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These mini chocolate; cakes are great for parties because they can be completely assembled the day before and then quickly baked before serving, for the all-important "ooze" factor.

Makes 6 servings

1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

Posted on Dec 20, 2007


This carrot cake recipe is tender and moist, and the cream cheese frosting is tangy and rich. The carrot cake can be prepared one day ahead. Sweetened cream of coconut is available in the liquor section of most supermarkets. (more…)

Posted on Dec 10, 2007


The fresh coconut makes this coconut cake extra special. Do not use nonfat milk. The lemon curd and simple syrup can be prepared ahead of time. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use. Go to how to open and grate coconut, for step-by-step instructions and video. (more…)

Posted on Dec 10, 2007


You may omit the poppy seeds from the Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake recipe. The fresh light flavor of Meyer lemon blends beautifully with the buttery flavor of pound cake. The lemon syrup tenderizes, adds tartness, and helps to keep the cake fresh for a few days longer than usual. If you cannot find Meyer lemon, use regular lemons. Meyer lemon is a citrus fruit, it has a sweeter, less acidic flavor than the common lemon at the grocery store, and a fragrant edible skin. Bake this refreshing, easy, Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake recipe today and share with your family and friends.

Makes three 7-1/2 x 3-1/2 x 2-1/2-inch cakes or two 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 2-1/2-inch cakes.

4 Meyer lemons
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups granulated white sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
6 large eggs
3 Tablespoons poppy seeds
11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable-oil cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray three 7-1/2 x 3-1/2 x 2-1/2 inch or two 8 1/2 x 4-1/2 x 2-1/2 inch loaf pans with cooking spray, and line bottoms and long sides with parchment paper.Place on a baking sheet; set aside.

2. Grate zest from lemons; set aside.

3. Sift flour, sugar, and baking powder into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Begin mixing on low speed, then add creme fraiche. Increase speed to medium, and beat in eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition, scrape the side of the bowl after each addition, then beat in butter. Add the poppy seeds, and grated zest. Beat for about 30 seconds to combine. Transfer to prepared pans.

4. Bake for 25 minutes. Using a sharp knife, cut lengthwise the middle of each cake. Return to oven and bake until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 45 minutes more depending on the size of the pans. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. Do not turn off oven.

Soaking Syrup
1-1/2 cups freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (from 4 to 8 lemons)
1-1/2 cups granulated white sugar

1. In a small saucepan, combine lemon juice and sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

2. Unmold cakes, and transfer to a large baking dish. Pour soaking syrup over cakes, and very gently squeeze the cakes to help syrup absorb. Carefully turn cakes upside down in syrup, and squeeze a bit more. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with a wire rack, and place in oven for 5 minutes. Remove and let cool. Do not turn off oven.

4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice, about 2 to 4 lemons

1. In a small saucepan, combine confectioners' sugar and lemon juice. Heat over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves and forms a thick glaze, about 1 minute.

2. Pour over cakes, and return to oven for 30 seconds to set glaze. Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes before slicing.

Posted on Dec 10, 2007

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