Chocolate Pound Cake

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This recipe is one of those cakes that gets better with age; meaning, it tastes even better the day after it is baked. You may not have access to Sag Harbor Rum for the simple syrup, so if you find yourself in a strange port use a good quality rum. 

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George Hirsch Chocolate Pound Cake, Sag Harbor Rum Syrup

Chocolate Pound Cake

Makes one loaf

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 1 1/2 cups cake flour  

1 teaspoon baking powder  

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sweet butter, room temperature

1 cup pure cane granulated sugar  

3 eggs, beaten 

1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon fine grated orange zest 

1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder such as Droste

1/4 cupboiling hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  

Grease a loaf pan with butter. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

In a small bowl mix cocoa powder into boiling water until smooth. Cool to room temperature.

In a separate bowl, mix cake flour with baking powder and salt.

On medium high speed, mix butter until softened, about 1 - 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. With the mixer on low add the eggs, one at a time, and mix well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after adding each egg. Add vanilla, orange zest, cocoa mixture. add the flour mixture and mix only until combined.  

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake on a center rack in oven for about 50 - 55 minutes or until done. To test doneness, cake will spring back when touched lightly with index finger.

Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Slice pound cake, serve soaked with rum simple syrup and with fresh whipped cream.

To make simple syrup:

1 cup water, 2 cups sugar, 1/4 cup of Rum, 1 orange, cut into quarters

Place all ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for five minutes. Remove and cool.

Hampton Baking Co.

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When I learned my craft, :) it was instilled by my chef mentors and my Nana - that only the finest ingredients should be used when baking.

Think tender and naturally sweet! I am proud to offer what I bake for my family, friends - NOW making it available to YOU TOO!.

And, in keeping with my decades of philanthropic work, every purchase will benefit a community cause near and dear to me that will benefit those needing a hand up.

I hope that when you are purchasing gifts this season you think of the Hampton Baking Co. LIMITED EDITION Holiday Biscotti Gift Box assortment as that a very special gift!

My Pastry Team & I thank you, and may you have a blessed holiday! 

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Seasonal Flatbreads

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When it comes to making any type of flatbread pizza let imagination and the season rule your toppings. I love this Curry Chic Pea + Carrot style flatbread when there is a chill in the air. And, flatbreads are a great do ahead snack for holiday entertaining! 

George Hirsch Seasonal Flatbreads

Curry Chic Pea + Carrot Flatbread Pizza

Makes four servings

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For the Pizza Dough Recipe

For the toppings:

Cooked Chick Peas, pureed; Sweet Carrots, sliced thin + blanch—keep crisp; Sweet Onions, sliced thin; Leeks, split + sliced this; Garlic, sliced; olive oil

Mix all the above and add curry powder, thyme, coarse sea salt, and black pepper to taste. 

Drizzle top of dough with olive oil before baking. 

425 degree F. oven 5-7 minutes

Mix Dough and place in a bowl lightly coated with olive oil. Cover loosely with a towel or plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator overnight. 

Next day, pre heat *oven to 475 degrees F. 

Stretch out dough to a rectangular shape and cut into two pieces. Sprinkle a teaspoon of fine grind corn meal on the surface of a heavy gauge pizza pan or sheet pan. Place the two pieces of dough on the top of corn meal. Brush top lightly with olive oil. 

Place toppings in this order on dough; potatoes, onions, feta, olives and olive oil. Sprinkle slightly with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. 

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until pizza flatbread crusts are fully baked. You can check for doneness by tapping on the edge of the dough with your finger. It will have a hollow sound when done. 

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GEORGE HIRSCH’S SLOPPY GIUSEPPE BURGER

Grilled slider served on a potato roll, with pickled bourbon peppers, an Italian style sweet sloppy Joe sauce, topped with crisp sriracha slaw from Sep’s Farm fresh veggies and a side of garlic kettle chips. 

George's SLOPPY GIUSEPPE a winning combination

Grilling a winning burger from the bun up takes time and the freshest farm picked ingredients. For my SLOPPY GIUSEPPE, the peppers were farm picked and pickled the same day, two months ahead of adding to my burger. I used a colorful mix of vine ripen sweet and hot peppers, and the vinegary brine was topped off with bourbon for added zip. The Sloppy Sauce is a homemade sweetened Italian tomato sauce, and the slaw—a mixture of crunch tossed at the last moment in a creamy sriracha dressing. With no compromise to the meat tossed on the grill, my signature special meat blend, and the only bun of distinction worthy for such honest “sloppy goodness’ is soft potato roll.   

GEORGE HIRSCH’S SLOPPY GIUSEPPE BURGER

Makes 8, *¼ pound burgers.

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*weight before cooking

1 3/4 pounds ground beef, short rib blend, 80/20 lean / fat ratio

3/4 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Accompaniments: Potato Rolls, mix of sweet & hot vinegar peppers, sloppy sauce, sriracha slaw, 

In a 2-quart mixing bowl, combine beef and sausage meat and mix with a fork, taking care not to overwork the meat. Divide into 8 or 10 equal portions and form into 3/4 inch thick patties. Use raw meat from two of the above formed burgers for sloppy sauce. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. 

Sloppy Sauce

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Makes about 2 Quarts, or enough topping for 16 SLOPPY GIUSEPPE burgers.

2 Tablespoons Olive oil

1/4 cup chopped onions, sweet red peppers

8 cloves fresh garlic, chopped fine

1 15 ounce can each Tomato Sauce & Tomato Puree

1 1/2 cups ketchup

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes

1 pint of IPA

1 teaspoon each dried basil and oregano

2 bay leaves

2 cups water

Pre heat a saucepot to medium temperature. Add olive oil and two burger patties browning lightly; add onions, peppers, and garlic. Cook for two additional minutes, do not brown vegetables. Add all remaining ingredients using water to rinse out any additional tomato sauce left in cans. Simmer for 45 minutes. Keep warm until topping burgers. 

For Slaw & Dressing as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle

Vegetables: 1 small head shredded white cabbage, one 1/2 head shredded red cabbage, 2 grated carrots, 1/4 sweet thinly sliced onion, 2 cloves finely chopped garlic, and 3 chopped green onions. Mix 2 cups mayonnaise, 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce, 1/4 cup sriracha, 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, pepper and sea salt to taste. Add dressing to slaw thirty minutes before serving. 

Preheat the grill to medium-high. Place the burgers on a hot grill and cook about 3-4 minutes per side, turning once. 

Serve on lightly toasted Martin’s Potato Rolls, first peppers, burger, sloppy sauce, and slaw. Serve extra Sloppy Sauce on side with plenty of napkins. 

Note: If you don’t see ground short rib beef in your butcher shop, by all means ask for it. Whenever you’re mixing any ground meat product, it’s a good practice to have the meat and bowl well chilled. Not only will a chilled bowl cut down on bacterial growth, it will help bind the meat. If possible, use a metal bowl for mixing the ingredients and place it in the freezer beforehand. If your kitchen is warm, place the bowl over a bowl of ice when you’re incorporating the meat with the spices.

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Hot Baked Pretzels

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Pretzels are commonly thought to have originated in Bavaria, but they can be traced back to Roman times. Legend says that the crossed ends represent arms folded in prayer.

Easy to make, allow one hour to rise, these pretzels are a great fall addition to an Oktoberfest party or stack them up on dowels and take-along to the weekend tailgate. Mustard optional!

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Hot Baked Pretzels Recipe

Makes 12 large pretzels

1 teaspoon brown sugar

4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 1/4 cups warm water, 120 degrees F

4 1/2 - 5 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 Tablespoon Olive oil

For Pretzel Wash:

1/2 cup baking soda

4 cups hot water

For The Topping:

1/4 cup kosher salt

Optional Additional Toppings: caraway seeds, sesame seeds, Parmesan cheese

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and brown sugar in warm water. Let yeast bloom for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the dough is too wet add the remaining 1/2 cup a flour a little at a time. Knead the dough until smooth and it comes off the sides of the bowl cleanly about two minutes; then remove to a floured board and knead for a total of about 4-5 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place (about 80 degrees) until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.

When risen, turn dough out onto a large lightly floured cutting board and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about eight inches in length, and twist into a pretzel shape. With a large skimmer, dip each pretzel dough into the baking soda solution and back on cutting board, top each pretzel with salt and any other optional topping.

Place pretzels on a greased baking sheet, bake for 8 minutes, or until browned.

From Adventures in Grilling Cookbook, by George Hirsch with Marie Bianco.