Monday, August 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Leonardo Ricardo

Well, the 'Net is rocking - it's Leonardo Ricardo's 29th birthday (again!) The volcanoes are rumbling...the Beatles are singing You Say it's Your Birthday...and we have a fabulous flourless chocolate cake for him.

"Pressed" Chocolate Soufflé Cake

7 oz. extra-bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
14 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

sweetened whipped cream
fresh raspberries

Position oven rack to the lowest third of oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch diameter springform pan with 3-inch high sides.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler, then stir mixture until smooth. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and cool slightly. Lightly beat egg yolks with a fork in a small bowl, then whisk into chocolate mixture. Add the vanilla, then sugar, and sift in the cocoa powder. Whisk to blend all ingredients.

Beat the egg whites with salt to soft peaks. Fold one-third of the chocolate mixture into whites to lighten, then gently fold in remainder. Pour batter into the prepared pan; bake about 30 minutes. (The sides of cake should be set, but the center still moist).

Remove cake from oven and set on a cooling rack. Loosen the sides of the pan but do not remove. Top cake with a smooth dinner plate (or pan lid, etc. that fits into form), and gently press down to deflate the cake. Remove the plate and pan sides. Cool completely.

Serve with sweetened whipped cream and fresh raspberries, or ice cream. Insert a birthday candle in Leonardo's piece - but if he isn't around you get to eat it for him.


Fred Schwartz said...

My Spanish -- it is not so good but I hope this works:

Cumpleanos Feliz

Cumpleanos Feliz
Cumpleanos Feliz
Cumpleanos Cumpleanos
Cumpleanos Feliz

and this birthday prayer:

Watch over thy Leonardo, O Lord, as his days increase; bless and
guide him wherever he may be. Strengthen him when he
stands; comfort him when discouraged or sorrowful; raise
him up if he fall; and in his heart may thy peace which
passeth understanding abide all the days of his life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
LR, congratulations and many more to come!

Scott Hankins said...

Hey LR Happy Birthday! (See, I don't get everything after

Robert said...

Happy Birthday Leonardo!

Leonardo Ricardo said...

I'm OVERWHELMED...thank you Lynn and Fred for making my party a lovely one (and, get smart, nobody touches the piece with a candle)...I have a little sign in my's a sorta tacky wood sign like one see's to buy in souvenir shops on the's says "Hand over the chocolate and nobody get's hurt"...I think it's hysterically funny and I found it hanging over my Dads bed at the Home where he spent his last few months (two weeks short of '97 he was)...he loved chocolate but I'd never seen the sign before...he'd have my sister bring him full wholesale sized cartons of Hershey Chocolate Bars (without almonds) that he would pass around to his pals at the Rest Home...he was quite the hospitable and friendly inspiration to me as he had a "girl friend" right up to the end...see, heterosexuals are often just as wonderful and kindly as everyone else. HAPPY DAYS and thank you for making mine extra wonderful! Bless your heterosexual hearts!


Love to all of you!

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Whoops, btw, where I come from, "bless your heart" MEANS bless your heart and isn't a desparaging remark...that apparently is a regional *thing*...I feel so blessed, I just want to pass it on!

Lynn said...


"Bless your heart" isn't a disparaging remark where I come from, either.

And may I suggest you use my (current) favorite chocolate - Lake Champlain. Belgian-style but made in Vermont. Perhaps too good for baking, actually!

Scott Hankins said...

Just so it doesn't get lost, LR, that was a beautiful story you told about your dad. Interesting how associations happen, isn't it.

I hope you're in a good mood because...

You sure you meant "wonderful and kindly" and not "wonderful and kinky"?

Just funnin'. I knew a guy something like your dad. He was happy as a clam when he moved into the nursing home, where very suddenly he was the center of attention for 98% of the residents (well, if you include the gay guy, 99%.)


Leonardo Ricardo said...

Scott that is so funnnny! That was my Dad...gotta tell this...when my sister arrived for a visit one day NOBODY could find my Dad...they looked, they searched they almost sent out a patrol, the intercom, the hall monitors/guards...everyone! He was found receiving a massage, in her bed/bedroom from a 63 year old women (who thought they were married and my Dad wasn't senile but gave me a dirty look everytime the lovely lady mentioned their "life together"...absoultely wonderful way to spend ones last few months and the women was a fully cared for nails/hair/clothes women who had NO FAMILY and had previously owned part of the land where Disneyland stands)...yes, you've got to watch those heterosexual every minute!

Thanks again Lynn and Fred for the party!

Leonardo Ricardo said...

sorry, when my sister and I arrived to see him...and the women was 93! I type too fasto!

Anonymous said...

Amen on the prayer.. I hope your day was great. Thanks for sharing the chocolate cake and stories with us.


Cany said...

Happy Birthday to Leonardo!! I even danced to the oh so fine music:)

And pass the cake... and no one gets hurt...