Published by Chronicle
A whimsical treat for summer parties and barbecues, these are the coolest cheesecakes you have ever seen. Freezing gives the creamy cakes a rich, velvety texture all their own, while chocolate ganache adds a luxurious layer of decadence. For this riff on the classic Popsicle, bake the cheesecakes in muffin cups, then insert a wooden stick into each cake and pop them into the freezer. Once frozen, dip them in chocolate ganache and sprinkle them with macadamia nuts.
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Dietary Considerationpeanut free, soy free, vegetarian
Taste and Texturecheesy, chocolatey, creamy, nutty, sweet
Type of Dishfrozen dessert
- 1 recipe cheesecake timbales , made without the fruit salad
- 2 cups (10 ounces/280 grams) unsalted macadamia nuts, toasted and finely chopped
- 10 ounces (280 grams) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 cup (8 fl ounces/240 ml) heavy cream
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat 11 cups of a 12-cup standard muffin pan (preferably nonstick) with nonstick spray. Then coat the molds with the graham cracker crumbs, gently tapping out the excess crumbs.
Prepare the cheesecake filling as directed. To ease pouring, transfer the mixture to a 4-cup measuring cup or pitcher. Pour the mixture into the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup to just below the rim. Set the muffin pan in a larger shallow pan, such as a 15½-by-10½-by-1-inch pan (jelly-roll pan), and pour in hot water to come about halfway up the sides of the muffin cups.
Bake the cheesecakes until they are ivory colored, appear dry, tiny cracks (not open crevices) are beginning to form in the tops, and they are slightly firm to the touch though still soft underneath, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the muffin pan to a wire rack and let stand until the cheesecakes are cool to the touch, about 30 minutes.
To unmold, tap the sides of the muffin pan on a counter to loosen the cheesecakes. Place a sheet of plastic wrap or waxed paper on top of the cakes and a cutting board on top of the paper. Invert the pan onto the plastic wrap and cutting board. Lift off the pan and let the cheesecakes firm up slightly and cool completely, about 1 hour.
Line a deep storage container (deep enough to accommodate the stick that will be inserted in the cheesecakes) with plastic wrap, and transfer each cheesecake, right side up, to the container. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight to firm. Then insert a wooden Popsicle stick into each cheesecake, re-cover the container, and place in the freezer until frozen.
To coat the cheesecakes with the Chocolate Glaze:
Have the same (but cleaned) muffin pan that the cheesecakes were baked in originally. Spoon a scant tablespoon of the chopped nuts in the bottom of each of 11 cups and set the pan aside.
To make the glaze, place the chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream just to a boil over medium-low heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand for 30 seconds. Whisk together until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth and shiny. Set aside just to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Put the remaining nuts into a medium bowl.
Remove the cheesecakes from the freezer. Working with 1 cheesecake at a time, and holding it by its wooden stick, dip the cheesecake into the chocolate, immersing it to a depth of about 1 inch (about ¼ inch of the cheesecake should be chocolate free). Lift the cheesecake from the chocolate, check to make sure it is evenly coated with the glaze, and then allow any chocolate dripping from the base to fall back into the bowl.
Turn the cheesecake upright very briefly to allow any excess chocolate to flow downward, coating the dipped area evenly. Then, without delay, dip the cheesecake, chocolate side down, into the nuts, applying by hand as many nuts as you wish to fill in any gaps. Gently press the nuts into the glaze. Set the cheesecake, chocolate side down (stick up), on top of the nuts in a muffin-pan cup (don’t press it down into the cup; just rest it on the nuts for easy removal later). Repeat with the remaining cheesecakes.
Transfer the muffin pan to the refrigerator to set up the glaze, about 15 minutes. When the chocolate has firmed, carefully lift the cheesecakes by their sticks and return them, stick up, to the original plastic wrap–lined container. Cover and return to the freezer until serving. They will keep for up to 1 week.
Serve the cheesecake-sicles directly from the freezer. Or, if too firm, let them stand at room temperature for about I0 minutes before serving. Accompany each cold cheesecake-sicle with a large colorful napkin.
2008 Flo Braker