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Desserts fit the mold

Kay Kosch enjoyed a no-flour chocolate cake on a cruise ship. The cake has the taste and texture of chocolate fudge.

Bernice Stein shares a recipe from Royal Caribbean International Cook Book that includes the note that "this is a decadent and rich-tasting dessert." The accompanying remarks point out that only eight ingredients are used and that the cake is easy to prepare.

Elizabeth Angelini clipped her recipe from the St. Petersburg Times years ago and writes that the cake is just as Kay Kosch describes it. The bittersweet chocolate sauce gilds the lily. Both recipes supply the dreams of chocoholics.

Betty Martin asked for a recipe for molded cherry gelatin, including bing cherries and cola beverage. There are as many versions as there are cooks. The recipe of a number of cooks is prepared with cherries, crushed pineapple, cola and chopped nuts. For a creamier version, add cream cheese and mayonnaise. Two different flavors of gelatin add even more variety. All can be put on lettuce leaves for the salad course or in a crystal sherbet dish for dessert.

For: Kay Kosch of Palm Harbor.

From: Bernice Stein of Seminole.

Recipe: Flourless Chocolate Cake from Royal Caribbean International Cook Book.

Flourless Chocolate Cake I

12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon dark rum

\ cup strong brewed coffee

5 large eggs

{ cup granulated sugar

} cup heavy cream

Whipped cream, fresh fruit and mint leaves for garnish

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 10-inch springform cake pan with butter and wrap the outside of the pan with a double thickness of aluminum foil to prevent water from seeping in. Chill a large mixing bowl.

Place the chocolate, vanilla, rum and coffee in the top of a double boiler set over 1 inch of simmering (not boiling) water. Whisk until the chocolate is smooth and no small lumps remain. Turn off the heat and remove the mixture from the hot water. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the eggs and sugar. With an electric mixer, beat until pale in color, stopping 2 or 3 times to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add \ of the chocolate mixture and beat until blended. Pour this mixture into the remaining chocolate mixture. Stir until combined.

Bring a large kettle of water to a boil. Meanwhile, in the chilled mixing bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form.

With a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture until just combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and cover the top with aluminum foil. Place in a roasting pan and pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the outside of the cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until small cracks appear on the surface.

Remove the cake from the oven and let cool to room temperature in the pan on a wire rack. Chill in the refrigerator overnight until ready to serve.

To serve, unmold the cake and place on a chilled dessert plate. Garnish with whipped cream, fresh fruit and mint leaves.

Yield: eight to 10 servings.

From: Elizabeth Angelini of Hudson.

Recipe: Flourless Chocolate Cake II, adapted from Bouley Bakery, New York City

Flourless Chocolate Cake

6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3 ounces)

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

4 egg yolks

4 egg whites

{ cup sugar (3 ounces)

Confectioners' sugar or cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch-round cake pan and line bottom with parchment paper.

Place a large bowl over a pot of boiling water (or use a double boiler). Combine butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally. When mixture has melted, set aside.

Whisk the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture. Place the egg whites with 1 teaspoon of sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the remaining sugar and continue to beat until egg whites form soft peaks, about 1 minute. Immediately fold egg whites into the chocolate mixture.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the cake pan. Bake for 25 minutes.

Allow cake to cool to room temperature in the pan, approximately 15 minutes. When cake has cooled, run a paring knife around the edge of the cake pan and invert onto serving platter. Gently remove parchment paper. When cake cools completely, sift confectioners' sugar or cocoa powder on top. Serve with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce. Makes eight servings.

Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into dime-size pieces

{ cup heavy cream (4 ounces)

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Pour over the chopped chocolate and stir until all the chocolate melts. Add the corn syrup and combine. Strain sauce into another bowl. Spoon warm sauce over the chocolate cake.

For: Betty Martin of Palm Harbor.

From: Diana Lupton of Tampa, Karen Jones of Palm Harbor, and Carolyn Blocker and Gladys Smith of Brooksville.

Recipe: Cherry Cola Salad.

Cherry Cola Salad

1 1-pound can pitted bing cherries

1 1-pound 4-ounce can crushed pineapple

2 3-ounce packages cherry gelatin

12 ounces cola

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Drain juice from fruit; add enough water to make 2 cups. Heat to boiling. Add gelatin; stir until dissolved. Cool. Add cola, fruit and nuts if desired. Pour into 1{-quart mold and chill until set. Serve with salad dressing, cream cheese dressing or whipped cream.

From: Eleanor Bedrosian of New Port Richey and Betty Harris of Brooksville.

Recipe: Cherry Cola Mold.

Cherry Cola Mold

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

\ cup mayonnaise

1 3-ounce package each cherry and strawberry gelatin

1 cup boiling water

1 1-pound can pitted dark sweet cherries

1 13{-ounce can pineapple tidbits or crushed pineapple

1 7-ounce bottle cola

1 cup broken walnuts

Blend cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Dissolve gelatins in boiling water. Stir into cheese mixture, blending well. Drain cherries and pineapple, measuring 1{ cups syrup. Then add syrup and cola beverage to gelatin. Chill until very thick. Fold in cherries, pineapple and nuts. Pour into a 1{-quart mold. Chill until firm. Unmold.

Makes about 6{ cups, or 12 servings.

Recipe requests

Pat Svajdlenka of Seminole used to prepare a chocolate cake made with chocolate sprinkles for her son's birthday, but the recipe has been lost. Egg whites were beaten and folded in. Coffee, perhaps instant, was another ingredient. The cake was baked in a ring-shaped pan. Pat needs your help.

Linda Mitchell of Hernando has looked for a long time for a pinnoli cookie recipe. Linda writes that the base of the cookie is made with almond paste, and pine nuts are then put around this base. She has found the cookies in Italian bakeries up North and would like to be able to prepare them here.

You Asked for It is a reader mail column. If you have a cooking question or the answer to someone else's question, write to: You Asked for It, the Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Be sure to include your full name, city and phone number with your letter. Requests cannot be answered by phone or mail.

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