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Show Your Loved Ones You Care With Sweetheart Cake

Laura Carnie Correspondent

Chocolate - delicious, delectable, soothing and a delightful way to show family and friends how much you care.

This Valentine’s Day, serve a cake from your kitchen. Make it a sweet and decorative heart-shaped cake, a moist bundt cake or an oh-so-rich cheesecake.

Sweetheart Cake

Recipe from Kraft Foods. One-Bowl Chocolate Cake (see note):

6 squares semisweet baking chocolate

3/4 cup butter or margarine

1-1/2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2-1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 cups water Frosting and garnish:

1-1/3 cups sweetened flaked coconut

Red food coloring

2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed

2 large red gumdrops (for hearts)

1 large white gumdrop (for heart)

Chewy fruit snack roll, cut into strips (for bow)

For cake, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 1 (8-inch) round and 1 (8-inch) square cake pan; set aside.

Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwave-safe bowl on High power 2 minutes, or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

Stir sugar into chocolate mixture until well blended. With electric mixer on low speed, beat in eggs, one at a time. Continue beating until completely mixed. Add vanilla.

Combine 1/2 cup of the flour, baking soda and salt; stir to blend, then stir into chocolate mixture. Beat in remaining 2 cups flour alternately with water until well blended and smooth. Pour into greased and floured pans.

Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks.

Meanwhile, tint coconut pink by shaking in a lidded container with a few drops of red food coloring.

Leave square cake whole; cut round cake in half to create two half-circles. Place square cake in center of serving tray with corners pointing up and down (diamond shape). Using a small amount of whipped topping to hold pieces together, place the flat sides of the cake half-circles against the top two edges of the diamond to form a heart shape.

Frost cake with remaining whipped topping. Sprinkle with pink coconut. Flatten gumdrops with rolling pin; cut into 2-inch heart shapes with a small cookie cutter or sharp knife. Decorate cake with heart cut-outs and bow made with the strips of fruit snack. Store in refrigerator.

Yield: 12 to 16 servings.

Note: A cake mix (2-layer) may be substituted for the One-Bowl Chocolate Cake.

Chocolate Almond Bundt Cake

3/4 cup butter or margarine

1-2/3 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon almond extract

3/4 cup dairy sour cream

2 cups unsifted flour

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup buttermilk or sour milk (see note)

Almond Butter Cream Frosting (recipe follows)

1 cup sliced blanched almonds, toasted (see note)

Cream butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond extract in larger mixer bowl; blend in sour cream.

Combine flour, cocoa and salt. Stir baking soda into buttermilk in a small bowl; add alternately with dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed.

Pour batter into a well-greased and floured, 9- or 12-cup bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes for 9-cup pan, 60 to 65 minutes for 12-cup pan, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely.

Frost cool cake with Almond Butter Cream Frosting. Crush toasted almonds slightly and pat onto frosting.

Note: To sour milk, use 1 tablespoon vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup. To toast sliced blanched almonds, place on baking sheet in oven at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Cool.

Almond Butter Cream Frosting

5 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

2-1/2 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Cream butter until softened in small mixer bowl; add powdered sugar alternately with milk. Blend in vanilla and almond extract; beat to spreading consistency. If needed, beat in an additional teaspoon of milk.

Cocoa Cheesecake Supreme

1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

4 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Combine crumbs and melted butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine cream cheese, sugar and cocoa, mixing at medium speed on electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Blend in sour cream and vanilla; pour over crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Loosen cake from rim of pan; cool before removing rim of pan. Chill.

If desired, garnish with raspberries or strawberries and mint leaves, cherry sauce, or chocolate curls.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

MEMO: Have a food question? Looking for a recipe? Laura Carnie, a certified family and consumer scientist and food consultant in Coeur d’Alene, would like to hear from you. Write to Cook’s Notebook, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210. As many letters as possible will be answered in the newspaper; sorry, no individual replies.

Have a food question? Looking for a recipe? Laura Carnie, a certified family and consumer scientist and food consultant in Coeur d’Alene, would like to hear from you. Write to Cook’s Notebook, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210. As many letters as possible will be answered in the newspaper; sorry, no individual replies.

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