10-inch cake pan, greased (You can use a springform pan if necessary, just make sure to line it completely with foil to keep the pan from leaking. Spray the foil lightly with cooking spray.)
large roasting pan (large enough to hold the cake pan)
#40 cookie scoop (medium) (#60 if you want the smaller balls)
30 to 40 (8-inch) lollipop sticks (60 or more if you make the smaller balls)
half sheet pan, lined with parchment or wax paper or a silicon mat
double boiler or medium glass bowl
40ouncescream cheese5 8-ounce packages, not light or fat free, room temperature
¼cupunbleached all-purpose flouror brown rice flour
2teaspoonsKahluaor pure vanilla extract
several cups of boiling waterfor the waterbath
finely chopped hazelnuts
CHEESECAKE: Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325° F. Set some water to boil.
In the bowl of the stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt on low speed until smooth. Add the whole eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well (but still at low speed) after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and cream.
Grease a 10-inch cake pan (not a springform pan), and pour the batter into the cake pan. Place the pan in the large roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with the boiling water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the cheesecake is firm and slightly golden on top, 35 to 45 minutes. (I can't guarantee the accuracy of this cooking time. My cake was definitely not set after 45 minutes. A number of Daring Bakers reported 60 minutes or more for cooking times. Make sure the water is boiling hot before pouring it into the roasting pan, and keep an eye on the cake while it bakes.)
Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and cool to room temperature. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 3 hours or overnight.
MAKE THE BALLS: When the cheesecake is cold and very firm, scoop the cheesecake into 2-ounce balls and place on the wax paper-lined baking sheet. Carefully insert a lollipop stick into each cheesecake ball. Freeze the cheesecake pops, uncovered, until very hard, at least 1 to 2 hours.
CHOCOLATE: When the cheesecake pops are frozen and ready for dipping, prepare the chocolate using the stovetop method or the microwave method. STOVETOP: In the top of a double boiler, set over simmering water, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, heat half the chocolate and half the shortening, stirring often, until chocolate is melted and chocolate and shortening are combined. Stir until completely smooth. Do not heat the chocolate too much or your chocolate will lose it’s shine after it has dried. Save the rest of the chocolate and shortening for later dipping, or use another type of chocolate for variety. MICROWAVE: Put half the chocolate and half the shortening in the glass bowl. Microwave on high at 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth.
Dip a frozen cheesecake pop in the melted chocolate, swirling quickly to coat it completely. Shake off any excess into the melted chocolate. Roll the pops quickly in the decorations. You can also drizzle them with a contrasting color of melted chocolate (dark chocolate drizzled over milk chocolate or white chocolate over dark chocolate, etc.) Place the pop on a clean wax paper-lined baking sheet to set. Repeat with remaining pops, melting more chocolate and shortening as needed.
Refrigerate or freeze the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.
Chocolate - Use all one kind or half and half of dark, milk, or white. You can also use 1 pound of flavored coatings, also known as summer coating, confectionary coating, or wafer chocolate. Candy supply stores carry colors, as well as the three kinds of chocolate.