Classic Orange and Honey Cake

Mix, bake + serve in under an hour!

The perfect combination of locally made honey and citrus is what inspired today's post, playing off the color orange - and as seen on an episode of GHL. Enjoy a slice of my Orange Honey Cake with a hot cup of orange pekoe tea. BTW - the orange in the orange pekoe denotes the quality of the tea leaves in the blend and not orange flavor. Orange Pekoe is a good grade tea using full and bigger tea leaves.

Also, this recipe is a really easy one to whip up for a impromptu gathering since you can make, bake and eat this cake, in under one hour! Orange you glad about that? Enjoy!

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Honey Orange Cake

Makes 8 servings

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2/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

1/2 cup honey, heated

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 large eggs, separated

1 tsp. finely grated orange peel

1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly grease and flour bottom and sides of a 9-inch pan.

In medium bowl, blend orange juice, honey, butter, egg yolks and orange peel; set aside. In large bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and baking soda; set aside.

In small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Mix orange juice mixture into flour mixture until blended. Gently fold in egg whites. Turn into prepared pan.

Bake 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. On wire rack, cool 10 minutes; remove sides from pan and cool completely. Just before serving, sprinkle with confectioners sugar. To serve, cut into wedges and garnish, if desired, with peeled orange wedges and whipped cream. 

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George's Irish Scones

Join me CreateTV George Hirsch Lifestyle Sun 1PM EST

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A scone is a quick bread, but it is unclear of the true origin of the word—be it from the Scots, Brits or Germans. I do like the the word scone as it may have derived from the Gaelic term "sgonn" meaning a shapeless mass or large mouthful. Scones are usually round in shape, although some are hexagonal as this shape provides for space-efficiency while baking. Other shapes include triangles and squares.

Why Buttermilk? Using buttermilk instead of cream, makes for a lighter, more bread-like scone. The scones are baked at a higher oven temperature which produces a darker, crispier crust. Using Buttermilk will also result in a more tender, creamy texture with a rich buttery taste and a bit of tang, somewhat similar to a good Greek yogurt. TIP: Not to worry if you are just plum out of buttermilk; regular milk + vinegar will provide the same results. 

Start with good ingredients and the results will provide tastier, better results—specifically use a good quality flour.

Easily prepared, baked and enjoyed in under an hour—have a good cup of hot tea and jam with my Irish Scones.

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George's Irish Scones 

Makes 8 scones in a 9 inch round pan 

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2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup (1 stick) very cold sweet butter, cut into small pieces 

1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons pure cane granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup milk, *made into buttermilk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup raisins, **plumped

1/4 teaspoon white vinegar, for making milk into buttermilk

*Add white vinegar to milk to make the buttermilk. Allow to sit 5 minutes to sour. 

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees F. 

Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add cold butter to flour and blend in by hand until the butter resembles fine crumbs. Add granulated sugar and mix into flour. 

Combine beaten egg, vanilla, and milk. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, toss in plumped raisins and mix by hand until a dough forms. It will take about one minute of kneading until the flour is absorbed. Turn scone dough on to a floured surface. Form in the shape of a ball, do not over knead. With a rolling pin, flatten out dough to one inch thick.

Place the round scone dough into a 9 inch cake pan. With a bench scraper or knife cut though the dough across four times dividing into eight equal pieces. Immediately bake for about 16-18 minutes until dough sounds hollow, a sign it is fully baked. 

Serve warm with jam and clotted whip cream. 

**To plump raisins add 2 tablespoons of water and heat in microwave for 30 seconds. 

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Best Chocolate Cake Ever

Simple solutions can give you best results. Machines and gadgets are very important to many people, but honestly I really enjoy cooking when just a simple whisk, spoon or spatula just does the job. As is the case with the Chocolate Torta recipe from my TV series George Hirsch Lifestyle episode titled Old World Traditions. Enjoy.

Mix by hand and bake. Forty-five minutes later you’ll be savoring this Italian Pastry delight! 

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George's Chocolate Torta

Makes 12 servings 

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1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1-1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder

1-1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 cup water

1/3 cup sweet butter, melted

1 egg, beaten

1 egg white, beaten into whole egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly grease a 9-inch cake pan; set aside.

In small bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In large bowl, combine cocoa and granulated sugar until blended. With wire whisk, beat in water, then melted butter, egg, egg white and vanilla until smooth. Add flour mixture and beat until smooth. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. On wire rack, cool for ten minutes in pan. With small spatula, loosen cake from sides of pan. Remove to a wire rack and cool completely. Place on plate and sprinkle with confectioners sugar and a dollop of fresh whip cream. To serve, cut into small wedges. 

Tip: This cake actually tastes get better when baked and aged one day in advance. When making ahead, allow to cool completly, then cover tightly in an air proof container or place baked chocolate torta back into cake pan and wrap the top with film. 

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Chocolate Torta, from George Hirsch Lifestyle TV Series

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Molten Chocolate Cake, aka..

 Lava cake, or HOT CHOCOLATE BERRY CUPCAKES..This sweet was created in my restaurant years ago, as a hot dessert to satisfy every chocoholic. it's my warm bit of chocolatey goodness I include in my St. Valentine's Day line up. A little like a foolproof soufflé only easier to prepare and a hit every time! 

And, guild the lilly and serve with my

Best Chocolate Sauce!

from George Hirsch Living it UP! Cookbook

HOT CHOCOLATE BERRY CUPCAKES

makes 8-10 

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George Hirsch Living it UP! Cookbook 

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 

1 1/3 cups sugar 

1/3 cup *Good Dutched cocoa powder 

3/4 teaspoon baking soda 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1 cup milk 

1 Tablespoon white vinegar 

1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil 

1 egg 

1 teaspoon vanilla 

1/2 cup fresh raspberries 

*Dutched cocoa means the cocoa underwent a process that results in milder chocolate flavor notes by reducing acidity. The dutching process can also change the color from light red to brown to black. Dutched cocoa works well in chocolate desserts such as devil’s food cake or brownies.

For the Hot Cupcake filling: 

6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature 

1 teaspoons grated orange peel 

2 Tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate, chopped 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

In a medium bowl combine the flour,1 cup sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and mix well. 

Combine milk with the vinegar in a separate bowl and allow to stand 5 minutes for the milk to sour. Add the oil, egg, and vanilla; mix well. 

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just moistened. Do not over beat. 

In a small bowl combine the cream cheese, remaining 1/3 cup sugar, orange peel and chopped chocolate and mix until well blended. 

Pour the batter evenly into four or six ounce buttered ceramic ramekins or cupcake tins. Divide the cream cheese mixture into 10 equal balls and drop one into the center of each batter. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Remove the ramekins, let stand for 2 minutes, and serve with ice cream on the sid

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