother's recipe. You can order them online or make them yourself from the recipe. Meatballs are not a dish I have made very often though when I described them to G, she said, "I'll try them". With that endorsement, I decided to give them a try. The recipe calls for beef, pork and veal but I ended up using two parts extra lean beef and one part ground dark turkey. The meatball mix seemed a little wet; maybe I should have added more breadcrumbs. They cooked up fine, though it was hard to keep them round.

During the prep time, I talked with V who wasn't too keen on the tomato sauce part. He has made meatballs numerous times, but he never serves them with a tomato sauce. So once all the meatballs were browned, I cooked half of them in Trader Joe's marinara sauce and the other half in Campbells cream of chicken soup with 2/3 cup chicken stock added. I simmered both for about an hour. The meatballs simmered in marinara were great; I served them over penne pasta. Of course once served, G wouldn't try them but baby D thought they were wonderful and polished off his bowl. V enjoyed his meatballs sans tomato sauce. I didn't get a pretty picture, but there are some great pictures at Under the High Chair.