Welcome To Diana's Desserts Newsletter

Edition Number #5

March 2, 2003

Welcome Home Baker's and Friends,


I can't believe that it's March already and how fast this year seems to be going
by. It's almost spring time. Doesn't it seem like Christmas was just the other

Spring is "just around the corner" as they say, and it's almost time to start
thinking about making warmer weather desserts.

Some really nice fresh fruit is starting to appear in the produce section of our
supermarkets and soon it will be time to start taking advantage of them, making
desserts such as delicious quick breads, scones, tarts, pies, etc.

Also, March 17th is St. Patrick's Day and in this edition of Diana's Desserts
Newsletter I will share with you some treats to celebrate this very much loved
Irish holiday. Also I will be giving you a little history of St. Patrick's Day.

As always, included in each edition of my newsletter, there is a Guest Submitted
Recipe of the month. This recipe will be the Recipe of the Week on Diana's
Desserts website from Sunday March 2nd thru Saturday March 8th. This month the
recipe is for Lemon Meringue Pie.

I hope you enjoy this edition of my newsletter, and as always please let me know
if you've made any of the desserts and how they turned out. I am always
interested in your comments and feedback.

Guest Submitted Recipe for March


Lemon Meringue Pie

Servings: 8

This is a very smooth, lemony and rich pie. It makes a super special

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups cold water
3 egg yolks,
slightly beaten
Grated peel of 1 lemon
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp. margarine
baked 9-inch pie shell
3 egg whites
1/3 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C).

In medium saucepan combine 1 cup sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in water
until smooth. Stir in egg yolks. Stirring constantly, bring to boil over medium
heat; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in next 3 ingredients (the grated
lemon peel, lemon juice and the margarine). Spoon hot filling into baked 9-inch
pie crust.

In small mixer bowl beat egg whites at high speed until foamy. Gradually beat in
the 1/3 cup sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread evenly over filling; sealing to
crust. Bake in 350 degree F (180 C) oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Cool
on rack; refrigerate.

Makes 8 servings

Source: My Grandma

Submitted By: Pat Wynn

Thank you Pat for being so kind to submit your Grandma's recipe for this lovely
Lemon Meringue Pie..........Diana

Click here to view recipe and photo of Lemon Meringue Pie on Diana's Desserts

St. Patrick's Day Desserts


Irish Coffee Cheesecake

Servings: 8-10

It's a cheesecake with "blarney". A creamy, thick sweet cheesecake on
a sweet cocoa crust.

For the Crust:
16 tbsp. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into
small pieces
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup rice
1/2 cup cocoa powder
Large pinch of salt

For the Cheesecake:
1 1/2 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated
4 eggs
1 lb. sour cream
1/3 cup Irish Whiskey
2 tbsp. instant espresso

For the Glaze:
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 tbsp. Irish Whiskey
8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream

Cocoa powder for dusting
Whipped Cream, for garnish

To make the crust, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with
the flat beater, combine the butter, granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, rice
flour, cocoa powder and salt. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together.
Roll out the dough into a 9-inch round. Pat the dough into the bottom of a
9-inch springform pan. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or as long as

Preheat an oven to 300 degrees F (150 C).

Bake the crust for 30 minutes. Let cool completely.

To make the cheesecake, have a pot of hot water ready. In the bowl of an
electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the cream cheese on medium
speed until smooth. Add the granulated sugar and beat until smooth. Add the eggs
1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the sour cream, the
espresso powder, the whiskey and mix until smooth.

Spread the batter evenly over the crust. Place the springform pan in a large
roasting or baking pan, then place on the oven rack. Carefully fill the roasting
pan halfway with hot water. Bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. To test for doneness,
gently shake the pan; the cheesecake should be set from the center to the edges
but not dry.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes, then refrigerate
until chilled throughout, about 1 hour.

To make the glaze, in a small, heavy saucepan over low heat, combine the brown
sugar, butter and cream. Heat until the sugar dissolves, then increase the heat
to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring
constantly, until thick and smooth, add the whiskey. Let cool to room

When ready to serve, remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator and transfer to
a large serving plate. Cut with a hot, dry knife. Drizzle slices with the
caramel glaze and dust with cocoa powder. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Serves 8-10

Click here to view recipe and photo of Irish Coffee Cheesecake on Diana's
Desserts Website.

St. Patricks Day Cupcakes

Servings: Makes 18 cupcakes

Celebrate the luck O' The Irish by serving these festive cupcakes for
dessert. Kids and leprechauns alike will love the color and the loads of
chocolate chips inside, and they'll also have alot of fun helping you make these
tasty cupcakes. Be sure to have adult help with the baking.

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 4-serving-size package instant
pistachio pudding mix
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces
2/3 cup sugar

2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 beaten eggs
1-1/4 cups milk

1/2 cup cooking oil
1 teaspoon vanilla or 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 of a
can (store bought) cream cheese frosting (1 cup)
Green colored sugar
1/2 cup
candy-coated milk chocolate pieces

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C). Grease muffin cups or
line with paper bake cups. In a large mixing bowl stir together flour, pudding
mix, chocolate pieces, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl combine
beaten eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla or almond extract. Stir into flour mixture
just until combined. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.

2. Bake in a 375 degree F (190 C) oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden
brown. Cool on a wire rack. Frost with cream cheese frosting; sprinkle with
green sugar, then milk chocolate pieces.

Makes 18 cupcakes.

Make-Ahead Tip: Up to 2 weeks ahead, prepare and bake the cupcakes but do not
frost them. Wrap and freeze the cupcakes. Thaw and frost before serving.

Source: Better Homes & Gardens

Click here to view recipe and photo of St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes on Diana's
Desserts Website.

Guinness Cake-Also known as Porter Cake


Porter is a type of Dark Irish beer, not now as widely available as it once was.
It is not as strong as stout but Guinness, Murphy's or other Irish stout can be
substituted in this recipe if mixed fifty-fifty with water. This cake is quick
and easily made, and though it tastes good fresh from the oven, it is best kept
for about a week in an airtight container. Porter or Guinness is made
commercially in Ireland and is exported all over the world. It is especially
popular during the St. Patrick's Day holiday.

Guinness Cake
(Also known as Porter Cake)

Makes 12 servings

175g/6oz. butter
450g/1lb. mixed dried fruit (currants, raisins and
Zest and juice from 1 orange
175g/6oz. light muscovado sugar (or
light brown sugar)
200ml/7fl oz. Porter or Guinness Stout
1 tsp. baking soda
eggs, beaten
300g/10oz. plain flour
2 tsp. mixed spice (or pumpkin pie spice)

For the Topping:
2 tbsp. flaked almonds
2 tbsp. demerara sugar


1. Preheat oven to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2. Grease and line (with parchment or wax
paper) the base of a 20cm/8inch round deep cake pan.

Put the butter, dried fruit, orange zest and juice, sugar and porter (or
Guinness) in a large pan. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring until the butter
has dissolved, then simmer for 15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then stir in the
baking soda. The mixture will foam up, but don't worry this is just the baking
soda doing its work.

2. Stir the beaten eggs into the pan, then sift in the flour and spice and mix
well. Pour into the prepared pan, smooth the top with the back of a spoon and
sprinkle with flaked almonds and demerara sugar. Bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours
until a skewer or toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

3. Cool cake in the pan for 15 minutes; then turn out and remove the paper and
leave to cool completely on a wire rack. Ideally, return to the pan for a couple
of days.

Makes 12 servings.

Source: BBC Online
Recipe adapted from Good Food Magazine

Click here to view recipe and photo of Guinness Cake on Diana's Desserts

Irish Coffee

Servings: 1

A little History of the famous "Irish Coffee".

The Buena Vista, San Francisco, California USA

"Irish Coffee was concieved by bartender Joe Sheridan at Shannon Airport,
Ireland. Patrons would approach the small bar shivering and ask for a heart
warmer. The blend of Irish Whiskey, piping hot coffee topped with cool cream was
just the trick. In 1952 Stanton Delaplane, an international travel writer,
discovered this treat and brought it home to bartender Jack Koeppler at the
Buena Vista. Here they attempted to recreate the magnificent drink without
success. The cool cream float kept sinking. Koeppler visited the Shannon Airport
to learn from the drink's creator, and the rest is history".

For an alcohol-free version, try it without the Irish Whiskey, and add a little
Vanilla Extract and a sprinkle of Cinnamon.

1 Jigger Irish Whiskey
Strong coffee
Heavy cream
Brown sugar

For Alcohol-Free Irish Coffee:
Omit the Irish Whiskey
Add 1/8 teaspoon Vanilla
Add a sprinkle of ground cinnamon over the cream
Cinnamon stick to
garnish (optional)

Fill glass with hot water to pre-heat it empty. Pour piping hot
coffee into warmed glass until it is about 3/4 full. Add 1 tablespoon brown
sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Blend in Irish Whiskey. Top with a
collar of slightly whipped heavy cream by pouring gently over a spoon. Enjoy
while piping hot.

Makes 1 serving

Source: The Buena Vista, San Francisco California, USA

Click here to view recipe and photo of Irish Coffee on Diana's Desserts Website.

Emerald Isle Lime and Fruit Cream Cheese Mold


In Ireland, gelatin or Jello is known as "jelly", so if you ever hear an Irish
person refer to what we know here in the USA as "jello", you'll know what they
mean when they say "jelly".

The colors of the Irish flag are green, orange and white. Here is a dessert
that's fits right in with the theme of St. Patrick's Day. Don't forget to serve
this dessert with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream to finish off the colors of

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours, 30 mins

Makes 10 servings

1 can (16 oz.) peach halves, undrained
1 package (8-serving size)
lime flavor gelatin*
1-1/2 cups cold ginger ale** (see substitution below)
tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
Vanilla Ice Cream
or Whipped Cream, to serve with gelatin mold

*Note: You may use 2 packages (4 serving-size each) lime flavor gelatin for 1
package (8-serving size).

Drain peaches, reserving liquid. Add water to liquid to measure
1-1/2 cups; bring to boil in small saucepan. Chop peaches, set aside.

Stir boiling liquid into gelatin in large bowl at least 2 minutes until
completely dissolved. Stir in cold ginger ale (or water, if using) and lemon
juice. Pour 1 cup of the gelatin into 5-cup mold. Refrigerate about 30 minutes
or until slightly thickened (spoon drawn through leaves definite impression).
Arrange some of the peaches in mold, pushing into gelatin in mold.

Meanwhile, gradually add remaining gelatin to cream cheese in large bowl, mixing
with wire whisk until well blended. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until
slightly thickened (consistency of unbeaten egg whites). Stir in remaining
peaches. Spoon over gelatin layer in mold.

Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Unmold. Serve gelatin with vanilla ice cream
or whipped cream. Store leftover gelatin mold in refrigerator.

How To Unmold Gelatin

Dip mold in warm water for about 15 seconds. Gently pull gelatin from around
edges with moist fingers. Place moistened serving plate on top of mold. Invert
mold and plate; Holding mold and plate together, shake slightly to loosen.
Gently remove mold and center gelatin on plate.

**Substitution: You may substitute water for the ginger ale in this recipe.

Makes 10 servings.

Source: Diana's Desserts

Click here to view the recipe and photo of Emerald Isle Lime and Fruit Cream
Cheese Mold.

Early Spring Time Desserts


Apple Lady Scones

Servings: 6

What a cozy and warm way to greet the morning with these wonderful fresh apple
scones. So good with a nice cup of tea or coffee, or enjoy with your favorite
glass of juice.

2 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
tbsp. granulated sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 apple, peeled, cored and grated
cup buttermilk
Cinnamon and sugar mixture (2 tbsp. sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon
mixed together)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 C). In mixing bowl combine
flour, baking powder and sugar. Cut in shortening. Stir in grated apple. Add
buttermilk, mix until soft dough forms. Turn out onto floured board. Pat into a
6-7 inch round disk, sprinkle top with cinnamon and sugar mixture, cut into
triangular or round shapes. Place on ungreased baking sheet and bake for 20
minutes or until nicely browned. Enjoy with apple jelly or pear jam.

Source: Diana's Desserts

Click here to view recipe and photo of Apple Scones on Diana's Desserts Website.

A Recipe for Diabetics-Orange Almond Biscotti


This is a recipe not only for people with diabetes, but also for anyone who
wants to cut back on the fat and sugar in their diet.

Servings: 32 Biscotti

1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons
4 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 cups
all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 orange peel, finely grated
teaspoon orange extract or flavoring
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C). Place almonds in a small
baking pan. Bake 7 to 8
minutes until golden brown (watch carefully to avoid
burning). Set aside.
Beat sugar and margarine in medium bowl with electric mixer
until smooth. Add egg
whites and almond extract, mix well. Combine flour, baking
powder and salt
in large bowl, mix well. Stir egg white mixture and almonds into
flour mixture until well blended, add grated orange peel and orange extract.

Spray two 9x5 inch loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray. Evenly divide dough

between prepared pans. Spread dough evenly over bottoms of pans with wet

fingertips. Bake 15 minutes or until knife inserted into centers comes out
Remove from oven and turn onto cutting board. As soon as loaves are cool
to handle, cut each into 16 (1/2-inch thick) slices. Place slices on
baking sheets
covered with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 5
minutes; turn
over. Bake 5 minutes more or until golden brown. Serve warm or
cool completely and
store in airtight container.

Makes 32 Biscotti

Nutritional Information:
Serving size: 1 biscotti
Calories: 56
Protein: 1 g
1 g
Carbohydrates: 9 g
Diabetic Exchanges: 1/2 Starch/Bread, 1/2 Fat

Source: Diabetic Cookbook

Click here to view recipe and photo of Orange Almond Biscotti on Diana's
Desserts Website.

Blueberry-Banana Nut Bread


Servings: 8-10

You can make this quick bread with delicious fresh blueberries, or use
frozen if needed.

2 cups Bisquick Original baking mix
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
cup sugar
1 cup mashed bananas (3 medium, very ripe)
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp.
vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 cup chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). Grease 9x5x3 inch loaf pan
with butter or shortening.

Mix baking mix, oats, sugar, bananas, milk and eggs in large mixing bowl until
moistened; beat vigorously 30 seconds. Fold in blueberries, and chopped walnuts.
Pour batter into pan.

Bake 60-70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool
10 minutes; loosen loaf from sides of pan. Remove from pan to wire rack. Cool
completely before slicing.

Makes: One 9x5 inch loaf

Source: Diana's Desserts

Click here to view recipe and photo of Blueberry-Banana Nut Bread on Diana's
Desserts Website.

History of St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day is Ireland's greatest national holiday as well as a holy day.
The date marks the anniversary of the death of the missionary who became the
patron saint of Ireland. It is a happy holiday for the Irish wherever they may
be - in Dublin, New York City, Boston, or San Francisco. The day celebrated with
parades, speeches, festive dinners, and dances. Green is the color of the day,
with thousands of little cloth shamrocks worn even by those whose forefathers
never touched the shores of Ireland. It is known that St. Patrick was born in
Britain to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. At the age of
sixteen, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were
attacking his family's estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent
six years in captivity. During this time, he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and
away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for solace,
becoming a devout Christian.

The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place not in Ireland, but in the United
States. Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York
City on March 17, 1762. Along with their music, the parade helped the soldiers
to reconnect with their Irish roots, as well as fellow Irishmen serving in the
English army. Suddenly, annual St. Patrick's Day parades became a show of
strength for Irish Americans, as well as a must-attend event for a slew of
political candidates. In 1948, President Truman attended New York City's St.
Patrick's Day parade, a proud moment for the many Irish whose ancestors had to
fight stereotypes and racial prejudice to find acceptance in America.

Today, St. Patrick's Day is celebrated by people of all backgrounds in the
United States, Canada, and Australia. Although North America is home to the
largest parades, St. Patrick's Day has been celebrated in other locations far
from Ireland, including Japan, Singapore, and Russia, and many other parts of
the world.

In modern-day Ireland, St. Patrick's Day has traditionally been a religious
occasion. In fact, up until the 1970's, Irish laws mandated that pubs be closed
on March 17. Beginning in 1995, however, the Irish government began a national
campaign to use St. Patrick's Day as an opportunity to drive tourism and
showcase Ireland to the rest of the world. Last year, close to one million
people took part in Ireland's St. Patrick's Festival in Dublin, a multi-day
celebration featuring parades, concerts, outdoor theater productions, and
fireworks shows.

What's New at Diana's Desserts?


I want to let all of you know that I've put a RECIPE SEARCH BOX on my website.
Now it will be much easier for those of you who want to find that special
dessert that you found on Diana's Desserts website in the past, printed it out,
but lost or misplaced it. All you need to do is type in the name of an
ingredient or recipe name, or partial recipe name, and click GO. That's it, and
the search will find all recipes with that ingredient or name. I have had
several requests from guests to my website asking me if I could possibly do
this, and I want to thank you all for being so patient. The SEARCH BOX is
located on the left hand side navigation bar, and is on all pages of Diana's
Desserts website, except for the Discussion Forum.


You will now be able to print out recipes directly from Diana's Desserts
website. I have placed a Printer Friendly Version option with all recipes on my
website. I hope all of you who asked me for this Printing Option, will be

Until Next Month

I hope you have enjoyed the recipes and article on St. Patrick's Day and the
recipes for a few "early" springtime desserts.

April's Newsletter will focus on desserts and other foods for Easter, and
recipes for the Jewish holiday Passover.

Please submit your recipes for Diana's Desserts April Newsletter by March 21st,
as I will start to draft my newsletter for April the last week of March. I am
hoping some of you will share some of your favorite Easter or Passover recipes
with other guests of Diana's Desserts website.

If you celebrate St. Patrick's Day wherever you live, have a great time, and as
they say in Ireland on this happy day, "Erin Go Bragh, Ireland Forever".

Have a great month. I will be back the first part of April with another Edition
of Diana's Desserts Newsletter.

Happy Baking and Cooking!

Sincerely, Diana

Diana's Desserts
A Website Dedicated to Home Bakers

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