April 27, 2008

Tofutti Cheesecake Pops

My first Daring Bakers' challenge! If you don't already know, the Daring Bakers are a group of foodbloggers that agree to all make the same recipe each month. The idea is to try and stick to the original recipe as much as possible and then compare our experiences. When I saw how many other alternative bakers were on their blogroll I was inspired to join.

The recipe for this month is Cheesecake Pops from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor. I'm making these cheesecake balls for Alex, my son who is allergic to dairy.
Here are my alterations to the original recipe:
-I halved the recipe,
-substituted Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese,
(I rarely buy this because I think it has a very plastic taste and is not real food. But exceptions in life are good and it seemed the easiest way to stay true to the recipe.)
-and replaced the heavy cream with 2 tablespoons of soy milk and 2 teaspoons of margarine. (I melted the margarine in the soymilk and then let it cool to room temperature. I think using a little margarine in soymilk is a much better heavy cream substitute than soy creamer.)

I tasted the batter (I can never resist) and it had a strong artificial taste from the Tofutti. I was a little worried, but forged ahead. After testing a few pans for the correct volume for a half recipe, I baked in a 2-quart Pyrex dish. It took an hour and five minutes to set, which is much more than the recipe's 35-45 minutes. It didn't brown on top, but it did dry out a little.
Rolling the balls was a sticky process but I was happy to see that the cheesecake was set all the way through. It was very creamy and the taste is much improved from the batter flavor. It was definitely recognizable as cheesecake. Covering the balls went well and I chose to drizzle on white chocolate for decoration. If anyone is looking for dairy-free white chocolate, I love the chips I buy from the Chocolate Emporium. Other than the cooking time being off for me the only other problem I had was that a lot of my balls had cracks in the chocolate coating. I'm not sure what I did wrong to cause this.

I never would have chosen this recipe since it is so reliant on dairy but I was pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out. Alex thinks they look really cool and wants to eat them. But, he only eats the chocolate and doesn't really want to eat the cheesecake part. He's a funny guy. I fed some to my parents this past weekend and they were both impressed with how much they taste like real cheesecake. Today is Greek (Eastern Orthodox) Easter and I plan on offering them to my husband's family for dessert.
I can't wait to see what the next challenge will be! Until then, drop by the Daring Bakers Blogroll and see how the others fared with their pops.
Here are my finished balls: