Welcome To Diana's Desserts Newsletter

Edition Number #3

January 5, 2003

I want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very Happy New Year, 2003.
I hope you had a wonderful, happy and healthy Christmas and Holiday season,
that you were able to make all the delicious desserts and foods that you
planned on for this joyous time. I also hope you were able to spend good times

with family and friends.

What We Did For Christmas 2002


At our home here in Northern California, in the beautiful Napa-Sonoma Wine
Country, my husband Kenny and I had our best friend Stell(who is from Ireland),
visit us from Copenhagen Denmark where she lives. This year Stella left her 2
grown children Jonathan and Jessica to spend Christmas with their Grand Parents
in Copenhagen. It was an especially joyous time for all of us this Christmas
season. Hopefully her children can be with us next Christmas, or maybe Kenny and
I will visit our good friends next year in Denmark. There is nothing like a
Scandinavian Christmas, and Denmark is so beautiful and festive during the
Christmas Season.

The New Year 2003

Well, it's the beginning of a new year, and that means it will soon be time to
start planning for the upcoming holidays such as Chinese New Years, Valentines
Day, St. Patricks Day, and so on. But for now, it's a good time to relax and
enjoy the winter and the warm cozy comfort foods we all love.

In this edition of Diana's Desserts Newsletter, I am including a recipe that I
chosen for January's Guest Submitted Recipe, and it is also the "Recipe Of
Week" on my website for this week of Sunday January 5th thru Saturday
January 11th.

January's Guest Submitted Recipe


Grandma's Pound Cake
Submitted by: Pat

Servings: Makes: 1 (one) 10-inch bundt cake or two 8x4 inch loaves

"This is a really good cake, it's good by itself or with frosting. I
have used a caramel frosting on it and it's yummy!"........Pat

2 cups (4 sticks) butter
2 cups granulated sugar
3 1/2 cups
all-purpose flour
8 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon extract

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube
pan or two 8x4 inch loaf pans. Set aside.

2. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes, or
until soft and creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed 5 to 7
minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until yellow disappears and mixture is
light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and lemon extracts, mixing well.

3. Gradually add flour to creamed mixture, mixing at low speed just until
blended after each addition.

4. Pour into prepared pan(s) and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until
toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan(s) on a wire rack for 10 minutes or so.
Remove from pan(2) and let cool completely on rack.

Makes: 1 (one) 10 inch bundt cake, or 2 (8x4 inch) loaves.

Source: My Grandma

Submitted By: Pat

Date: December 9, 2002

"Thank you Pat for this special Pound Cake recipe from your

Click Here for Recipe and Photo of Grandma's Pound Cake.

Winter's "Sweet" Cozy Comfort Foods Recipes


"Homemade Marshmallows are one of my favorite winter time sweets. They are great
to eat sitting around the fireplace and watching TV or listening to relaxing
music, or just chatting with family or friends"...............Diana

Homemade Marshmallows

Makes: 16-20 jumbo size marshmallows

Comments by Diana's Desserts:
These homemade marshmallows are fun to make,
especially if you like licking the bowl, they are so good. They are so much
better than the store bought marshmallows and quite easy to make.

Try dipping some of them in semisweet or bittersweet chocolate for a confection
everyone will love.

3 envelopes unflavored gelatin (approximately 2 1/2 to 3
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups corn syrup
1/4 cup water
teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Vegetable oil, for oiling plastic
Confectioners' sugar, for dredging marshmallows in

1) In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup
cold water. Soak for 10 minutes.

2) Combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a
full boil, and let boil for 1 minute.

3) Pour boiling syrup into gelatin mixture and mix at medium-high speed. Add
salt and beat at medium-high speed for 12 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix until
incorporated well into mixture.

4) Scrape marshmallow mixture into a 9x9-inch square pan lined with oiled
plastic wrap and spread evenly. (Note: lightly oil hands and spatula or bowl

5) After pouring marshmallow mixture into the pan, take another piece of plastic
wrap and press mixture firmly into the pan; then remove the plastic wrap.

6) Place pan in refrigerator to firm up marshmallow slab for at least 4 hours or

7) Take pan out of refrigerator, bring marshmallow slab to room temperature
(about 15-20 minutes).

8) Remove marshmallow slab from plastic wrap lined pan; place on work surface,
and coat the marshmallow slab with confectioners' sugar, trimming sides of slab
to make it neat and even. Cut slab into 16-20 pieces with a chef's knife or
kitchen scissors. Dredge (coat) each piece of marshmallow in confectioners'
sugar, or place a few marshmallows at a time in a large bowl with
confectioners's sugar and toss marshmallows in sugar.

9) Store marshmallows in an airtight container. Marshmallows will keep in
container for approximately 1 week.

Makes: 16-20 jumbo size marshmallows.

Click Here for Recipe and Photo for Homemade Marshmallows.

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Servings: 10

Comments by Nigella Lawson:
"I have a bad Amazon habit. You know the "when the
going gets tough, the tough go shopping" line? Well, the "not-so-tough" get
their retail therapy online. Or I do, when I can't sleep I start ordering books.
And I comfort myself twice over by telling myself how useful they are, how they
really help my work. I offer this recipe, adapted from a book that in itself
soothes, Tish Boyle's Diner Desserts, bought at 3AM one unravellingly wakeful
night, as proof.

This is the sort of cake you'd want to eat the whole of when you've been
chucked. But even the sight of it, proud and tall and thickly iced on its stand,
comforts".............Nigella Lawson

Makes: 10 servings or 1 with a broken heart

Ingredients: (Note: American Measurement Conversions Follow)
For The Cake:
400g plain flour
250g golden caster sugar
100g light muscovado
50g best quality cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. bicarbonate of
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
142ml/small tub sour cream
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
unsalted butter, melted and cooled
125ml corn oil
300ml chilled water

For The Fudge Icing:
175g dark (bittersweet) chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids

250g unsalted butter, softened
275g icing (confectioners') sugar, sifted
1 tbsp.
vanilla extract

American Ingredients Conversions:
For The Cake:
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
cup superfine sugar
7 tbsp. light muscavado sugar
3 1/2 tbsp. best quality cocoa
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1/2 to 2/3
cup sour cream
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted and
1/2 cup corn oil
1 1/4 cup chiled water

For The Icing:
3/4 cup dark bittersweet chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids
cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tbsp.
vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 C).

2. Butter and line the bottom of two 8-inch (20cm) sandwich (cake pans) tins.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder, baking
soda and salt. In another bowl or wide-necked measuring jug whisk together the
eggs, sour cream and vanilla until blended.

4. Using a freestanding or handheld electric mixer, beat together the melted
butter and corn oil until just blended (you'll need another large bowl for this
if using the hand whisk; the freestanding mixer comes with its own bowl), then
beat in the water. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix together on a
slow speed.

5. Add the egg mixture, and mix again until everything is blended and then pour
into the prepared tins. And actually, you could easily do this manually; I just
like my toys and find the KitchenAid a comforting presence in itself.

6. Bake the cakes for 50-55 minutes, or until a cake-tester comes out clean.
Cool the cakes in their tins (pans) on a wire rack for 15 minutes, and then turn
the cakes out onto the rack to cool completely.

7. To make the icing, melt the chocolate in the microwave for 2-3 minutes on
medium should do it, or in a bowl sitting over a pan of simmering water, and let
cool slightly.

8. In another bowl, beat the butter until it's soft and creamy (again, I use the
KitchenAid here) and then add the sieved icing sugar and beat again until
everything's light and fluffy. I know sieving is a pain, the one job in the
kitchen I really hate, but you have to do it or the icing will be unsoothingly
lumpy. Then gently add the vanilla and chocolate and mix together until
everything is glossy and smooth.

9. Sandwich the middle of the cake with about a quarter of the icing, and then
ice the top and sides too, spreading and smoothing with a rubber spatula.

Makes 10 servings.

Source: Nigella Bites: From Family Meals to Elegant Dinners-- Easy, Delectable
Recipes for Any Occasion By Nigella Lawson, Francesca Yorke, Photographer.
Publisher: Hyperion; ISBN: 0786868694; 1st edition (October 16, 2002)

Click Here For Recipe and Photo of Chocolate Fudge Cake.

Microwave Sour Cream Lemon Pie


"A quick and easy No-Bake Dessert, except for microwaving the filling

Makes 8 servings

Comments by Diana's Desserts:
"This microwave pie is so easy to make, and will
be ready in time for dessert. Use lemon or lime juice to flavor this delicious
dessert.".................Diana's Desserts


1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/4 cup milk
3 egg-yolks, slightly
1 teaspoon lemon rind
1/3 cup lemon juice (or lime juice)
1/4 cup real
margarine (not spread)
1 cup sour cream
1 graham cracker pie crust

In 2-quart microwave container, stir together sugar and
cornstarch. Gradually stir in milk until smooth. Stir in eggs, rind, and juice.
Add margarine. Mix and cook in microwave oven at 70% power until boiling (about
2-4 minutes), stirring once.

Boil in microwave oven for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove and cover mixture with
plastic wrap. Refrigerate 45 minutes to cool, but not set. Fold in sour cream
and turn into crust.

Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Garnish with whipped cream or non-dairy topping
such as Cool Whip.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: DianasDesserts.com

Click Here For Recipe and Photo of Sour Cream Lemon Pie.

Golden Syrup Sweet Dumplings

Makes 4 servings (enough for 4 people)

Comments by Diana's Desserts:
This is a recipe I found in an Austrailian
cookbook, and I thought these sweet dumplings sounded and looked so good, that I
would put the recipe on my website. They are definitely a "comfort" food. Great
on a chilly winter's day.

Try these little goodies for breakfast, or as a snack in between meals. They go
very well with coffee, tea or a cup of hot cocoa.............Diana

For The Dough:
1 cup self-rising flour
3 tablespoons unsalted
butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg
1 tbsp. milk

For The Golden Syrup:
1 cup granulated (castor) sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted
2 tbsp. golden syrup (light corn syrup, maple syrup or light treacle
syrup may be substituted for the golden syrup)
1/4 cup lemon juice

Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Using your
fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture is fine and crumbly, and make a
well in the center. Using a flatbladed knife, stir the combined egg and milk
into the flour mixture to form a soft dough.

To Make The Syrup:
Put 2 cups water in a large pan with the sugar, butter,
golden syrup (or use Light Corn Syrup, Maple Syrup, or Light Treacle Syrup) and
lemon juice. Stir over medium heat until combined and the sugar has dissolved.

Bring syrup to a boil, then gently drop dough by tablespoons into the syrup.
Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, or until a knife
inserted into a dumpling comes out clean. Spoon dumplings onto serving plates
and drizzle with the syrup.

Serve the warm dumplings immediately. If desired, serve with whipped cream, or a
scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Makes 4 servings (enough for 4 people).

Source: Cooking-A Commonsense Guide, Murdoch Books

Click Here For The Recipe and Photo of Golden Syrup Sweet Dumplings.

And Last, But Not Least, Bread Pudding. Always a great "Comfort
Food"...............Diana's Desserts


Croissant Bread Pudding

Makes: 6 servings

Comments by Diana's Desserts:
Bread Pudding, definitely a "comfort" food on a
chilly winter's day or evening.

An effortless way to elevate basic bread pudding is to substitute croissants for
day-old bread. To keep down the cost of this luxurious tasting dessert, check
the better bakeries in your area. They many sell day old croissants at half

Equipment Needed:

Measuring cups
Large roasting pan
7 x 11-inch glass or porcelain baking dish

Cutting board
Bread knife
Paring knife
Zippered top plastic bag
Electric mixer
fitted with paddle attachment
Wooden spoon
Wire rack


3/4 cup golden raisins
3 to 4 day-old croissants (about 12 ounces total)
3 cups
whole milk
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the roasting pan in
the oven and pour 1/2 inch of hot water into it.

2. Scatter the raisins across the bottom of the glass baking dish. Cut the
croissants into 1/2 inch thick slices and place on top of the raisins in the

3. Combine the milk, whole eggs, egg yolks, and sugar in the bowl of an electric
mixer fitted with a paddle. With the paring knife, split the vanilla bean in
half lengthwise. Place one half in the plastic bag and reserve for another use.
Scrape the seeds from the other half into the bowl. Discard the scraped bean
half. Beat on medium-low speed with the mixer until well blended and a little
frothy, 1 to 2 minutes.

4. Pour the egg mixture over the croissants and press the bread with the back of
the spoon to make sure that everything is submerged. Let stand a minute or two,
pressing with the spoon once or twice, to allow the bread to absorb the egg
mixture. Carefully place the dish in the pan of hot water and bake until golden
and just set, about 50 minutes.

5. Carefully remove the roasting pan from the oven, then remove the baking dish
from the pan and let cool on the wire rack. Serve slightly warm or let cool
completely, refrigerate covered with plastic wrap up to 24 hours, and serve

Makes: 6 servings.

Source: Instant Gratification by Lauren Chattman

Click Here For Recipe and Photo of Croissant Bread Pudding.

Additional Notes and Recipe


I hope you will enjoy these cozy winter time recipes. Please let me know if you
made any of them and how they turned out.

Here's one more recipe (a beverage), I will leave you with to try on a chilly
winter's day.

Hot Chocolate Espresso

Makes: 2 servings (about 2 cups)

Comments by Diana's Desserts:
Not for the worried weight watcher, this creamy
drink is pure indulgence but just right for after ice skating or sledding on a
wintry day.

1 cup strong hot coffee, or espresso
2 to 6 teaspoons granulated
1 cup cream, or 1/2 cup half-and-half and 1/2 cup milk
3 teaspoons
unsweetened cocoa

For Garnish:
Whipped cream
2 tablespoons milk chocolate, grated
Cinnamon sticks

In 2 large cups or glass mugs, mix the coffee (or espresso) and
sugar. In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the cream. Add the cocoa and mix
well. Add the cream mixture to the coffee and top with a dollop of whipped cream
and the grated chocolate. Serve with a cinnamon stick.

Makes 2 servings, or about 2 cups.

Source: DianasDesserts.com

Click Here For Recipe and Photo of Hot Chocolate Espresso.

Guest Submitted Recipes and The next Edition of Diana's Desserts Newsletter


Please don't forget to submit your recipes by the end of January, as I need to
choose a Guest Submitted Recipe for each month's edition of Diana's Desserts
Newsletter. The Guest Submitted Recipe I choose will also be the Recipe Of The
Week for the week of February 9th through February the 15th on Diana's Desserts

I'd like to say thank you to all of you who have been so kind to submit your
recipes to Diana's Desserts website.

The next edition of Diana's Desserts Newsletter will be emailed to guests on or
about the 9th of February.

Diana's Desserts Logo Aprons and Kitchen Towels


Don't forget to check out my new Diana's Desserts Logo Kitchen Aprons and Logo
Kitchen Towels for sale. Just click on the "Aprons and Towels" link on the left
hand side navigation bar on my website. They are made from the best quality
fabric from France. The kitchen towels are 100% cotton, and the aprons are a
linen-cotton blend. Both towels and aprons are machine washable. They make
wonderful gifts for those who love cooking or baking. I gave them to many of my
friends for Christmas gifts, and they loved them.

Click Here To View Diana's Desserts Logo Aprons and Kitchen Towels.



I will leave you with this very important observation on Food Trends:

What Food Trends can we expect this year?

"In these uncertain times, without a doubt, comfort food. Sharing a meal with
family and friends is our opportunity to control our quality of life and our
health in a time we have so little control over anything else. Comfort foods
prepared in the true spirit of their tradition - warm meals meant to nurture,
restore and energize - are our connection to home, to the familiar and to a
meaningful and spiritually fulfilling, future. Imparting this sense of family
and caring to our children is perhaps the greatest gift we have to offer them."

Source: Kathleen Daelemans: Host of Food Network's Cooking Thin

Closing Thoughts For The January 2003 Edition Of Diana's Desserts Newsletter


Until next month, relax and enjoy your time off from "serious" baking and
cooking. Most of you must be a bit "tired out" from all of your Holiday Baking
and Cooking.

Next month Diana's Desserts Newsletter will concentrate on plans and recipes for
Valentines Day and Chinese New Years 2003 (The Year of The Ram), and more
information on Food, Cooking and Baking Trends.

Sincerely, Diana

Diana's Desserts
A Website Dedicated to Home Bakers

Web site: http://www.dianasdesserts.com
E-mail: diana@dianasdesserts.com