Heck! It's summer and I've been doing stuff.
Like 1.) making these delicious Mojito Cheesecake Pops that require no baking. And 2.) trying to speak coherently in front of an audience.
My friend Morgan once wrote a great blog post about that old quote "Do something that scares you every day". In other words, don't play it safe. Put yourself out there!
Much easier said than done.
I can honestly say the past couple of weeks have been filled with this sort of "scary" thing for me. The thought of being in the public eye pretty much ties my stomach in knots, but the desire to share my book has proved to be greater than my fear.
See my face there in the picture? I'm smiling, but I'm pretty much dying to claw my face off. When I get nervous my face gets itchy. Mosquito-bite itchy. And if I do break down and scratch I end up with welts all over my face. What's up with that?!
Luckily I made it through without the welts. And I was truly grateful to have the opportunity to promote my book on the local news (thanks Mike!). The cooking demo was easier than I thought and it turned out to be a lot of fun!
I had a book signing! See my face up there (right)? Totally itchy. Talking in front of a group of people was much harder than I expected. Luckily all the people who came out were extra kind and didn't seem to mind my wobbly start. And getting to speak to everyone individually was a real treat for me. I loved hearing about others' love for baking and creative expression. Everyone seemed to have a great time and we ran out of books!
The lesson? It's okay to be scared -itchy face and all- as long as you don't let that fear hold you back.
I hope I can continue to take my own advise.
I used a store-bought New York cheesecake as the base for this recipe. I briefly considered making one from scratch, but why turn on the oven in summertime if you don't have to?
These small bites are packed with tons of lime and mint flavor, and there's nothing quite like biting into one and hearing the "pop" of the hardened chocolate coating. Especially when that chocolate coating is made from the Callebaut variety. I love using Birchware spoons as an elegant stand-in for a lollipop sticks. Plus, they are eco-friendly!
Mojito Cheesecake Pops
Makes 18-25 pops [click for printable version]
These pops have great summertime flavor! Although I chose not use rum as the Mojito cocktail does, you could add 1-2 tablespoons of light rum without the cheesecake mixture becoming too lax. Enjoy!
1 two pound ready-to-eat New York cheesecake
Zest of 4 limes, plus more for garnish
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
25 fresh mint leaves finely minced
18-25 small whole mint leaves for garnish
Large crystal sugar (optional)
24 oz. Callebaut dark chocolate (or two 12 oz. bags semisweet chocolate chips can be used)
- Crumble cheesecake (including crust) into a large bowl. Add lime zest and lime juice; stir to incorporate. Add minced mint and stir again until well blended. Cover and place in refrigerator until firm.
- Remove cheesecake mixture by the heaping spoonfuls and quickly roll into a ball between palms. They should be roughly the size of a walnut. This is a messy business, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with licking mojito cheesecake from your fingers when you're done.
- Place cheesecake balls on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and insert birchware spoons or lollipop sticks upright into the center of each ball. Freeze until solid.
- Melt chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave at 30 second intervals until smooth. Remove cheesecake pops from freezer and dip each pop into chocolate until completely covered. Garnish each pop with lime zest, a mint leaf and large crystal sugar. Let pops dry on a piece of wax paper or parchment paper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.