Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lime Pop Rocks Cheesecake

They said it couldn't be done. "Pop Rocks will not survive within a recipe," they said. "They will fizzle out and all you will be left with is melted Red Dye #3."

They were wrong!

This is a recipe I created based on the No-Bake Lime Cheesecake recipe from tasteofhome.com, but with a popping twist: there are Pop Rocks in the crust, embedded in the cheesecake layer, and sprinkled on top for a final product that is both a light and delicious cheesecake, but also a truly unique dessert that both kids and adults can appreciate. The sour lime flavour keeps it from being unbearably sweet, and, surprisingly enough, the Pop Rocks survive the process quite well, with lots of popping in every bite.

Lime Pop Rocks Cheesecake

Note: This recipe works with practically any two kinds of Pop Rocks. I recommend choosing two flavours that are different colours for the contrast, and the only flavour I wouldn't suggest using is the bubblegum. You will need three packages of each of two flavours (six packages total) to make the finished cheesecake. Using only one flavour, possibly the green-coloured sour apple flavour, might be more appropriate for a more formal occasion and a more subtle presentation, but I used blue berry and red tropical punch flavours and it was very festive-looking when finished.

Crust:
1 1/2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs
4 1/2 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp sugar
2 pouches of Pop Rocks, one of each flavour

Filling:
2 envelopes unflavoured gelatine
1 cup lime juice
1/4 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 eggs, lightly beaten
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
Green food colouring (optional)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
4 pouches of Pop Rocks, two of each flavour

  1. In a bowl, mix together Oreo crumbs with melted butter and the 2 tbsp sugar. Wait for the butter to cool down and then combine the 2 packages of Pop Rocks gently into the crushed mixture.
  2. Immediately press into the bottom of a well-greased 8 or 9" spring-form pan. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes or until needed.
  3. In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatine over lime juice and cold water; let stand for 1 minute. Stir in the sugar and eggs. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until mixture reaches 160°, then remove from heat.
  4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter with electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in gelatine mixture until combined. Add several drops green food colouring, if desired, and blend (without the food colouring, the eggs make the cheesecake very yellow). Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes or until partially set, stirring occasionally.
  5. In a small bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into lime mixture and stir to mix evenly. Spoon about half the filling into the crust. Evenly sprinkle 2 packages of the Pop Rocks (one of each flavour) over the filling. Spoon in the remaining filling and cover. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until set.
  6. Before serving, evenly sprinkle remaining 2 packages of Pop Rocks (one of each flavour) over the top of the cheesecake. Serve chilled and refrigerate any leftovers.

I made this as a contribution to a friend's 90s-themed party, and it was a big hit. In fact, it was so popular that I didn't get to get a picture before it disappeared! When I make it again (and I will), I'll post a picture of it here.

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