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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Vision of Spring

With spring now upon us it's the perfect time to plan the early spring herb garden.

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PLANNING YOUR OUTDOOR HERB GARDEN

Nothing compares to the flavor of fresh herbs in cooking. Now is the time to plan your fresh herb garden for an abundance of flavorful herbs at your fingertips. But before you start digging, there's a little bit of planning to take into consideration.  

First consider the amount of time you have to spend and tend to your garden. If you're a weekend gardener, then a little patch of kitchen herbs is a great start, you can always increase the size of your garden next year. But if you're an avid gardener, go crazy! Add more exotic herbs and fragrant ones such as lemon verbena, lemon grass, pineapple sage and Thai basil. 

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Find a good location for your garden. Most herbs need five or six hours of sunlight and a soil slightly on the dryer side. Plant close enough to your back door for when you're running from the kitchen to the garden.

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Lay out your garden on paper. Think about style. Do you like a formal orderly appearance to your garden, or a more natural style? Keep in mind when planning to include walking paths so you can reach to weed and harvest your herbs and keep your feet dry when the ground is wet.  

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What to plant?  If you intend to cook with the herbs make a list of the ones you use most common.  If you like fragrant herbs or colorful herbs, ask your local garden shop what grows well in your area. And, herbs like a fairly neutral or slightly alkaline soil. If you know your soil is acid, add some lime when preparing your soil. 

When planting, try to keep the annuals and perennials separate so when the end of the season comes you won't disturb the roots of the perennials when you pull out annuals. Try to keep taller plants to the back of the border or in the center of your bed and smaller ones near the edges to form borders.  

Enjoy my Green Goddess aka. Sauce Au Vert Recipe with fresh spring chive and parsley.

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We Create, do You?

Tune-in and DVR George Hirsch Lifestyle on Create beginning Tuesday, October 14th. You will be inspired with flavorful recipes and also by the most passionate people who craft each and everyday. I am so proud to share my friends with you. 

George Hirsch Lifestyle Talent

My friends are artists, artisan crafters, bakers, builders, butchers, cheese makers, cheese mongers, chefs, crafters, craft-brewers, designers, farmers, fisherman, grillers & smokers, pastry chefs, pickers, small batch beverage makers, sommeliers, vintners, plus aspiring young growers!

Join me and my friends as we premiere on Create, Tuesday’s & Thursday’s & Create together. You’ll get inspired too!

For national schedules and times visit CreateTV