It's the end of the month and time for the reveal of another Daring Bakers Challenge! (We have officially outgrown Blogger, so be sure to go check out the new Bat Cave.) These goodies really did emerge from the chaos that has been my kitchen this month. For two days, I saw only the lower half of my husband sticking out from underneath our kitchen sink. Eventually he gave up on the old faucet and we have a lovely new one (and I have a newfound respect for both my husband's mechanical and linguistic abilities), but I've yet to get everything put away and cleaned up.
The recipe this month was provided by Elle of Feeding My Enthusiasm and Deborah of Taste and Tell. The original really did present a challenge, requiring substitutions for cream cheese, eggs, heavy creamer, and potentially unsafe chocolate. My mad scientist plans for experimenting with multiple substitutions were derailed, but I did manage to make a mostly successful version with Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese and Ener-G Egg Replacer and a less successful attempt with the Tofutti and mashed banana. For both versions I used Silk Soy Creamer to replace the heavy cream and Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips for the chocolate coating. Both of them required an additional twenty minutes bake time. Although the banana version browned on top, it never did set up properly.
I was less nervous about my radical substitutions than I was about melting chocolate in a double boiler. It was something that I tried once before with really disastrous results. That was probably the most successful part of this Daring Bakers Challenge: overcoming my irrational fear of melting chocolate! (Twelve hours housebound to nurse Julia Child's classic French Bread? No problem! Chocolate chips in a bowl? Eek!) Since the banana pops never firmed up enough to survive a chocolate dip, I ended up with excess melted chocolate. (Horrors.) I remembered a post from Allergy Foodies about dipping pretzels in chocolate and ended up with a bonus treat for The Kid's lunch box. The official verdict on the Cheesecake Pops from my pre-school critic was "They have sprinkles!" and "Yummy!"