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From Kelly~WA, 02-18-2005
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Msg ID 095697
Here are a few ideas Seb. If you want some more ideas you might tell us something about your friend... favorite foods, hobbies, etc.
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Piņa Colada Cake and Frosting

Cake:
1 (approx. 18.25 ounces) box white cake mix
1 small package (4 serving size) vanilla or French vanilla instant pudding mix
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup light rum
4 eggs
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, undrained
1 cup flaked coconut

Frosting:
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, undrained
1/3 cup light rum
1 small package (4 serving size) vanilla or French vanilla instant pudding mix
1 container (8 ounces) Cool Whip
coconut to taste, toast* if desired

Cake:
Grease and flour a 13 x 9-inch pan or two round 8-inch layer cake pans. Preheat oven to 350°. Mix cake mix, pudding, oil, water and rum. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in pineapple then fold in coconut. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

Frosting:
Mix crushed pineapple, rum, and vanilla instant pudding. Beat until it thickens. Fold in 1 container of Cool Whip. Frost cake and sprinkle top with coconut or toasted coconut.

* To toast coconut: Spread coconut in shallow pan. Bake at 350° for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned.
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Hot Chocolate Cake with Marshmallows

A very rich and dense chocolate cake baked in individual mugs and topped with toasted marshmallows. Please make sure that your mugs are ovenproof prior to using for this recipe...ramekins could be substituted. Recipe
From February 2005 issue of Real Simple magazine.

8 servings

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra unsalted butter for coating
3 tablespoons flour, plus extra flour for coating
1/2 cut sugar, plus extra sugar for coating
10 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mini marshmallows
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 375F.

Butter, flour and sugar eight 6-ounce coffee cups or mugs made of ovenproof stoneware.
Wipe the rims clean.

Place the 8 tablespoons of butter and the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water (or in a double boiler) and melt.
Stir occasionally until combined and smooth.
Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes.
Beat eggs, yolk, vanilla, salt, and 1/2 cup sugar at the highest speed until the volume doubles and the mixture becomes foamy, about 5 minutes.

Stir the 3 tablespoons of flour into the chocolate.

Gradually add it to the egg mixture, beating on low until it is fully combined.

Spoon the batter into each cup until it is about 3/4 inch from the rim.

Bake until the cakes puff and begin to crack, but the centers are still a bit runny, about 13 to 17 minutes.

Remove from the oven.

Sprinkle with marshmallows, return to oven for 2 to 4 minutes, until the marshmallows begin to crisp.

Remove from oven.
Allow to cool about 5 minutes.

Sift cocoa on top.
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Cheeseburger Cake

1 box white cake mix
1 box brownie mix
6 plain flat cookies, 3 1/2 inches to 4 inches in diameter
2 (16 ounce each) cans ready to spread vanilla frosting
Red and yellow food coloring
20 or more spearmint jelly candy leaves
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 (16 ounce) can ready to spread milk chocolate frosting

Heat oven to 350F.

Grease an 8-inch layer cake pan AND one 2 1/2 to 3 quart metal or oven-proof glass mixing bowl with a rounded bottom.

Prepare the box of white cake mix according to the cake mix recipe. Fill the layer cake pan 2/3 full, then place the remainder of the cake mix into the prepared bowl. Bake pan 30 to 35 minutes and bowl around 55 to 60 minutes or until pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks, 15 minutes for pan, 30 minutes for bowl. Invert cakes on rack and let cool completely.

Prepare the box of brownie mix for a cake brownie (look at box). Bake as directed in the 8 inch layer cake pan. Cool for 15 minutes in pan, then invert and let cool completely.

"Tomato Slices" Place plain cookies on a wire rack set over wax paper. Put about 1/2 cup vanilla frosting in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in red food coloring (and a bit of yellow if needed) until frosting is tomato colored. Brush or spoon on top and sides of cookies. Let stand at least 30 minutes until firm to the touch.

"Cheese" Spoon another 1/2 cup of vanilla frosting into a small bowl. Stir in yellow food coloring until cheese colored. Cover to prevent drying.

"Lettuce" Sprinkle granulated sugar on work surface. Working with 1 at a time, place spearmint leaves on the sugar and roll with a rolling pin until flattened and edges are jagged. Put remaining vanilla frosting in a medium sized bowl.

Stir in milk chocolate frosting and red and yellow food coloring, little by little, until frosting is the color of a hamburger bun. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Cover with frosting. Arrange spearmint leaf "lettuce" on top and around edges. Place brownie cake onto the top of the bottom "hamburger bun" using spatulas.

Spoon "cheese" about 1 inch from edge of top of burger, letting some run down the sides. Top with "tomato" slices. Trim "hump" (where cake has risen) off of bowl cake.

Place cake trimmed side down on wax paper and frost with remaining bun colored frosting. Lift onto tomato topped burger.

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