Diana's Desserts Newsletter
Edition Number #6
April 6, 2003
Welcome Home Baker's and Friends,
Spring has finally arrived. The joy of warmer weather, getting out again into
the fresh air, enjoying the sunshine and the blooming of colorful spring flowers
and of course the smell of fresh baked goodies, is truly delightful. Spring is
so very welcomed.
For those of you that submitted recipes to Diana's Desserts Website in March,
you choose some wonderful recipes, and I want to thank you very much. As always
in my monthly newsletter, one of these guest submitted recipes is included as
Recipe of the Month, and also will be Recipe of the Week on Diana's Desserts
Website from Sunday April 6th through Saturday April 12th. This month's Guest
Submitted Recipe is: Oatmeal Macaroons submitted by Maureen Barrientos.
This edition of Diana's Desserts Newsletter will focus on Spring, Easter and
Passover recipes. I hope you enjoy them, and if you make any of these desserts
or rolls, please let me know how they turned out. I am always interested in your
feedback; whether positive or negative.
A Food Tips and Information Feature is now being included in Diana's Desserts
Newsletter. This month, the subject is Cream and Cream Products. I hope you
enjoy this new section of Diana's Desserts Newsletter.
DATES TO REMEMBER:
SPRING began on March 20, 2003 and lasts until June 21, 2003 when Summer
PASSOVER begins at Sundown on Wednesday April 16, 2003 and lasts for eight days,
ending on Thursday Night April 24, 2003.
EASTER SUNDAY falls on April 20, 2003.
ORTHODOX EASTER falls on Sunday April 27, 2003.
GUEST SUBMITTED RECIPE
"You'd be surprised at the versatility of oatmeal. I've been looking
for the best recipe for macaroons, but after testing the ones found in recipe
books, I'm still not satisfied with the results, so I've decided to create my
own recipe. After testing my recipe, I can say I've found the one that will
satisfy me. I hope you'll enjoy these oatmeal macaroons too".......... Maureen
Servings: 75 - 80 macaroons
4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 (14 oz.) can (300mL)
sweetened condensed milk
200 grams (3/4 cup) dessicated coconut
1 cup quick cooking oats
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup butter, slightly melted (creamy)
Small paper baking cups
Beat the eggs well and add the sugar, sweetened condensed milk,
vanilla, dessicated coconut, oats and butter. Mix well. Drop a spoonful (a
teaspoonful or so is good) of the mixture into the small paper baking cups,
(filling baking cups about 2/3 full), and bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees C
(375 degrees F), or until light brown.
Makes: 75 - 80 macaroons
Source: My Own Recipe
Submitted By: Maureen Barrientos
Thank you Maureen for submitting your very own and "very special" recipe for
Oatmeal Macaroons with us. They will make a delicious treat for Easter or for
any time of the year!
Click here to view recipe and photo of Oatmeal Macaroons on Diana's Desserts
SPRING - EASTER - PASSOVER RECIPES
Spring Celebation Cake
Servings: Makes a 9-inch Layer Cake
Mark the beginning of spring with this extra-special layer cake that
features a rich mint-flavored cream nestled between layers of moist vanilla
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
green food coloring, optional
2 cups (1 pint) whipping cream, whipped (do NOT
use non-dairy whipped topping)
1 package (2 layer size) white cake mix
Creme de menthe liqueur
1 (8-ounce) container frozen non-dairy whipped topping,
thawed (3 1/2 cups)
You will need:
3 (9-inch) round cake pans
For Ice Cream Layer:
Line a 9-inch round cake pan with aluminum foil. Whip the 2
cups whipping cream.
In large bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, peppermint extract and green
food coloring (if using). Fold in whipped cream. Pour into prepared pan; cover.
Freeze at least 6 hours or until firm.
For Layer Cakes:
Meanwhile, prepare and bake cake mix as package directs for two
9-inch round layers. Remove from pans; cool thoroughly.
With fork, poke holes in both cake layers 1 inch apart halfway through each
layer. Spoon small amounts of liqueur in holes.
Place one cake layer on serving plate; top with ice cream layer; then second
cake layer. Trim ice cream layer to edge of cake layers.
Frost quickly with non-dairy whipped topping. Return to freezer for at least 6
hours before serving. Garnish as desired. Freeze leftovers.
Tip: If desired, decorate top of cake with pale green edible leaves, and edible
pastel pink flowers. Edible flowers and leaves may be purchased online at:
Makes a 9 inch layer cake.
Click here to view recipe and photo of Spring Celebration Cake on Diana's
Raspberry Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake
This beautiful cheesecake makes a fantastic presentation. Garnish top
with fresh raspberries and mint sprigs, and serve with fresh raspberry sauce.
For The Chocolate Crumb Crust:
1-1/4 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
(about 40 wafers)
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup (1/2 stick)
melted butter or margarine
For The Cheesecake Filling:
3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
granulated sugar, divided
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
3 large eggs
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2/3 cup seedless red raspberry
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 to 4 drops red food color (optional)
For The Raspberry Sauce:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
(10 oz.) frozen red raspberries, thawed
For The Garnish-Optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C).
For The Chocolate Crumb Crust:
In medium bowl, stir together the vanilla wafer
crumbs, confectioners' sugar and cocoa. Stir in the melted butter or margarine.
Press mixture onto bottom and 1/2 inch up side of 9-inch springform pan. Bake 8
to 10 minutes; cool slightly.
For The Cheesecake Filling:
In large bowl, beat cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar and
1 teaspoon vanilla until smooth. Add eggs; beat until well blended.
In medium bowl, stir together cocoa and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Add oil,
remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1-1/2 cups cream cheese mixture; blend well.
Stir jam to soften. Add jam, flour and food color, if desired, to remaining
mixture in bowl; blend well.
Pour half of raspberry mixture into prepared crust. Drop small spoonfuls of
about half of chocolate mixture over raspberry. Repeat procedure with remaining
mixture, ending with chocolate on top; gently swirl with knife or metal spatula
for marbled effect.
Bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees F (120 C); continue
baking 55 minutes or until center appears set. Remove from oven to wire rack.
With knife, loosen cake from side of pan. Cool completely; remove side of pan.
Cover; refrigerate several hours before serving. Serve with Raspberry Sauce and
fresh raspberries, if desired. Cover and refrigerate leftover cheesecake.
Makes 10-12 servings.
In small saucepan, stir together sugar and the cornstarch; stir
in the thawed red raspberries. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until
mixture boils; boil and stir 1 minute. Cool; press through sieve to remove
seeds. Serve with cheesecake.
Makes about 1 cup sauce.
Click here to view recipe and photo of Raspberry Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake on
Diana's Desserts Website.
Hot Cross Buns
Makes 12 buns
On the first day of Lent and during the six weeks that follow, many
bakeries and Christian homes make Hot Cross Buns. They are generally only served
during the Lenten season, preserving their Christian significance.
Traditionally, they are prepared on Good Friday.
1/2 cup warm milk
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 tsp. Plus 1/4 cup
2 cups Plus 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
5 tbsp. unsalted
butter, cut into small pieces and softened
2 large eggs
2 tbsp. golden raisins
tbsp. diced candied citron
2 tbsp. diced candied orange peel
4 tbsp. superfine
3 tbsp. water
In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the milk, yeast and
the 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar. Set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, mix together the 2 cups flour, the allspice, cinnamon, salt
and the 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Add half of the flour mixture to the milk
mixture. Using the flat beater, beat until combined. Add the butter and 1 egg
and mix to combine. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until a soft dough
Fit the mixer with the dough hook and knead until the dough is smooth and
elastic, about 10 minutes. If needed, add flour 1 tbsp. at a time (up to 1/4
cup) to keep the dough from being sticky. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled
large bowl and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise
in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Punch down the dough and knead in the raisins, citron and orange peel. Shape the
dough into a 12-inch log and cut into 12 equal pieces. Cover with plastic wrap
and let rest for 10 minutes. Shape each piece into a ball and place on the
prepared baking sheet, spacing the buns 1 1/2 inches apart. Cover and let rise
in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 C).
In a bowl, mix together the remaining egg with 3 tbsp. of the superfine sugar to
make a glaze. In another bowl, combine the remaining 3 tbsp. flour, 1 tbsp.
superfine sugar and the water to make a paste for the crosses. Transfer the
paste to a pastry bag fitted with a small tip. Brush the buns with the egg glaze
and pipe a cross onto each. Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve warm.
Makes 12 buns
Source: Williams-Sonoma Taste Magazine
Click here to view recipe and photo of Hot Cross Buns on Diana's Desserts
Festive Easter Cookies
Makes 4 dozen cookies
The kids will love to help you decorate these cute easter cookies, and
they'll love to eat them up too!
For Cookie Dough:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
For Icing and Decoration:
Royal Icing (see recipe below)
Assorted food colors
Assorted sprinkles and candies
Beat butter and powdered sugar in large bowl at high speed of
electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg, lemon peel and vanilla; mix well. Combine
flour and salt in medium bowl. Add to butter mixture; mix well.
Divide dough in half. Wrap each half with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 3 hours or
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C). Roll dough on floured surface to 1/8-inch
thickness. Cut out dough using Easter cookie cutters, such as eggs, bunnies and
tulips, or egg shape. Place cutouts on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 8 to 12 minutes or just until edges are very lightly browned. Remove to
wire racks; cool completely. Prepare Royal Icing; tint with food colors as
desired. Decorate with sprinkles and candies.
1 egg white, at room temperature* (see note)
2 to 2-1/2
cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
*Use only Grade A clean, uncracked egg.
Beat egg white in small bowl with electric mixer at high speed until foamy.
Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar and almond extract. Beat at low speed until
moistened. Increase mixer speed to high and beat until icing is stiff, adding
additional powdered sugar if needed.
Makes 4 dozen cookies
Click here to view recipe and photo of Festive Easter Cookies on Diana's
English Easter Trifle
Definition: Pronounced [TRI-fuhl]. Originally from England, this dessert
consists of sponge cake or ladyfingers doused with spirits (usually sherry),
covered with jam and custard, topped with whipped cream and garnished with
candied or fresh fruit, nuts or grated chocolate. Trifle is refrigerated for
several hours before serving.
Copyright (c) 1995 by Barron's Educational Series, from The New Food Lover's
Companion, Second Edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst
What a lovely way to welcome in the new season. Make this "cheery" trifle with a
few of the fresh fruits of Spring, such as strawberries, blueberries, and ever
popular bananas. This decorative, creamy and fruity dessert with little cubes of
cake in it will definitely be a hit at Easter........Diana
Makes 10 - 12 servings
For Bottom Layer of Trifle:
1 store bought ready-made pound cake OR
angel food cake OR sponge cake, OR 1 - 2 packages of ladyfingers
4 tbsp. sherry
For Layering over Cake Cubes:
1 box vanilla pudding mix (4.3 ounce size), OR
custard mix, OR ready-made custard* (see note below)
For Layering over Custard:
1 box (small or large size) strawberry jello;
prepared and cooled, OR 1 - 1 1/2 cups strawberry jam
For Layering over Strawberry Jello or Strawberry Jam:
2 pints fresh strawberries
1 - 2 pints fresh blueberries
3 - 4 medium to large size bananas
2 tbsp. lemon
Whipped Cream or Non-Dairy Frozen Whipped Topping, thawed
1/8 - 1/4
cup sliced almonds
1/4 - 1/3 cup fresh blueberries
1 - 2 whole strawberries, for
garnishing top of trifle
You will need:
1) One large baking or cookie sheet
2) One glass trifle bowl, or
any other large clear glass bowl that you might have on hand
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Have ready a large
baking or cookie sheet.
To Prepare Cake Cubes:
Cut ready-made cake (or ladyfingers, if using) into 1
inch cubes; place cake cubes on baking sheet and place in preheated 250 degree F
(120 C) oven to dry cake cubes out for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven.
Let cake cubes (or ladyfingers) cool in baking sheet. Drizzle 4 tbsp. of sherry
wine over the cubes, let sherry soak into cake cubes for about 20-30 minutes (
soaking cake cubes in wine is optional). Set aside.
To Prepare Custard or Vanilla Pudding:
If not using ready-made custard or
pudding, prepare custard or instant vanilla pudding according to directions on
package; set aside and let cool completely.
To Prepare Fruit:
Hull, wash and slice strawberries (reserve one or two whole
strawberries for garnishing top of trifle); set aside. Rinse and dry blueberries
(reserving about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of the blueberries for the top of trifle); set
aside. Slice bananas into 1/2 inch pieces. Place sliced bananas in a large bowl
and sprinkle with the 2 tbsp. lemon juice; set aside.
To Assemble Trifle:
Place 1/4 or 1/3 of the cake cubes (how much depends on how
many layers you are going to be able to fit into your particular trifle or clear
glass bowl) in bottom of trifle bowl. Spread 1/4 or 1/3 (this also depends on
how many layers you are making) of the cooled vanilla pudding (or custard) over
cake cubes. Spread a layer of the prepared and cooled strawberry jello (or
strawberry jam) over the pudding (or custard); then layer the sliced
strawberries, the blueberries and the sliced bananas over the strawberry jello
(or strawberry jam). Repeat layering cake cubes, pudding (or custard), jello (or
jam, if using) and fruit until you reach the top of the glass trifle bowl,
approximately 3 - 4 layers of all ingredients. Refrigerate trifle for at least 3
- 4 hours before serving.
When ready to serve, top the trifle with whipped cream, or thawed
non-dairy whipped topping. Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the whipped cream
topping, and garnish with reserved blueberries and place 1 or 2 whole
strawberries in the center of trifle.
Store any un-eaten trifle in refrigerator. Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum
Makes 10 - 12 servings.
*Notes: I use Bird's Powdered Custard Mix from England, which I get at my local
supermarket. It is usually on the aisle where puddings and jellos are kept. Many
markets now carry this custard mix. If your supermarket has a section for
British foods or a gourmet foods section, they may have ready-made custard in a
can from England, such as Ambrosia Devon Custard. You can also find Bird's
ready-made custard or powdered custard online. Ambrosia Devon Custard in cans is
also available online.
Source: Diana's Desserts
Click here to view recipe and photo of English Easter Trifle on Diana's Desserts
It is the Jewish custom that meat and dairy foods are not eaten at the
same meal. Pareve (PAHR uh vuh), or neutral foods, such as eggs, are allowed.
Margarine, if labeled pareve, is permitted. This makes these neutral brownies a
terrific dessert for either a meat or dairy meal.
Makes 16 brownies
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup margarine (pareve-kosher for
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup matzo cake meal
brandy or water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Sifted powdered sugar
(pareve-kosher for passover), optional
Whole fresh strawberries for garnish
In a saucepan melt chocolate and margarine over low heat. In a
mixing bowl stir together chocolate mixture and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a
time, with an electric mixer on medium speed. Stir in matzo meal, brandy, and
salt. Stir in nuts. Pour into a greased 9x9x2-inch square baking pan. Bake in a
350 degree F (180 C) oven for 30 minutes. Cool. If desired, place paper doily or
cake stencil atop brownies; sprinkle with powdered sugar; remove doily. Cut into
Makes 16 brownies
Make Ahead Tip:
Prepare and cool brownies but do not sprinkle with powdered
sugar. Place on cookie sheet and freeze 30 minutes or until firm. Wrap in foil
and place in an airtight freezer container or plastic freezer bag; seal, label,
and freeze up to 2 weeks. Thaw overnight. Garnish with fresh strawberies if
Source: Diana's Desserts
Click here to view recipe and photo of Passover Brownies on Diana's Desserts
Passover Walnut Cake with a Light Custard Sauce (sauce is optional)
Makes 12 servings
This wonderful walnut cake with a light custard sauce may be served at
a dairy meal for Passover. If you choose not to make the custard, it can be
served at a dairy or Non-dairy Passover meal.
Matzo cake meal, for dusting cake pan
12 oz. (340 grams) walnut
4 eggs, separated
1 1/4 cups (225 grams) granulated sugar
Zest of 1
lemon, finely grated
Confectioners' sugar (Pareve-kosher for passover), for
Light Custard Sauce (see recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Grease, dust with matzo
cake meal and line a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan with parchment paper. Grind
the walnuts in a blender or food processor until fine but not greasy.
With an electric beater, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and
creamy. Fold in the lemon zest and the finely ground walnuts. Whisk egg whites
until stiff and carefully fold into the nut mixture. Gently pour into prepared
Bake in oven for 45-60 minutes until risen and firm. Cool in the pan. It will
shrink away from the edges. Remove from the pan and dust cake with
confectioners' sugar. Slice in thin wedges and serve with Light Custard Sauce,
Makes 12 servings.
Light Custard Sauce
Makes 2 cups
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon potato starch
1-3/4 cups 2% low-fat milk
1 large egg
2 teaspoons stick margarine or butter
(Pareve-kosher for passover), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine sugar and potato starch in top of a double boiler. Add low-fat milk and
egg, and stir well with a whisk. Cook over simmering water until thick (about 15
minutes); stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in margarine (or butter if
using) and vanilla extract. Place plastic wrap on surface; cool to room
temperature. Chill thoroughly.
Makes 2 cups custard sauce.
Source: Walnut Cake Recipe adapted from: The Book of Light Italian Dishes, by
Maxine Clark, Copyright Salamander Books Ltd. 1997.
Source for Light Custard Sauce: Diana's Desserts.
Click here to view recipe and photo of Passover Walnut Cake with a Light Custard
Sauce on Diana's Desserts Website:
Since flour is not used during the eight days of this Jewish holiday, these
lovely Passover Rolls are just the right thing to serve along with your Passover
Sedar meal entree. Since they are made with matzo meal and not flour, they are
Kosher for Passover. Also, they are great at breakfast time spread with butter
or margarine, and jam or preserves of your choice.
Makes 10-12 rolls
2 cups matzo meal
1 teaspoon salt (Pareve-Kosher-for-Passover)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
Extra vegetable oil, for oiling hands when shaping rolls
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C). Lightly grease baking
1). Wash hands with soap and water.
2). In a medium-large bowl, combine matzo meal, salt and sugar; stir well.
Transfer mixture to bowl of an electric mixer.
3). In a medium size saucepan, bring the oil and water to a boil; then remove
from heat. Turn off stove.
4). Add heated water/oil mixture to matzo meal mixture.
5). With electric mixer on low speed, mix matzo meal mixture/water and oil
mixture. Add the 4 eggs, one at a time at low speed, then turn speed up to
medium and beat well.
6). Let mixture stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, OR chill in
refrigerator for 20 minutes.
7). Wash hands again with soap and water.
8). Pour a small amount of vegetable oil into your palms and spread over your
hands* (see note). Grab a handful of dough and roll in your hands to form a ball
(about the size of a golf ball); place on prepared cookie sheet. Repeat making
rolls with remaining dough, placing each roll 2 inches apart on baking sheet.
*Note: You will need to keep "re-oiling" your hands for each roll, as batter
becomes very sticky.
9). Bake rolls in preheated 375 degree oven (190 C) for 45 minutes. (If rolls
are browning too fast, cover with aluminum foil.)
10). Remove from oven; after 5 minutes, place rolls on rack to cool.
Rolls are best when served warm. Store rolls in refrigerator, or if needed you
may place in airtight container and freeze any lefover rolls for up to 1 month.
Makes: Approximately 10-12 rolls.
Per serving (1 roll): 195 calories; 11g fat (1.9g
saturated fat;; 51 percent calories from fat); 19.4g carbohydrates; 71mg
cholesterol; 199mg sodium; 4.2g protein; 0.6g fiber.
Source: Diana's Desserts
Click here to view recipe and photo of Passover Rolls on Diana's Desserts
FOOD TIPS AND INFORMATION: CREAM AND CREAM PRODUCTS
What is the difference between Cream and Cream products?
Cream is the high-fat component of milk. All creams in the United States are at
least 18 percent milk fat. Some creams have higher fats than others. One cup of
whipping cream equals 2 cups of whipped cream. Here's a quick guide to cream and
Lowest on the scale of fat content is half-and-half, a milk-and-cream blend with
between 10.5 percent and 18 percent fat. This cannot be whipped, and it breaks
(divides into curds and whey) when heated. Next is light cream, also called
coffee cream or table cream, which has between 18 percent and 30 percent milk
fat. Light cream cannot be whipped and it breaks when heated. Light whipping
cream has more fat (between 30 percent and 36 percent) and it can be whipped
into a semi-stable foam (it will droop after too long), and it will reduce,
becoming thicker, when heated and left to boil. Heavy whipping cream has more
than 36 percent fat, and it creates a stable foam and reduces to a creamy
thickness when heated.
Cultured milk and cream products also have their own distinct properties.
However, none of them can be whipped, and they all break when heated. Buttermilk
has between 0.5 percent and 1 percent milk fat. Buttermilk can be substituted by
mixing 1 tablespoon vinegar per cup of milk and letting it sit for 5 minutes.
Yogurt has between 0.5 percent and 3.25 percent milk fat. Creme fraiche has
between 18 percent and 36 percent fat, and it is a smooth, slightly sour
thickened cream. It can be made by mixing 1 tablespoon buttermilk per 1 cup
heavy cream and then letting it ferment at 80 degrees F for 24 hours. Sour cream
has between 18 percent and 36 percent fat, except for the reduced and non-fat
kinds, which have less - 13.5 percent and less than 0.5 percent, respectively.
Mexican crema is cultured cream that is about the same consistency as creme
fraiche, it can be made quickly by thinning 2 cups sour cream with 1/2 cup milk
or slowly by mixing 1 cup heavy cream and 1 cup sour cream and culturing it the
same way as creme fraiche.
Source: Food Network
UNTIL NEXT MONTH
I hope that you have enjoyed looking over the Spring, Easter and Passover
recipes, and that some of you will try one or two of them.
I wish all of you a very Beautiful Spring, A Happy Easter, and a Festive and
Please submit your recipes for Diana's Desserts next newsletter by April 20th,
as that is when I will start drafting my newsletter for May. Next months
newsletter will focus on recipes for Cinco de Mayo and Mother's Day. I will have
some very lovely recipes for these special holidays.
Until next month, I wish you a great month, and also that there will be "Peace"
in the world soon.
Happy Baking and Cooking!