Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sundays with Sparky - Dad's Birthday Surprise Part II

086 Continued from last Sunday...  So, we had the cake part of our arrangement...but we were sadly lacking in frosting, something that we had to address somehow.  I decided that we would make Cheesecake Lollipops instead of trying to frost our beautiful chocolate cake pops.

I didn't want to overdo it, so I halved the lollipop recipe - so you can use this version to allay any small but insistent cheesecake cravings you may have in the future; it wasn't a big recipe to begin with.  We preheated our oven to 350, and readied a large sheetcake pan to be the base of our water bath.

Sparky put 1 8oz brick of cream cheese into the Kitchenaid (with our fancy-dancy SideSwipe paddle!) and beat it slowly until it was rich and thick.  Then we added 1/3 cup of sugar, 1 tbsp and 1 tsp of All-Purpose flour, 1/4 tsp vanilla, and 1 egg and whipped it until smooth - and we poured half of this mixture into a tinfoil-lined baking sheet

017(if I had it to do over again, we'd have done this in a regular loaf pan for thicker squares)  Then he added 1 1/2 tsp cocoa powder and 1/2 tsp instant espresso to the remaining batter, and whipped it again until it was uniform in color.  The second batter was poured over the top of the first and swirled in with a spatula.

018Then the whole thing went into the larger pan which we'd set in the oven, and hot water was poured into the larger pan to create a bain-marie.  It baked for about 5 minutes, then was turned down to 325 for another ten minutes, and it set beautifully.  We then allowed it to sit in the warm oven with the door slightly ajar for a half an hour - and then moved the cheesecake directly to the freezer.

054052On to the fruit!  I peeled and cored a pineapple, and cut wedges around the outside to form a flower - and, after sticking a blackberry in the middle, Sparky stabbed it through with a bamboo skewer - we found it was easiest to thread the skewer all the way through from top to bottom, so that skewer wound up with the pointy part down.  We did the same with our other fruits.  He then poked the finished skewers into the Crenshaw melon I had halved for this purpose (sometimes it helps to poke your hole with an unfinished skewer, and then stick the finished one in.)  We cut the cake into slices and then into rounds, skewered them to the arrangement, and did the same with the frozen cheescake we'd cut into squares.

A truly delicious alternative to a birthday cake that Dad really appreciated - and Sparky made him work for it by creating a post-it-note scavenger hunt all over the house that both started and ended at the refrigerator where his arrangement was hiding.  All in all, rousing a success for those of us who had become bored with birthday cake!


bernard2424 said...

those are incredibly wonderful photos of Sparky and Jason ...Jason's constant I'm not awake look mixed with Sparky's playful ... photos I'm sure will get revisited a great deal over the years ... and some innovative "cake" making. What birthday was this for Jason?

Michele Hays said...

LOL - I do love snapping the pics for Sunday! Jason is ancient... in a few years he'll be nearly as old as YOU! (Mind you, I am of the firm opinion that things get better with age)

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